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Health & Wellness

US life expectancy falls, as many kinds of death increase

NEW YORK — A decades-long trend of rising life expectancy in the U.S. could be ending: It declined last year and it is no better than it was four years ago.

In most of the years since World War II, life expectancy in the U.S. has inched up, thanks to medical advances, public health campaigns and better nutrition and education.

Surgeon General calls youth vaping a public health threat

WASHINGTON — The U.S. surgeon general is calling e-cigarettes an emerging public health threat to the nation’s youth.

In a report being released Thursday, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy acknowledged a need for more research into the health effects of “vaping,” but said e-cigarettes aren’t harmless and too many teens are using them.

Family pushes for cyberbullying laws after teen’s suicide

TEXAS CITY, Texas — Family members of a Houston-area high school student who killed herself are rallying for tighter laws against cyberbullying.

Brandy Vela’s family says cyberbullying pushed the 18-year-old over the edge, leading her to shoot herself in the chest Tuesday afternoon at the family’s Texas City home as family members watched.

Zika-caused birth defect may become clear only after birth

NEW YORK — Researchers say a severe birth defect caused by Zika infection may not be apparent at birth but develop months afterward, further confirmation that the virus can cause unseen damage to developing babies.

The findings come from a study of 13 Brazilian babies whose heads all appeared normal at birth but then grew much more slowly than normal.

Sabra recalls hummus amid listeria contamination fears

WASHINGTON — Some varieties of Sabra hummus are being recalled amid concerns over possible listeria contamination.

The Food and Drug Administration says the voluntary recall announced by Sabra Dipping Company includes hummus products with a “Best Before” date of Jan. 23, 2017, or earlier. The products were sent to retailers in the U.S. and Canada.

Trump victory could imperil Roe v. Wade abortion ruling

NEW YORK — Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion nationwide, could be in jeopardy under Donald Trump’s presidency. If a reconfigured high court did overturn it, the likely outcome would be a patchwork map: some states protecting abortion access, others enacting tough bans, and many struggling over what new limits they might impose.

3 arthritis pain drugs prove equally safe for the heart

NEW ORLEANS — A new study gives some reassurance to arthritis sufferers who want pain relief but are worried about side effects. It finds that Celebrex, a drug similar to ones withdrawn 12 years ago for safety reasons, is no riskier for the heart than some other prescription pain pills that are much tougher on the stomach.

App helps save Seattle cardiac patient

SEATTLE — If your heart is going to stop, right outside a hospital is not a bad place for it.

And if 41 people within a 330-yard radius have a cellphone app alerting them to your distress, so much the better.

That’s what happened in Seattle last week when Stephen DeMont collapsed at a bus stop in front of University of Washington Medical Center.