The 21 Best Sneaker Brands For the Gym, Commuting, And Everything Else You Like to Do

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Whether you're an athlete, gym junkie, frequent commuter, or "sneakerhead," one thing everyone can agree on is that sneakers are an essential part to life. Dramatic? Maybe, but sneakers provide breathable comfort, versatility, and durability that you wouldn't normally get from towering pumps or too-flat shoes. Serena Williams wore a pair of bedazzled kicks to her wedding, chunky dad and grandpa sneakers are now a thing, and the latest offerings from classic brands like Nike, Adidas, Reebok and more are proof that sequels can actually be better than the originals.

We're all loyal to a specific brand, but exploring other options wouldn't hurt our closets or wallets. Ahead, 21 sneaker brands that are made for walking, flexing, and everything else you like to do.

View Gallery 21 Photos Air Max 98 S2S Sneaker NIKE nordstrom.com $160.00 SHOP NOW

If there is ever a sprawling line outside of a sneaker store, chances are a new drop from Nike just arrived. The tried and true athletic brand has been feeding athletes and "hypebeasts" alike for over 50 years by updating classic silhouettes like the Air Max 98 in fresh, eye-popping colors.

Falcon Sneaker Adidas nordstrom.com $100.00 SHOP NOW

Checks over stripes? I can't choose and don't let anyone (ahem, Drake) force you to. Adidas has not only earned its bragging rights for its timeless and iconic sneakers (it doesn't get more iconic than the Superstar) but also for its high-profile celebrity and designer collaborations and making old new again.

Rawlins III Joggers Tretorn shopbop.com $75.00 SHOP NOW

Tretorn knows you live a busy life, that's why the brand puts a little oomph in their sneakers to give customers comfortable shoes to carry out their daily tasks.

Royale Low Top Sneaker Greats nordstrom.com $189.00 SHOP NOW

You deserve luxury. You deserve comfort. You deserve durability. So you deserve a pair of Greats.

Thunder Fashion Sneakers Puma shopbop.com $120.00 SHOP NOW

I can tell you to buy Puma because the tried and true brand hasn't steered us wrong in its 70-plus year history, or because the brand sure knows how to pick its celebrity collaborators (Rihanna). Simply put, Puma has been silently killing the game with a range of luxe, classic styles at an affordable price point.

Vans Classic Slip-On Platform Vans zappos.com $54.95 SHOP NOW

No longer reserved for the skater boys and girls, Vans' classic slip-ons and Ska8-Hi sneakers are a cult favorite and never go out of style.

Atmos X Fly Mobius Reebok reebok.com $140.00 SHOP NOW

Reebok is one of the preferred gym sneakers for many people, but the iconic brand has keeping with the times and even released its 90s silhouette, the Aztrec, with Cardi B as the face of the campaign.

Holiday Sneaker Veja nordstrom.com $140.00 SHOP NOW

Veja is a French-born company that combines organic materials sourced in Brazil to create eco-friendly shoes that look luxurious. The brand has been gaining buzz thanks to its celeb customers, including Meghan Markle and EmRata.

Women's Wool Runners allbirds.com $95.00 SHOP NOW

Wool is the last thing you'd want to put on your foot, but Allbirds is here to change your mind. The brand, which launched in 2014, is famous for its Wool Runners, made with a padded sole and lightweight materials.

Women's Ride ISO 2 saucony saucony.com $48.00 SHOP NOW

Saucony was made just for runners. The pillow-soft cushioning and easily adaptable fit provides endless comfort and flexibility.

Retro Low Top Sneaker Common Projects nordstrom.com $325.49 SHOP NOW

Common Projects is designed using the finest materials to create minimalist yet timeless sneakers with an Italian flair.

Keds x Kate Spade New York Keds x Kate Spade New York zappos.com $119.95 SHOP NOW

First came the iconic Champion sneaker, then Keds doled out various interpretations of the silhouette over time. They introduced more styles, including the Triple Decker, which received the Kate Spade New York treatment in 2018.

New Balance 997H Sneaker New Balance urbanoutfitters.com $90.00 SHOP NOW

New Balance gives your feet a pillow-soft landing with every step. The brand isn't too concerned with following the latest trends and remains a trusted brand because of it.

Air Jordan 12 Retro Nike nike.com $190.00 SHOP NOW

It's safe to say that Michael Jordan's famous sneakers have shaped streetwear culture. The brand brings old classics to a new generation with every drop. They made history by landing its first female collaborator, Aleali May, who redesigned the Air Jordan VI and Air Jordan 1.

Kindsay Lace-Up Sneaker Isabel Marant nordstrom.com $422.98 SHOP NOW

Isabel Marant's once-ubiquitous wedge sneakers are a thing of the past. Now, the designer's collection includes her interpretation of the chunky "dad sneaker" trend, slip-ons with bridge straps and colorful runners.

Remi Lace Up Sneakers Loeffler Randall shopbop.com $295.00 SHOP NOW

Designer Jessie Randall's Loeffler Randall heels are a dream, but the sneakers are dreamier. Randall's sneakers are morphed into modern silhouettes and designed with fun little details like leopard print and swirly lines.

Flame Sneakers Sandro Paris sandro-paris.com $245.00 SHOP NOW

You can spot a pair of Sandro Paris sneakers by its signature flame streaks on the sides. The Parisian brand is known for its clean lines and minimalist aesthetic with an array colorful options that can be dressed up or down.

Fila Disruptor 2 FILA urbanoutfitters.com $65.00 SHOP NOW

No other sneaker had a better comeback than the Fila Disruptor. The modernized update to the 90s original features an even thicker sole and comes in range of colors, including a blinding neon green.

Chuck Taylor® All Star® Platform Sneaker [width : m] CONVERSE nordstrom.com $65.00 SHOP NOW

Does one ever truly grow out of Converse? The high and low options are the perfect addition to any outfit, especially with a little scuff here and there.

2790 Cotropew Sneakers Superga shopbop.com $85.00 SHOP NOW

If it's good enough for Kate Middleton, it's good enough for you.

1337-14 Classic Kicks Sneakers Buffalo London shopbop.com $280.00 SHOP NOW

Buffalo London are the shoes you wear when you want to be extra. All eyes will be on you, not only because you'll be a couple inches taller than your peers, but who could miss you in this platform neon style?

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The 30 Most Iconic Celebrity Best Friendships in Hollywood

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Everyone has that one person they can call on when the going gets tough. And though celebrities typically have countless people wanting to be their BFF, many of them already have one. Sometimes it's a fellow celeb who understands what it's like to be in the limelight. From Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez's long-lasting friendship to Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart's unlikely pairing, here are the most iconic celebrity friendships ahead of National Best Friends Day.

View Gallery 30 Photos image Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts

"We've gone through a lot together over a significant amount of time. That history binds you. We have a strong respect and love for one another." — Naomi Watts, People

"Naomi Watts and I are very, very good friends and have maintained that through so many things. I think that's really rare, particularly for actresses, and I take a lot of pride in that." — Nicole Kidman, Telegraph

image Salma Hayek Pinault and Penélope Cruz

"Penélope is a motherly creature, a warrior by nature. I told her that little boy [her son Leo] is the luckiest boy in the world." — Selma Hayek, Vogue

"She's one of my best friends. We call each other huevos [eggs]. It was because when we were working together, we didn't have children yet, so we used to sleep much more than now. So it was a way to call each other lazy." — Penélope Cruz, Allure

image Kate Hudson and Liv Tyler

In the '90s, Hudson and Tyler went to school together at Crossroads School For Arts and Sciences in Santa Monica, California. The two connected over both having famous parents—Hudson's mom is Goldie Hawn, while Tyler's dad is Steven Tyler from Aerosmith. The families are so close that Hudson often calls Steven "Papa Tyler."

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon

"We grew up together….We were both in love with the same thing—acting and filmmaking. I think we fed on each other's obsession during really formative, important years and that bonded us for life." — Matt Damon, Entertainment Tonight

"I can't tell you how valuable it is to have somebody who's been through things with you, ups and downs, who knows what your life experience is like, who can identify with that. It's an incredibly valuable friendship and it's very precious." — Ben Affleck, Entertainment Tonight

Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah

“I remember the first time I met her. It was in Baltimore at a club where she was performing. I’d never seen anyone like her before, this female rapper named Queen Latifah. I convinced the promoter to let me introduce her.” — Jada Pinkett Smith, People

“Jada and I can have whole conversations where we haven’t really said anything, but we’ve said a lot.” — Queen Latifah, People

Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron

“It happened within the first five minutes of meeting her. We were on a plane going to San Diego, for ComicCon, and I just fell in love with her.” — Charlize Theron, Celebuzz

Cameron Diaz and Drew Barrymore

"She was 16 and I was 14 when we became friends. We were both LA kids. I worked in a coffeehouse, and she was a model. I served her a coffee, and we had mutual friends, and we just knew each other from around town. I will say this about her — she was always kind. Someone who looks like that, they could have an attitude, and she was the opposite. She was friendly and goofy and really nice." —Drew Barrymore, The Katie Couric Show

"She has the most amazing heart. She is one of my closest girlfriends, but the way she loves the people around her is really special. She is so giving of herself and so accepting of others. She has created this community for herself. She didn't really have a strong family, so friends are her family. She really loves on that level of just unconditional love. And her friends around her love her in that way as well. She is one big heart, Drew! She doesn't even wear it on her sleeve; it's like she is just a heart." — Cameron Diaz, InStyle

Tobey Maguire and Leonardo DiCaprio

“Leo and I have a lot of trust and respect for each other. We have a close friendship and I definitely have an affection for Leo." — Tobey Maguire, People

"Every project we do, we talk about. Every single choice I've made, I've talked to Tobey about and vice versa. We've had endless conversations about certain projects and argued with one another and supported one another along the way." — Leonardo DiCaprio, Associated Press

Rihanna and Cara Delevingne

"I went up to her and was like, 'Maaam, you are so amazing, I love you, you look so hot out there performing. You put us all to shame.' Then I slapped her on the bum." — Cara Delevingne, Grazia Daily

Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart

"I love Martha—like, I love her for real. She's the big sister I never had. Being able to correct me, to teach me, to show me how to be better, to give me something to aspire to be." — Snoop Dogg, Martha Stewart

"I like his laid-back energy—I like his outspokenness, I like his sense of timing, and I really enjoy to watch him cook." — Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart

Sofía Vergara and Reese Witherspoon

When the two actresses both secured lead roles in Hot Pursuit, they quickly became inseparable. "I liked her from the moment I saw her," Vergara told E! News. Shortly after, the duo took their friendship offscreen. Together, the pair has taken Latin dance classes, tried Colombian coffee, and even traveled with each other for work.

Emma Roberts and Lea Michele

"Happy Birthday to the best friend a girl could ask for…I love you Emma. There is no one I laugh harder, I would rather call in the middle of the night or blast the Wreckers with all day…thank you for always being there for me. Love you so much." — Lea Michele, via Instagram

Chrissy Teigen and Kim Kardashian West

"I remember this because I was so nervous to meet you. I don't know. I'd been watching. I knew all about you. I felt kind of like a weirdo…You made me feel so much better because we went to the bathroom and you had me zip you up. [I was like] 'Oh my gosh! She has Spanx on. She's cool. She's normal.'" — Chrissy Teigen on meeting Kim for the first time, Bustle

Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift

"Taylor has such a beautiful way of bringing people together. That was good for me, because the more I started working, the more uncomfortable I was. I wouldn't trust people, and Taylor has a way of stripping down everything and just getting down to being human. I love that." — Selena Gomez, Flare Magazine

"It's been the longest [friendship] I think either of us had really….longevity is something you really can find very precious and rare in friendships." — Taylor Swfit, E! News

Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid

"Gigi is the best girlfriend a KenGi could ask for." — Kendall Jenner, Twitter

"She's just really helpful, but she's also the most low maintenance person and that's what I really respect about her. When you ask her a question or for advice, it's always going to be, 'Just let it happen, just let it go and, you know, be cool about it,' and that's always her thing." — Gigi Hadid, Access Online

Ashley Tisdale and Vanessa Hudgens

"I'm a loyal person. She's one of those girlfriends who will be my forever friend." — Vanessa Hudgens, Teen Vogue

"Me and Vanessa really have a special friendship. I could be anywhere and she could be doing a movie somewhere else, and nothing ever changes. It's like time hasn't even passed. Also I could call her whenever I'm anywhere all over the world. She's just always there." — Ashley Tisdale, Popstar

Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King

"I understand why people think we're gay. There isn't a definition in our culture for this kind of bond between women. So I get why people have to label it—how can you be this close without it being sexual? How else can you explain a level of intimacy where someone always loves you, always respects you, admires you, wants the best for you, wants the best for you in every single situation of your life, lifts you up, supports you always? That's an incredibly rare thing between even the closest of friends." — Oprah Winfrey, Oprah Magazine

Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning

"I can honestly say that my friendship with Kristen is one of the most special bonds in my life.” — Dakota Fanning, ELLE's Women in Hollywood Awards, 2016

Nina Dobrev and Julianne Hough

"She is beautiful. It's hard to find anything that's not perfect about Julianne." — Nina Dobrev, Access

"We just keep it real. We always have fun. It's fun to do things that keep you out of your comfort zone. We're very spontaneous when we're together." — Julianne Hough, PopSugar

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler

"People think of us as a 'comedy team' and I am not quick to correct them. Why wouldn't I want to connect myself to the fiercest and most talented voice in the comedy world?" — Amy Poehler, Yes Please

"She's fearless. Not only is she not afraid to look silly, she's not afraid to let you throw her in the air like a basketball and catch her." — Tina Fey, People

Ashley Benson and Shay Mitchell

The on and offscreen BFFs met while they were filming their hit show, Pretty Little Liars. Since the show's premiere nine years ago, the two have managed to stay in touch despite busy schedules, often going on vacations with each other, attending Coachella, and creating their own unique friendship name,#buttahbenzo.

Michelle Williams and Busy Philipps

"It's important to have strong, supportive women in your life whatever you do. I'm glad I can be there for her and she's always there for me." — Busy Philipps, Hollywire

"I'm so in love with her. She's proof that the love of your life does not have to be a man! That's the love of my life right there." — Michelle Williams, People

America Ferrera, Amber Tamblyn, Blake Lively, and Alexis Bledel

“If something is hard, and I need to get through—when I have doubts, when I get tired, when I feel like I just can’t do it today—I look up, and there’s my friend using her voice, there’s my friend breaking boundaries, there’s my friend doing something that terrifies her. It helps me keep going.” — America Ferrera, Makers

Emma Stone and Jennifer Lawrence

"I love Emma. She cracks me up; she's so 'theater.' She's adorable." — Jennifer Lawrence, Glamour

"We both really do love each other and care about each other as people, beyond being actors. I support her completely when it comes to work and I feel the same from her, but I know we'd be friends even if we didn't do the same job." — Emma Stone, Vanity Fair

Eva Longoria and Victoria Beckham

"Eva Longoria, I couldn't be more inspired by you. When women support each other, we accomplish amazing things. Celebrate the women who lean in together with you." — Victoria Beckham, via Instagram

"She has such a platform, such a voice, she's really the kindest, sweetest, most loyal human being you can have in your life." — Eva Longoria, This Morning

Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox

"We just have fun, we laugh, we're inseparable and it's great. Jennifer has been amazing for sure." — Courteney Cox, Access

"There's absolutely no judgment in Court. You'll never feel scolded. She's extremely fair, ridiculously loyal, and fiercely loving…Without giving away too much of my private stuff, all I can say is she's been there for me through thick and thin." — Jennifer Aniston, Us Weekly

Jennifer Lopez and Leah Remini

"It was one of those instant chemistry things where you just feel like, 'I love this person. I love being around this person. This person makes me laugh,'" Lopez said. "She's cool and we also have very similar upbringings. That's why we work well together." — Jennifer Lopez, Entertainment Tonight

Mary J. Blige and Taraji P. Henson

“You have been a total inspiration to me. We meet people in the industry and they’re not nice. I’ve never had a friend that I can call while I’m on set and say, ‘How do I do this as an actress,’ and you helped me when I needed help. And in my mind, that’s rare, because people don’t share and you’re a sharer. So thank you for being a giver and a sharer.” — Mary J. Blige

Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner

"Maisie and I have the purest form of true, true friendship. She's been my rock. We are kind of the only two people who know what it feels like to go through this very scenario from pretty much the same background and ending up where we are and kind of finding ourselves as we go." — Sophie Turner, W

"It's nice to have her going through this industry and someone who just completely gets it. It's really lovely to have someone hold my hand through all of it." — Maisie Williams, This Morning

Tyra Banks and Clay Aiken

“I love her to death…For some reason we just clicked when we first met, and we try to stay in touch and see each other whenever we’re in town…She’s such a real person, and I think that’s something people didn’t know about her until her talk show. She doesn’t try to be something she’s not. She’ll be as nerdy as she needs to be, or whatever she needs to be. I think that’s why people are attracted to her, and I think that’s why we became friends.” — Clay Aiken, People

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Patients Who Read Docs’ Notes Take Meds Better

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, May 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Reading the notes your doctor makes during your visit appears to be good medicine.

An online survey of 20,000 adults treated at three U.S. health systems that have made clinical notes available to patients for several years finds that those who actually read them may be more likely to take medications as prescribed.

Patients listed several benefits of reading the notes: 64% said doing so helped them understand why a medication was prescribed; 62% felt more in control of their medications; 57% said the notes answered questions about medications; and 61% felt more comfortable with their prescriptions.

And 14% of patients at two of the health systems — Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston and Geisinger in rural Pennsylvania — said they were more likely to take their medications as prescribed after reading doctors' notes, the study found.

Meanwhile, 33% of patients at the University of Washington Medicine in Seattle, the third health system studied, considered clinical notes very helpful.

"Sharing clinical notes with patients is a relatively low-cost, low-touch intervention," lead author Catherine DesRoches, executive director of OpenNotes at BIDMC, said in a news release.

Though sharing notes is a cultural shift, electronic health record systems make it easier, she said, adding that the payoff could be "enormous" because poor adherence to medications costs the health care system about $300 billion a year.

"Anything that we can do to improve adherence to medications has significant value," DesRoches said.

Patients whose primary language was not English and those with lower levels of education were more likely to report benefits from being able to read their doctor's notes, according to the study published May 28 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Still, this kind of transparent communication initially makes doctors uneasy, said study co-author Dr. Tom Delbanco, co-founder of OpenNotes.

"They worry about many things, including potential effects on their workflow, and scaring their patients. But once they start, we know of few doctors who decide to stop, and patients overwhelmingly love it," he added in the news release. "The promise it holds for medication adherence is enormous, and we are really excited by these findings."

An accompanying editorial by Dr. David Blumenthal and Melinda Abrams of the Commonwealth Fund noted that transparency is mandated by federal law and policy.

"Our challenge now is to make the best and most of shared health care information as a tool for clinical management and health improvement," Blumenthal and Abrams wrote.

The 14 Best Love Songs of 2019

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Being in love is totally wild. Sometimes it feels like the only thing that can match that heightened feeling is a pounding pop song or a swoony ballad. Think the Jonas Brothers confessing they're "suckers" or Miley Cyrus wondering why someone keeps coming back for more. If that's where you're at, here's a list of the best love songs 2019 has given us so far.

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below 1 "Love Yourself" by Sufjan Stevens

For Pride, Sufjan Stevens released two new songs, one of which was this gentle electro ballad. Yes, the song is about self-love, but the request is coming from someone who wants that for you, because they love you, too: "Love, can you love yourself?" —Estelle Tang

BUY

2 "The Most" by Miley Cyrus

Many fans suspect this country-tinged ballad from Cyrus's She Is Coming EP is about her husband Liam Hemsworth. But even if it's not, it's an honest look at acting badly towards the person who loves you—that's right—the most. —Estelle Tang

BUY

3 "Now That I Found You" by Carly Rae Jepsen

Crush queen Carly Rae Jepsen dropped 15-track album Dedicated this year; it's full of her signature lovestruck melodies and heartbreak bops. One of its lead singles was this paean to how a new paramour makes her feel, and it's as light and giddy as infatuation itself. —Estelle Tang

BUY

4 "Cuz I Love You" by Lizzo

Lizzo's blown away by big love, and her voice will do the same to you. The big-band vibe might sound traditional, and the feelings universal, but the lyrics are all Lizzo: "Never been in love before / What the fuck are fucking feelings, yo?" Indeed. —Estelle Tang

BUY

5 "Sucker" by Jonas Brothers

"I'm a sucker for you," croons Nick Jonas. Gosh, I wonder who that's about? Just kidding, no guessing necessary—the lush, cheeky video stars his lady, Priyanka Chopra, as well as his sisters-in-law Sophie Turner and Danielle Jonas. Brothers that swoon together stay together! Or something. —Estelle Tang

BUY

6 "I Told You Everything" by Sharon Van Etten

How to capture the first bloom of trust and fellow feeling? With an understated description of a simple conversation between two people, the grand reveal and the tiny gestures: holding hands and knees that touch. —Estelle Tang

BUY

7 "Burning" by Maggie Rogers

Imagine the scene in a rom-com where the heroine bursts out of a door into blazing sunlight. The natural soundtrack would be Maggie Rogers's "Burning," which spills over with the highs of having found the one. She even said it herself at a concert last year: "I’m super, super, super in love, and I want everybody to know that’s what this song is about." Message received! —Estelle Tang

BUY

8 "Hurry on Home" by Sleater-Kinney

Riot grrrl originals Sleater-Kinney recruited pals St. Vincent (for production) and Miranda July (for the lyric video) to help with this jagged little confession. "You know I'm unfuckable, unlovable, unlistenable, unwatchable," yelps Carrie Brownstein, urging that person to come back on home again anyway. Now that's love. —Estelle Tang

9 "You" by Snoh Aalegra

I’m usually very possessive when I find a new artist I like, but I’d be doing myself and the world a disservice by not sharing the heavenly, angelic voice of Snoh Aalegra. “You” is an open letter to her lover, one she knows she shouldn’t be with—and her family and friends agree. But despite her naysayers, she just simply cannot live without them. —Nerisha Penrose

BUY

10 "Steady Love" by India Arie

Oh, to be in love, steady love, has got to be a beautiful feeling. India Arie describes this exact sensation on “Steady Love,” where she admits that she never thought about becoming a wife until she met the man of her dreams. “He's not afraid of his feelings, he's not a slave to his pride,” she sings over a sparse melody and soft finger snaps. I wonder if she prayed the same prayer as Ciara? —Nerisha Penrose

BUY

11 "Love You Too Much" by Lucky Daye

Somebody hurt my guy Lucky Daye really bad and “Love You Too Much” is the aftermath. Stuck on a past lover, Lucky is trying his hardest to move on by entering the dating world again, but he’s “been gettin' nothing at all.” Whoever hurt him broke his trust and he fears that the pain from his last relationship will carry over to his new one. Relatable! —Nerisha Penrose

BUY

12 "Cellophane" by FKA Twigs

There's a vulnerability that comes with falling in love, and this feeling is perfectly captured by FKA Twigs' "Cellophane." Paired with a stunning video that highlights the highs and lows of passion and sees the singer climbing to the heavens and falling from the clouds in the blink of an eye, this song is sure to have you in your feelings. —Starr Bowenbank

BUY

13 "Shea Butter Baby" by Ari Lennox and J. Cole

Okay, so "Shea Butter Baby" might be more about sex than it is about love, but the two are often intertwined. Lennox captivates her lover with the ebb and flow of her hips and teases the idea of making love in a moonlit alleyway—the perfect mix of sexy and scandalous. —Starr Bowenbank

BUY

14 "End of the Earth" by Marina

"End of the Earth" is the cosmic love song you never knew you needed. Detailing a love so deep and so wide that it transcends the borders of our planet, this synth-filled slow burner will play back in your mind every moment someone takes your breath away. —Starr Bowenbank

BUY

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Can People in Heart Failure Safely Reduce Diuretics?

By EJ Mundell

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, May 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Heart failure is a common ailment afflicting older Americans, and many take drugs called diuretics to rid the body of excess fluid buildup that can impede breathing.

Now, a team of Brazilian researchers say that, in some cases, it's safe for patients with stable heart failure to stop taking diuretic drugs.

"Patients don't like using diuretics because they feel they have to stay at home to use the bathroom and they get cramps," noted study principal investigator Dr. Luis Rohde, of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

"Patients would welcome being able to stop this medication," he said, and the new study suggests it can often be done safely.

One U.S. expert who reviewed the new findings stressed that diuretics are key to heart failure care.

"Congestive heart failure is one of the most common chronic ailments in the United States, characterized primarily by volume (fluid) overload," explained Dr. Mohammed Imam. In heart failure, a damaged or weakened heart fails to pump blood as efficiently as it should.

"The mainstay of treatment for decades have been diuretics," said Imam, who directs cardiothoracic surgery at The Heart Institute at Staten Island University Hospital in New York City. Diuretics help patients with heart failure reduce excess fluids that can cause shortness of breath, swollen legs, coughing and weight gain.

However, the Brazilian team noted that prior studies have also found long-term diuretic use to be linked with worse patient outcomes.

So, can diuretic use be safely reduced? To find out, Rohde's team tracked outcomes for 188 outpatients in Brazil with stable chronic heart failure who were taking the diuretic furosemide.

The patients were randomly selected to either keep taking the drug (the "maintenance" group) or to start taking an inactive placebo instead (the "withdrawal" group). The patients did not know if they were still taking furosemide or not.

Over the next 90 days, there was no difference between the two groups in patient-reported shortness of breath, the team reported.

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Also, 72 patients (75%) in the withdrawal group and 78 patients (84%) in the maintenance group did not require furosemide reuse during the 90-day follow-up, the study authors said. The findings were reported this week at a meeting of the European Society of Cardiology, in Athens, Greece.

"Heart failure patients have many pills to take for their heart failure and for [other illnesses], such as diabetes and hypertension," Rohde said in a society news release. "Withdrawing one drug when it is no longer necessary should make it easier to take the ones that are needed," he added.

According to study senior author Andreia Biolo, "The results show that patients with stable heart failure who stop diuretics do not have more (shortness of breath) than those who continue taking the drug." Biolo is also with the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul.

"Withdrawal also does not lead to increased reuse of diuretics — [only] around 20% of patients in both groups needed a top-up, presumably for symptom relief," Biolo noted in the news release.

Overall, the study also found that "patients can be followed-up in the usual way," she said. "And, as we do now, patients should be educated to seek medical help if they become breathless, get edema [swelling], or have sudden weight gain, which indicates fluid retention."

But Imam wasn't convinced that diuretics can be eliminated so easily.

In his experience, "even if patients miss diuretics for a few doses, they get recurrent symptoms and feel better almost immediately on resuming them, even in patients with stable heart failure," he said.

Imam believes the study "is a radical diversion from traditional thinking and most clinicians would … continue using diuretics to treat stable congestive heart failure."

But another U.S. heart failure specialist was more encouraged by the Brazilian findings.

Dr. Marrick Kukin directs heart failure care at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He agreed that "diuretic withdrawal in heart failure patients is an important goal."

Kukin said, "If it can be done safely, patients are more comfortable (less urination), and there is less jeopardy to the kidney."

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But the new study involved a relatively small number of patients, so a larger trial may be needed to settle these questions. Findings presented at medical meetings are also considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

In the meantime, a more nuanced approach to diuretics may work best, Kukin believes.

"In my practice, with savvy patients who can recognize symptoms and take their weight daily, I empower them to make daily diuretic decisions," he said.

While a long-term "fixed" dose of diuretics might not be necessary, the Brazilian trial did not give patients the flexibility "to make daily adjustments" to the dose of diuretic they might require, Kukin noted. For many heart failure patients, that may be the best course to take, he suggested.

Priyanka Chopra Breaks Silence on Report She Met Meghan Markle and Baby Archie While in England

Priyanka Chopra's team made a rare move today: denying a tabloid story written about her and Meghan Markle. Chopra's spokesperson responded to The Sun's report that Chopra and her husband Nick Jonas visited her friend Meghan and met the duchess's baby Archie in Windsor during Chopra's trip to England. That did not happen, the spokesperson told The Daily Mail.

"The story is completely false. Priyanka has not seen Meghan and has no plans to see Meghan during this trip. She is in town for professional commitments," the spokesperson said.

The Sun's royal correspondent Emily Andrews initially reported that Chopra and Jonas went to Windsor last weekend and brought gifts from Tiffany & Co. for Archie.

A "pal" told Andrews that "they thought baby Archie was just adorable and Meg is loving her new life. She looked fantastic and has taken to life as a mum swimmingly."

This is not the first time someone close to Chopra has denied a tabloid report about her and Meghan. Back in February, Page Six reported that the two's friendship was about over because Meghan didn't come to Chopra's wedding.

A source close to Chopra shot down the notion that the two women were feuding in Page Six's initial report. “There are no issues between the two women," the source said. "They are friends, and anything you’re being told otherwise is inaccurate and untrue.”

E! reported a month later that Chopra and Meghan truly are very, very close in private. "All the rumors that Priyanka and Meghan aren't friends anymore are totally not true," a source told the outlet. "Priyanka and Meghan are still very close friends and they talk frequently. Meghan confides in Priyanka about the adjustments she has to make with being a royal."

While Archie hasn't met Chopra or Jonas yet, he is reported to have met Meghan's friend Serena Williams. He has also met the Queen, Prince Charles, Kate Middleton, Prince William, and more, so he's had very glamorous company.

Alyssa Bailey News and Strategy Editor Alyssa Bailey is the news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton).

Violent Video Games, Unlocked Guns a Dangerous Combo

By Dennis Thompson

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, May 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Shoot 'em up video games might be making your children far too comfortable with how they approach and handle real-life firearms, a new study argues.

Kids who played a version of Minecraft featuring guns were much more likely to handle a happened-upon but unloaded firearm than kids whose Minecraft game featured swords or no weapons at all, researchers found.

Worse, those kids were also more likely to point the gun at themselves or a playmate and pull the trigger, said lead researcher Brad Bushman, chair of mass communication at Ohio State University.

"This is not a game that is bloody or gory," Bushman said of Minecraft, "so you have to wonder how more realistic shooting games would affect children's perceptions regarding the safety of firearms."

For the study, 250 kids aged 8 to 12 spent 20 minutes playing specially designed versions of Minecraft, a game known for its distinctively blocky, pixelated graphics.

Kids were paired with another playmate and randomly assigned to play one of three versions of Minecraft — one in which guns were used to kill monsters, another where swords were used, and a third that was utterly nonviolent and featured neither weapons nor monsters.

After 20 minutes of play, the children were sent to another room stocked with toys. The room also included a cabinet containing two disabled 9 mm handguns.

There were 220 children in the study who came across the handguns while playing, and what they did after finding the firearms is telling.

About 62% of kids who played Minecraft featuring guns touched the handgun, compared with 57% of the kids who had swords in their video game and 44% of those who played a nonviolent video game, researchers report.

What's more, twice as many kids who played with crude video game guns wound up aiming the real-life firearm and pulling the trigger at either themselves or their playmate.

About 3% of kids exposed to gun violence in Minecraft pulled the trigger of the real handgun, compared with 1.4% of kids who had video game swords and only 0.14% who played the nonviolent game.

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Roughly 1 in every 5 children notified an adult about the firearm, the study discovered. About 6% told an adult without touching the gun, as kids are told to do, and another 16% told an adult but also touched the gun.

The results show how important it is for parents to monitor their children's video game playing, Bushman said.

"You don't let your kids eat junk food. The same should be true for media," Bushman said. "You shouldn't let them consume junky media."

The new results jibe with a 2017 study of his, which found that kids who watched movies featuring gun violence were more likely to handle and use guns, Bushman added.

Nearly 1,300 children younger than 18 die every year from shootings, and about 5,800 are treated for gunshot wounds, according to a 2017 study in Pediatrics.

Although it's important to monitor kids' media diet, it's even more crucial to safely store firearms out of the hands of children, said Cassandra Crifasi, an assistant professor with the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research.

Even before video games existed, kids played with toy firearms — water guns or cap guns or finger guns or guns imagined from bits of fallen wood, said Crifasi, who wasn't involved with the study.

"Kids are innately curious and they're going to play with these things, so I think it's important we separate kids from firearms when they aren't supervised," Crifasi said. "We know from some national survey data we've done that only 55% of homes with children store their guns safely."

The best way to keep children safe is to remove all guns from the home, according to Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Guns kept in the house should always be unloaded and locked, stored out of reach and sight of children. Ammunition should always be stored separately.

The new study was published May 31 in the journal JAMA Network Open.

Impossible? New Veggie Burgers Make a Run at Beef

May 31, 2019 — Imagine you’re about to bite into a decadent-looking burger. You inhale the aroma of grilled meat, note the enticing char, anticipate that first juicy mouthful. Take a bite and savor the umami richness. The heat and the smoky flavor are there. It’s perfectly dense and sublime.

Now imagine learning you’ve just eaten a veggie burger.

That’s the idea behind “meat analogue” products like the Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat. They claim to make vegan burgers that would satisfy even a sworn carnivore. They also aim to save the planet by reducing the environmental impact of cattle farming. And, they’re becoming big business.

Beyond Meat, which sells plant-based burgers, sausages, and ground “meat” in supermarkets, raised more than $240 million in its early May initial public offering of stock. Impossible Foods, whose burgers are available only in restaurants for now, has teamed up with fast-food chain Burger King. A field test in St. Louis saw foot traffic more than 18% above the chain’s national average. The Impossible Whopper should be available nationwide by the end of the year. And Little Caesars has begun testing a pizza topped with Impossible’s new sausage product in three cities.

Beyond Meat, too, has gotten into the restaurant game. It signed with Tim Hortons, a Canadian chain, to offer three different breakfast sandwiches, CNN reported. The company also sells a Beyond Famous Star burger in Carl’s Jr. restaurants. A&W sells a sausage breakfast sandwich made from Beyond Meats products, and Del Taco restaurants feature a Beyond Meat taco.

But is mock-meat any better for you than burgers or other items made with beef, or sausage from pork? And could eating them really help stop climate change?

Plant-Based Meat Isn’t Just a Veggie Burger

If you’re already a strict vegetarian or vegan, these burgers might not be for you. They replicate meat so closely in taste and texture — they even “bleed,” thanks to innovative ingredients such as beets in Beyond Meat — that folks who shun animal products may find them too close to the real thing. But, for red meat lovers looking to cut their consumption, plant-based meat can be life-changing.

“The first time I tried one, I said, ‘I could go vegetarian, now that this exists!’ ” says Andrew Seegers of Solana Beach, CA. “The rumors are all true: It chars, bleeds, and tastes like fresh ground beef.”

His vegetarian wife, on the other hand, prefers traditional veggie burgers.

Sarika Chawla of Ardsley, NY, chooses them for a different reason. “When I’m having lunch in a casual place, I really love the experience of biting into something in a bun with a side of fries,” she says. “But I’m health-conscious and rarely have red meat at lunch. I was thrilled when these burgers started to appear on menus, because it feels like the best of all worlds.”

How Faux-Meat Burgers Compare Nutritionally

When it comes to your health, mock-meat burgers do have an advantage over beef. They won’t save you much in the way of calories, fat, or even saturated fat, but because they’re plant-based (Beyond Meat’s products use pea protein, while Impossible Foods’ use soy and potato protein), they provide healthy fiber and eliminate the heart-clogging cholesterol found in animal products. But some of the restaurant versions with Impossible products actually have more sodium than the meat versions.

“If you’re using these burgers to replace red meat because you’re trying to cut down, it could be a positive strategy,” says Debbie Petitpain, a registered dietitian and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “But not so much if you’re eating it instead of more minimally processed foods. At the end of the day, processed food is processed food, and this is processed.”

So if you order a plant-based burger instead of a beef one, terrific. If you’re ordering it (topped with special sauce and cheese, plus fries alongside) instead of a salad filled with fresh vegetables and legumes, you may want to rethink that.

Petitpain sees burgers like this as a steppingstone for people who eat fast food often. Once they realize that a veggie burger can be as satisfying as a real one, “It opens up the possibility for a lot of other plant-based options,” she says.

Could Plant-Based Burgers Save the Planet?

“Reducing red meat consumption is one of the most powerful things the average person can do to minimize their environmental impact,” says Rosemary Ostfeld, PhD, a visiting assistant professor at the College of the Environment at Wesleyan University. “People don’t necessarily have to become vegetarian or vegan.”

Here’s why: Livestock are responsible for 14.5% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, and beef production alone accounts for nearly half of that. Cattle’s environmental impact is 20 to 100 times as high as plant-based foods’. Both Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat tout the ways a plant-based diet can help the environment.

“Society has been aware of the detrimental impacts of animal agriculture for decades,” says Rachel Konrad, chief communications officer at Impossible Foods. “But guilting people into changing their eating habits simply doesn’t work for the majority of the population.”

Says Ostfeld: “These burgers absolutely have the potential to make a big impact environmentally. Getting them into Burger King and places that sell cheeseburgers means meat eaters are eating them.”

World’s Smallest Surviving Baby Leaves Hospital

May 31, 2019 — The world’s smallest baby to ever survive — born at just 8.6 ounces — is now healthy and at home with her family, after spending 5 months in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) at a hospital in San Diego, CA.

“Baby Saybie” was born almost 17 weeks early, in December 2018, according to a news release from Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns. (Saybie is not her real name, as her family asked to remain anonymous.) Doctors say her mother had to have an emergency C-section 23 weeks into her pregnancy, after severe complications put her life at risk.

Despite being born just 9 inches long, and only weighing as much as a large apple, the hospital says, Saybie hardly faced any of the medical challenges that most babies do when they’re born that early.

"It’s pretty much unheard of. Extremely rare,” says Paul Wozniak, MD, a neonatologist at Sharp Mary Birch. “She avoided most of the usual catastrophic things that can set a baby back, or lead to the baby's death. She was really a rarity. Quite a fighter.”

According to CDC data, more than half of all babies born at 23 weeks do not survive. Nearly 4,000 U.S. babies were delivered at 23 weeks from 2007 to 2016.

Severely premature babies, especially those born before 32 weeks (a typical pregnancy is 40 weeks), have higher rates of death and disability. In 2015, about 17% of infant deaths were babies born prematurely, the CDC says. Those that survive often have breathing problems. Some get cerebral palsy, have developmental delays, and can have vision and hearing problems.

Wozniak says Saybie most likely thrived as much as she did because she was born at the right place, and she had a great family who visited all the time, along with good genes and good luck.

One of Saybie’s primary nurses, Michelle Gill, RN, agrees that Saybie’s parents played a huge part in her recovery. “I think it was a combination of everything — especially her parents being there all the time. They’re part of the team. If they weren’t involved, I don’t think she would have thrived the same way.”

Gill says Saybie’s parents had to wait a long time to hold their baby, but they stayed strong. “I was there the night Daddy held her for the first time,” she says. “I kind of pushed him to do it because he was very nervous. I was there to tell him we’d be there the whole time and, if at any point, he’s uncomfortable, we can put her back. I remember the look on his face the moment he held her. He was so happy. And about an hour later, he had one hand under her butt, the other one under the head. I said ‘You’re a natural!’ ”

Saybie is now thriving at home, since leaving the hospital in mid-May. Wozniak says that her parents still keep in touch with the staff and that at last check, she was up to 6 pounds, 2 ounces and doing well.

How Much Coffee Is Too Much?

By Kayla McKiski

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, May 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) — From cappuccinos to cold brew, coffee is a morning must for many Americans, but is it healthy and how much is too much?

A University of South Australia study suggests a couple of cups to start your day probably won't hurt — and may even be good for you. But drinking six or more cups of coffee a day can increase your risk of heart disease by up to 22%, the researchers found.

About one in four deaths in the United States is due to heart disease, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide.

That's why Elina Hypponen and Ang Zhou of the Australian Center for Precision Health in Adelaide set out to discover the point when too much caffeine causes high blood pressure, a key heart disease risk factor. The tipping point: Six 8-ounce cups — each containing 75 milligrams (mg) of caffeine.

"Knowing the limits of what's good for you and what's not is imperative," Hypponen said in a university news release. "Overindulge and your health will pay for it," she added.

For the study, the researchers used a U.K. database of more than 300,000 adults, aged 37 to 73, to explore how the caffeine-metabolizing gene (CYP1A2) affected people's ability to process caffeine and their risk for heart disease.

The investigators found that carriers of a gene variation were able to metabolize caffeine four times faster than others. But Hypponen said that doesn't mean they can safely drink more coffee.

Coffee is the most popular beverage worldwide, with an estimated 3 billion cups consumed every day.

But Hypponen noted that a cup of coffee may mean different things to different people.

"If we assume one cup is … a standard measure of cup, it would approximately contain 75 mg of caffeine," she said. "If we look at caffeine content only, a double espresso is roughly equivalent to a normal coffee." A grand iced latte at Starbucks, meanwhile, contains up to 150 mg of caffeine.

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Hypponen said people looking to lower their heart disease risk would do well to take these numbers into account.

Dr. Gregg Fonarow, a cardiologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, reviewed the findings. Putting them in context, he said very heavy coffee consumption was associated with a "modest increase" in heart disease risk.

"The effects of caffeine on the heart tend to be short in duration and mild, unless very high levels are consumed," he said. "Coffee also contains a variety of compounds that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects."

A cup or two of Joe may even have its perks. The researchers found that study participants who drank decaf coffee, or none at all, had higher rates of heart disease than those who drank one or two coffees a day.

For mild coffee drinkers, only immediate effects of caffeine on the heart, like a boost of energy, should be present, the findings suggest.

Hypponen said no conclusions can be made from the study about other caffeine-containing beverages, such as energy drinks and tea.

"Our study only focuses on coffee," she said. "A cup of coffee contains over 1,000 chemical compounds, which may also affect health and cardiovascular disease risk."

The study was published recently in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.