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NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine, Trusted Health Information from the National Institutes of Health


A woman laughing on the golf course

Photo: Getty Images

By Shana Potash, NLM Staff Writer

 Heart-Safe Exercise

In the largest study of its kind to date, researchers have found that exercise is safe for people with heart failure, improves quality of life — and may even reduce the risk of death or hospitalization. This is good news for the 5 million Americans whose hearts cannot pump enough blood through the body due to coronary heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or other causes. Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the study included walking and riding a stationary bicycle for exercise. People with heart failure should talk with their doctors prior to sustained physical activity.

 Obesity, Allergy Connection?

Obese children and teens are more likely than children of normal weight to suffer from allergies, particularly food allergies. Analyzing data on more than 4,000 children between the ages of 2 and 19, researchers found the obese to be about 26 percent more likely to have allergies. The results do not prove that obesity causes allergies — more investigation is needed. The study was funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

 Check Out Health-Helpful Web Sites and other NIH Web sites contain plenty of information for people wanting to take care of themselves and their loved ones.

  • A new, four-minute video looks closely at depression and why getting treatment is so important. Depression is a serious medical illness that affects 20 million Americans. Produced by the National Institute of Mental Health for individuals, community groups and health-care providers, the video can be seen at
  • Caring for an older friend or family member? Then "Medicare Basics for Caregivers," an instructional program on the federal health insurance program for those 65 and older and younger people with disabilities, may be very helpful. Go to Medicare and Caregivers on NIH Senior Health.
  • If you need health information in languages other than English, check out the "multiple languages" collection on It has material in more than 40 languages, plus their English translations, to help people with limited English skills communicate with their health-care providers.


The first question in the Migraine 101 quiz in the Spring 2009 issue should have read: "A migraine headache usually begins with a visual disturbance called an aura (spots, dots, or even zigzag lines)." The answer should have been: "False. In most cases of migraine, there is no aura."

Summer 2009 Issue: Volume 4 Number 3 Page 28