For Tuesday, Nov. 14, WGN’s Dina Bair has new medical information, including:

Women continue to outlive men and the gap is widening

According to new research published in JAMA, men currently die nearly six years before women. 

In 2021, life expectancy for women was 79.3 years, compared with 73.5 years for men. It’s the most significant difference since 1996. 

Researchers say Covid was the leading factor in the gap’s growth. Additionally, unintentional injuries and poisonings, primarily by drug overdose, as well as accidents and suicide, are also contributing. 

The trend is occurring alongside a decrease in overall life expectancy in the U.S.

Illinois ranks 16th worse in lung rates for 2023

Lung cancer cases in Illinois this year are among the highest in the nation. 

A new report by the American Lung Association ranks Illinois as the 16th worst in the country for new cases. 

The state saw nearly 60 new cases per 100,000.

The national average is less than 55 per 100,000.

On the positive side, Illinois ranked 17th in the nation for keeping lung cancer patients alive five years after diagnosis. 

Also, lung cancer survival rates are improving for everyone. 

Survey: 1/5 of US kids take melatonin

Melatonin use is up in young people. 

One in five school-age children and preteens take melatonin as a sleep aid. 

A study by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder raised the red flag since the FDA does not regulate dietary supplements. 

While experts have no evidence melatonin is harmful, they do not know if it is safe for young people. 

Their analysis revealed that 22 of 25 melatonin products contained different amounts of melatonin than what was on the label, and some contained other substances like serotonin.  

Doctors also warn giving the hormone to young people whose brains and bodies are still developing could influence the onset of puberty. 

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