Health Highlights: Aug. 31, 2021

Here are some of HealthDay’s top stories for Tuesday, Aug. 31:

COVID vaccines’ power to keep elderly out of hospital may fade. New research from the CDC finds the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines to keep people over 75 out of the hospital does wane with time, although by the end of July effectiveness was still at 80%. Read more

Battle over school mask mandates heats up. The debate over masks in schools intensified on Monday, as the U.S. Education Department launched a civil rights investigation into mask mandate bans in five states while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made good on his promise to slash funds to school districts that have defied his ban. Read more

Pandemic had many young athletes reconsidering their sport. Forced off the court or playing field by lockdowns, about 1 in every 10 youth athletes reassessed their sports goals or aspirations, including about a quarter of athletes in their late teens, a new survey found. Read more

Kids piled on extra pounds during the pandemic. New research confirms what millions of parents know: Lockdowns, overeating & lack of exercise mean that kids everywhere gained weight over the past year. For 5-to-11-year-olds, that meant 5 extra pounds, on average. Read more

Study links drinking with dangerous atrial fibrillation. It’s what some doctors call ‘holiday heart’ — the propensity of the common irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation to occur after a drink or two. A new study suggests that folks with ‘a-fib’ may want to cut back on alcohol. Read more