The Check-Up: Today’s Top Health Headlines

The buzz around the health and fitness world this AM.

Don't quit those piano lessons, kids—being musical now could mean better hearing later.

• The TODAY show and Self magazine teamed up on a survey to find out how many of us have endured “toxic” friendships. Apparently, 80 percent of people say they’ve had a toxic friend at some point, and 83 percent say they’ve remained friends with someone longer than is healthy simply because “breaking up” was too difficult. It makes you wonder what toll such relationships could have on a person’s health; I’d guess everything from higher stress levels to depression. Would we all be happier, healthier people if we did a little spring cleaning in the friend department?

• Did you catch the Ryan Seacrest segment yesterday on CBS Sunday Morning, which featured the American Idol host making the rounds at CHOP? We love what his foundation’s doing to help kids take their minds off being sick.

NPR reports that a researcher at Northwestern University interested in age-related hearing loss studied a group of middle-age musicians and found that lifelong musicians tend to have better hearing than non-musicians. The study, which tested the subjects’ ability to understand and repeat sentences in noisy environments, found that the musicians were 40 percent better at hearing the words through the background noise. They were also better at remembering what was said—meaning they could more closely follow the conversation. The takeaway? Not sure about you, but I’m certainly regretting quitting piano lessons after only a year right about now.