Amina Zafar

Health writer

Amina Zafar has covered health, medical and science news at CBC since 2000. She has a degree in environmental science and a master's in journalism.

Latest from Amina Zafar

'New 18 now is 28': How screens delay teens' emotional maturity

A recent doubling in teen rates of self-harm in Canada adds urgency to calls for community-based mental health services.

Women's chances of surviving cardiac arrest are half those of men, study says. Here's why

The window to shock a woman's heart back into a stable rhythm after cardiac arrest seems to close faster than in men.

'There really is no safe opioid': Study finds tramadol isn't a less addictive painkiller

There is no such thing as a safe opioid. That's the message of a new study released this week. American researchers found that tramadol, an increasingly prescribed post-surgery painkiller that was thought to be less addictive than other opioids, is actually every bit as dangerous.

No, eating small amounts of peanuts will not cure an allergy, review suggests

Contrary to what you might have heard, eating tiny amounts of peanuts does not appear to help a person with a peanut allergy build up a tolerance in the real world, according to a recent review by researchers in Canada, the U.S. and Italy.

Time out for time outs: Why pediatricians now promote 'positive parenting'

The latest parenting advice from Canada's pediatricians is to shift away from shaming, blaming and any other types of negative discipline to what they call positive parenting.

'Immunity can wear off over time': Doctors highlight undervaccination in adults

Vaccinations are commonly considered a childhood health issue, but if adults think they're protected, doctors say that's not always the case. Some adults may need a vaccination booster for highly contagious infectious diseases like measles.

Cancer patients treated for mental health conditions have greater risk of dying, study finds

Cancer patients who've been hospitalized for mental health problems before their cancer diagnosis face a higher risk of dying from the malignancy, say medical researchers in Canada and the United States.

'If you don't ask, then you won't know': family doctors guided on care for transgender teens

Health of people who are transgender, a community that sees high rates of depression, focus of Canadian medical journal's special issue.

Food allergies reported by a 'high' rate of U.S. adults

Nearly half of adults with a food allergy developed it during adulthood, researchers say.

Many teens resist allure of smartphone 'catnip' — but some still struggle

The seemingly irresistible draw of social media scrolls on smartphones can be hard to withstand. But some teens are finding ways to strike a balance. Studies have found slight associations between spending five hours or more online and poorer adolescent well-being in surveys.

'Nothing short of remarkable': Study finds parents' chats with their toddlers pay off 10 years later

Attention exhausted parents: The next time your toddler starts making strange noises or babbling about Paw Patrol, try to strike up a conversation — it could make a big difference later, researchers say.

Nipah virus outbreak in India 'definitely a concern,' Canadian scientist says

An outbreak in southern India demonstrates unique features of a mysterious virus.

Alternative to daily inhaler use may offer asthma sufferers a new option

People are so reluctant to take their inhaler medication for mild asthma on a daily basis that a pharmaceutical company has come up with a different approach.

Romaine lettuce linked to 6 E. coli illnesses in Canada

Six Canadians have been stricken by a strain of E. coli that has a similar genetic fingerprint to romaine lettuce from the U.S. southwest that has already sickened 149 people, federal health officials say.

Health Canada's prescription opioid stickers and leaflets get a qualified welcome

As Health Canada requires drug companies to make risk-management plans to monitor how opioids work in society, a treatment advocate and a physician offer qualified support.