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

More vaping-linked deaths reported in U.S.

The investigation into a lung illness tied to vaping now includes up to 450 cases of serious lung illness in 33 U.S. states and one territory, health officials said Friday.

Vaping causes 'havoc' in the lungs, study with mice finds

Regular exposure to e-cigarette vapours disrupts the protective layer in the lungs, according to a study using lab mice that comes amid a U.S. investigation into 215 human cases of severe respiratory problems possibly linked to vaping.

Canadian school kids' diet changes are 'definitely good news'

There was a 13 per cent improvement in the quality of foods eaten by Canadian children during school hours over 11 years, nutrition researchers found.

National shortage of blood pressure drug shows safeguards are needed, doctors say

A national shortage of a popular drug used to treat high blood pressure is raising concerns among Canadian doctors about the lack of backup systems to protect patients' supply.

Nursing home residents with advanced dementia often face 'distressing' transfers, MDs find

A study of nursing home residents with advanced dementia finds men are more likely to be hospitalized and receive invasive treatment at end of life than women.

Canadians ready for health care to modernize, CMA poll suggests

People are interested in connecting to health-care providers virtually, a new report from the Canadian Medical Association says, but they're also concerned about a potential loss of human touch.

Cancer doctors are calling for a permanent fix to drug shortages in Canada

Health Canada's drug shortage reporting website lists three chemotherapy cancer drugs with national shortages, leading oncologists to demand a permanent solution as they struggle to treat patients.

Doctors and scientists mystified by spread of Candida auris superbug

Canada has had just 20 cases of the C. auris fungal infection so far, but experts expect that number to rise, fuelling the global race for answers to its spread.

'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.