HEALTH

HEALTH
9:31 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Heart Risk Factors May Affect Black Women More Than White Women

African-American women may be more sensitive to metabolic abnormalities like high triglycerides or low good cholesterol.
iStockphoto

African-American women can be at risk of heart disease even if they don't have metabolic syndrome, a study finds.

That's a problem, because the current thinking is that metabolic syndrome — defined as high triglycerides, bad cholesterol, abdominal fat, high blood pressure and impaired glucose metabolism — is the big risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.

The picture with women appears to be a lot more complicated, especially when you compare women in different racial or ethnic groups.

Read more
HEALTH
4:22 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Map Reveals The Distinctive Cause Of Death In Each State

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 9:36 am

There's no getting around the strangeness of a map that shows the most distinctive cause of death in each of our 50 states and the District of Columbia.

In Texas, it's tuberculosis. In Maine, it's the flu. And in Nevada, it's the ominous "legal intervention."

But what does it mean to label a cause of death distinctive?

Read more
HEALTH
9:38 am
Mon May 18, 2015

How We Store Food At Home Could Be Linked To How Much We Eat

Do food-laden environments really contribute to obesity or is it the other way around?
Photo illustration/Ryan Kellman/NPR

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 4:40 pm

Keeping food out of sight could be a way to keep it out of your mouth. That's the hunch of Charles Emery, a psychologist at Ohio State University, anyway. His latest research suggests that how food is set up around the house could be influencing how much people eat and, ultimately, how heavy they might be.

There are a lot of factors that scientists say explain obesity — defined as a body-mass index over 30 — from genetics to lifestyle changes to socio-economic status.

Read more
HEALTH
10:20 am
Fri May 8, 2015

Scientists Crack A 50-Year-Old Mystery About The Measles Vaccine

Worth a little pain? Back in 1990, a school boy got a measles shot in the U.K., and it turns out, he got more than protection against the measles.
Photofusion UIG via Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 17, 2015 6:20 pm

Back in the 1960s, the U.S. started vaccinating kids for measles. As expected, children stopped getting measles.

But something else happened.

Childhood deaths from all infectious diseases plummeted. Even deaths from diseases like pneumonia and diarrhea were cut by half.

Scientists saw the same phenomenon when the vaccine came to England and parts of Europe. And they see it today when developing countries introduce the vaccine.

Read more
HEALTH
12:13 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Small Plague Outbreak In People Tracked To Pit Bull

Rod-shaped specimens of Yersinia pestis, the bacterial cause of plague, find a happy home here in the foregut of a flea. Fleas can transmit the infection to animals and people, who can get pneumonic plague and transmit the infection through a cough or kiss.
Science Source

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 12:14 pm

For the first time in 90 years, U.S. health officials say they have diagnosed a case of the plague that may have spread in the air from one person to another. Don't be alarmed — the plague these days is treatable with antibiotics and is exceptionally rare (just 10 cases were reported nationwide in 2014).

And if the plague has become mostly a curiosity in the United States, this case is more curious than most.

Read more
HEALTH
3:02 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

Local Motion: Western Colorado AIDS Project

Western Colorado AIDS  Project (WESTCAP) provides services to HIV positive clients and at-risk individuals in 22 counties on the Western Slope. Jeff Basinger and CJ Tobe of WESTCAP share information about new treatments for those who are HIV+ and talk about resources  for the LGBT community in Western Colorado.   

Read more
HEALTH
12:50 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

Feds Say It's Time To Cut Back On Fluoride In Drinking Water

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sun May 3, 2015 6:56 pm

Federal health officials Monday changed the recommended amount of fluoride in drinking water for the first time since 1962, cutting by almost half the maximum amount of fluoride that should be added to drinking supplies.

The Department of Health and Human Services recommended 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water instead of the long-standing range of 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams.

Read more
HEALTH
9:53 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Chemical Change In Synthetic Marijuana Suspected Of Causing Illnesses

Dried plants dosed with psychoactive chemicals is marketed as K2 or spice.
Kelley McCall AP

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 12:23 pm

Over the past three weeks, people have been tumbling into emergency rooms across the country, seriously ill after using a synthetic drug known as K2 or spice.

Read more
HEALTH
11:37 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Local Motion: Drug Free Delta County

Ali Lightfoot talks about meth addiction and treatment with Pam Bliss, volunteer coordinator and sober events planner for Drug Free Delta County, and to Misty, a recovering meth addict who is soon to be a graduate of the program. 

Read more
HEALTH
9:31 am
Fri April 17, 2015

The State Of The Cancer Nation

Matt Stiles and Christopher Groskopf/NPR

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 6:40 pm

While a cure for cancer remains elusive, we already know how to keep many cases of the disease from developing in the first place.

People can reduce cancer risks by keeping a healthful weight and avoiding cigarettes.

But smoking, obesity and other major cancer risk factors remain common, and they still vary widely across the country.

Read more
HEALTH
4:24 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Use Of E-Cigarettes Triples Among U.S. Teens

Nicotine exposure at a young age "may cause lasting harm to brain development," warns Dr. Tom Frieden, chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 6:13 pm

A national survey confirms earlier indications that e-cigarettes are now more popular among teenage students than traditional cigarettes and other forms of tobacco, federal health officials reported Thursday.

The findings prompted strong warnings from Dr. Tom Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about the effects of any form of nicotine on young people.

"We want parents to know that nicotine is dangerous for kids at any age," Frieden said.

Read more
HEALTH
8:08 am
Wed April 15, 2015

When Keeping A Secret Trumps The Need For Care

Will adult children seek care if their parents can find out about it?
Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 9:46 am

Dana Lam was insured under her parent's health plan until the end of 2014, thanks to a provision of the Affordable Care Act that allows young adults to stay on family health insurance until they turn 26.

The arrangement worked out well until she needed treatment for depression. Lam knew that if she used her parents' health plan to see a psychotherapist or psychiatrist, her visit would show up on their insurance statements.

She wasn't ready to talk to them about her mental health issues. "I was just so afraid of having that conversation with them," she says.

Read more
HEALTH
2:00 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Sodium Sleuths: Do Southerners Eat More Salt Than The Rest Of Us?

The salty suspects: Some 70 percent of the cheeses, soups, cold cuts and pizzas we buy at the grocery store exceed the Food and Drug Administration's "healthy" labeling standards for salt. Since we eat so much bread, it is — perhaps surprisingly — the top contributor of sodium to our diets.
iStockphoto; Deborah Austin/Flickr; Beckman's Bakery/Flickr; iStockphoto; The Pizza Review/Flickr

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 3:02 pm

It's not the salt shakers on our tables that explain why Americans consume way too much sodium. It's the processed foods we buy in grocery stores.

Read more
HEALTH
4:48 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Why Are More Baby Boys Born Than Girls?

There's a widely held assumption that a slight imbalance in male births has its start at the very moment of conception. But researchers say factors later in pregnancy are more likely to explain the phenomenon.
CNRI Science Source

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 10:58 pm

Scientists have found some unexpected clues that could help explain why 51 percent of the babies born in the United States are male.

It's been a mystery why that ratio isn't 50:50, since that's what basic biology would predict. But scientists have noticed a tilted sex ratio at birth since the 17th century.

The widely held assumption is that this imbalance starts at the very moment of conception — that more males are conceived than females.

Read more
HEALTH
5:33 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Employers And Insurers Gain Control In Workers' Compensation Disputes

Frances Stevens uses a custom ramp leading to her van. An accident at work in 1997 left her unable to walk. She received full workers' compensation benefits until two years ago, when the insurer withdrew her medications and home health aide. Her lawsuit is a test of California's use of anonymous, independent medical reviewers.
Glenna Gordon for ProPublica

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 10:41 am

Frances Stevens could have been a contender. She was training to be a Golden Gloves boxer and working as a magazine publisher in 1997 when 1,000 copies of the latest issue arrived at her San Francisco office.

"I'd just turned 30. I was an athlete. I had a job that I loved, a life that I loved," she recalls. "And in a second my life changed."

Read more
HEALTH
8:31 am
Thu March 26, 2015

High-Deductible Health Plans Cut Costs, At Least For Now

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 3:07 pm

Got a high-deductible health plan? The kind that doesn't pay most medical bills until they exceed several thousand dollars? You're a foot soldier who's been drafted in the war against high health costs.

Read more
HEALTH
9:22 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Quality-Testing Legal Marijuana: Strong But Not Always Clean

Andrey Saprykin iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 2:52 pm

Recreational marijuana has been legalized in four states, but that doesn't mean it's a tested consumer product. Some of those potent buds are covered in fungus while others contain traces of butane, according to an analysis of marijuana in Colorado.

Read more
HEALTH
11:18 am
Mon March 23, 2015

If You're Going To Die Soon, Do You Really Need Statins?

iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 2:30 pm

It's easy to get put on statins, and it can be surprisingly hard to get off them. That's true even for people who are terminally ill and might have bigger concerns than reducing their cardiovascular risk.

People approaching the end of life who did stop statins were not more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than those who kept taking the drugs, according to researchers who tested the idea.

Read more
HEALTH
10:12 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Delta Hospital Seeks To Extend Federal Payments

Credit Laura Palmisano / KVNF

For the past three years, Delta County Memorial Hospital has been participating in a pilot program that's allowed it to collect more money from Medicaid and Medicare for its services. 

The program will sunset in 2017, but the hospital doesn't want to that to happen. That's why it's lobbying federal lawmakers to support two bills that would extend it.  

Additionally, the hospital wants to see if it can change its classification in effect making those larger payments permanent, but to do that it also needs federal support. 

Read more
HEALTH
12:33 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Obamacare Cut The Ranks Of The Uninsured By A Third

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 7:20 am

A total of 16.4 million non-elderly adults have gained health insurance coverage since the Affordable Care Act became law five years ago this month. It's a reduction in the ranks of the uninsured the the Department of Health and Human Services called historic.

Read more

Pages