HEALTH

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 Tue March 31, 2015 3:31 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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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HEALTH
12:33 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Obamacare Cut The Ranks Of The Uninsured By A Third

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.

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HEALTH
11:15 am
Mon March 16, 2015

Vaccination Gaps Helped Fuel Disneyland Measles Spread

Disneyland and California Adventure Park seen in late December, soon after measles was contracted by some visitors to Disneyland.
George Frey Landov

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 7:56 am

California has been dealing with a big measles outbreak since December, when cases emerged among visitors to Disneyland in Orange County.

Measles spread quickly afterward. As of Friday, the state had confirmed 133 measles cases among residents since December.

Of the people who got sick and for whom the state could determine vaccination status, 57 people hadn't been vaccinated against measles and 20 people had had at least one shot of the vaccine.

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HEALTH
2:21 am
Tue March 10, 2015

With Medicare Pay On The Line, Hospitals Push Harder To Please Patients

Patient perceptions have been tough to change at Rowan Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, N.C.
Joanna Serah/Wikimedia

Originally published on Wed March 11, 2015 5:33 am

Lillie Robinson came to Rowan Medical Center for surgery on her left foot. She expected to be in and out in a day, returning weeks later to the Salisbury, N.C., hospital for her surgeon to operate on the other foot.

But that's not how things turned out. "When I got here I found out he was doing both," she said. "We didn't realize that until they started medicating me for the procedure." Robinson signed a consent form and the operation went fine, but she was in the hospital far longer than she'd expected to be.

"I wasn't prepared for that," she said.

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HEALTH
1:55 am
Mon March 9, 2015

The Gentle Cesarean: More Like A Birth Than An Operation

Kristen Caminiti cuddles her son Connor while doctors stitch her up following a C-section.
Courtesy of Kristen DeBoy Caminiti

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 12:30 pm

There are many reasons women need cesareans. Sometimes the situation is truly life-threatening. But often the problem is that labor simply isn't progressing. That was the case for Valerie Echo Duckett, 35, who lives in Columbus, Ohio. After receiving an epidural for pain, Duckett's contractions stopped. By late evening she was told she'd need a C-section to deliver her son, Avery. Duckett says she has vague memories of being wheeled into the operating room, strapped down and shaking from cold.

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HEALTH
9:54 am
Fri March 6, 2015

Pot Can Trigger Psychotic Symptoms For Some, But Do The Effects Last?

High-end marijuana buds on sale at a Denver dispensary.
Craig F. Walker Denver Post via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 6, 2015 1:05 pm

In the "American Sniper" murder trial, prosecutors successfully countered Eddie Ray Routh's plea of not guilty by reason of insanity by saying that he just seemed psychotic because he was high. But scientists continue to argue over whether marijuana-induced psychosis is always short-lived or if there's a deeper connection at play.

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HEALTH
1:38 am
Fri March 6, 2015

Sharing Patient Records Is Still A Digital Dilemma For Doctors

U.S. taxpayers have poured $30 billion into funding electronic records systems in hospitals and doctors' offices since 2009. But most of those systems still can't talk to each other, which makes transfer of medical information tough.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri March 6, 2015 3:10 pm

Technology entrepreneur Jonathan Bush says he was recently watching a patient move from a hospital to a nursing home. The patient's information was in an electronic medical record, or EMR. And getting the patient's records from the hospital to the nursing home, Bush says, wasn't exactly drag and drop.

"These two guys then type — I kid you not — the printout from the brand new EMR into their EMR, so that their fax server can fax it to the bloody nursing home," Bush says.

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HEALTH
4:32 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Colorado Debates Whether IUDs Are Contraception Or Abortion

An interauterine device provides long-term birth control.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sun March 8, 2015 7:21 pm

A popular contraception program in Colorado is receiving criticism from conservative lawmakers who say that the program's use of intrauterine devices, or IUDs, qualify as abortions.

More than 30,000 women in Colorado have gotten a device because of the state program, the Colorado Family Planning Initiative. An IUD normally costs between $500 and several thousand dollars. Through the program women could receive one for free.

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HEALTH
12:15 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Snow Is Delicious. But Is It Dangerous To Eat?

When foraging for delicious bites of snow, steer clear of plowed piles and manure, researchers say.
Ryan Kellman NPR

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 1:45 pm

Many people will see the snow that's currently blanketing much of the Eastern seaboard of the U.S. as a nuisance coating sidewalks and roads. Others are celebrating it as an excuse to spend the day swooshing down a hill.

As for me, I like to think of snow as food.

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HEALTH
1:37 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Improving Housing Can Pay Dividends In Better Health

Uzuri Pease-Greene, right, leads a walk through the public housing complex in the Potrero Hill neighborhood of San Francisco where her family lives. She is working to have the old buildings replaced.
Talia Herman for NPR

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 3:20 pm

Faiza Ayesh giggles with delight as she describes her brand-new two-bedroom apartment in Oakland, Calif. She shares her home with her husband and three little girls, ages 3, 2 and 5 months. Ayesh, 30, says she just loves being a stay-at-home mom. "It's the best job in the world."

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HEALTH
3:18 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Walk A Little Faster To Get The Most Out of Your Exercise Time

Government guidelines say exercising 2.5 hours a week will keep you healthy, but a study says you can get the job done in less time if you rev it up.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 3:50 pm

Some people — who are they? — have no problem fitting regular aerobic exercise into their lives. The rest of us want to know how much we have to exercise to see health benefits. Now we have some answers: You may want to go just a tad longer and harder than you'd thought.

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HEALTH
1:58 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Hickenlooper Announces Campaign To Reduce Rx Drug Abuse

Credit flickr/macwagen

This week Governor John Hickenlooper announced a new campaign seeking to reduce prescription drug abuse and misuse in Colorado.

In partnership with the University of Colorado the state has launched its “Take Meds Seriously” campaign.

Robert Valuck, a professor of pharmacy at CU, is part of a statewide consortium created by the governor to address prescription drug abuse in Colorado.  

"We say safe use, safe storage [and] safe disposal," Valuck says ."And that’s what our public awareness campaign is all about." 

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HEALTH
10:02 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Therapeutic Specialist Discusses Recreation Program For Western Slope Seniors

Volunteers of America offers a senior therapeutic recreation program on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Paonia.
Credit Laura Palmisano

February is National Therapeutic Recreation Month. Volunteers of America has therapeutic recreation programs for seniors in Montrose and Delta counties. KVNF's Laura Palmisano speaks to Anne Johnson, a therapeutic specialist, who oversees the program. 

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HEALTH
7:10 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Attention, Shoppers: Prices For 70 Health Care Procedures Now Online!

Shopping for an MRI scan? Guroo.org, won't yet show you what your local hospital or radiologist charges, but it will reveal the average cost of the test in your area.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 2:04 pm

Buying health care in America is like shopping blindfolded at Macy's and getting the bill months after you leave the store, Princeton economist Uwe Reinhardt likes to say.

But an online tool that went live Wednesday is supposed to help change that, giving patients in most parts of the country a small peek at the prices of medical tests and procedures before they open their wallets.

Got a sore knee? Having a baby? Need a primary-care doctor? Shopping for an MRI scan?

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HEALTH
11:57 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Eyelashes Grow To Just The Right Length To Shield Eyes

A calf sports platinum blonde lashes.
Mike Horrocks/Flickr

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 2:04 pm

Attaching fake eyelashes might make give you a few extra millimeters to bat at your date, but they could also be channeling dust into your eyes. That's because the ideal eyelash length is about one third the width of an eye. And that goes for 22 different animals, not just humans.

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