HEALTH

HEALTH
1:40 am
Wed February 11, 2015

What Causes Breast Cancer? These Families Want To Help Find Out

Bernice Singleton (left), one of the original mothers in the research project, is seen with her daughter Jenny and granddaughter Gretta.
Paige Cowett/WNYC

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 7:27 am

At 48, Jenny Singleton got breast cancer. At 66, her mother did, too.

"When my breast cancer was diagnosed, I immediately thought we must have a gene for it," Jenny Singleton said. "So I was tested and I didn't have the BRCA gene. And so that's often left me wondering, well, then why is it that my mom and I both got breast cancer?"

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HEALTH
2:54 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

Pregnant With Cancer: One Woman's Journey

Mary Harris was relieved when Stella was born with a mop of thick black hair, as if she had been protected from the chemo somehow.
Courtesy of Howard Harris

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 12:25 pm

After years of debating whether to have a second child, my husband, Mark, and I decided to give it a try. Two weeks later, we found a lump. I was 35.

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HEALTH
6:00 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Child Health Lags In Colorado, Report Finds

Credit Flickr.com/dis_patch

A report that grades Colorado on the health of its citizens gave the state high marks for adult health, but mediocre scores for child health.

The 2015 Colorado Health Report Card uses indicators like obesity, poverty and access to medical care as ways to measure the overall health of people in the state. The Colorado Health Foundation puts out the report. 

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HEALTH
11:33 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Psychological Biases Play A Part In Vaccination Decisions

Gazi Alam iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 5:49 am

With the recent outbreak of measles originating from Disneyland, there's been no shortage of speculation, accusation and recrimination concerning why some people won't vaccinate their children.

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HEALTH
5:20 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Vaccination Rates Worry Colorado Health Officials

Colorado is one of twenty states that allow parents to opt-out of vaccines with a personal belief exemption form.
Credit U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District

The national measles outbreak has state and local health officials concerned. 

Last month 102 people from 14 states were reported to have measles, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One of those cases was reported in Colorado and a majority of them are part of an outbreak linked to a California amusement park.  

That’s why state and local health officials are urging adults to get vaccinated and parents to inoculate their kids against the disease.

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HEALTH
1:10 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Most People Getting Measles Are Adults. Time For A Shot?

Jackie Carnegie immunizes Mabel Haywood in a Colorado Health Department immunization van in 1972. Shots for measles and other infectious diseases were offered.
Ira Gay Sealy Denver Post Archive/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 5:27 pm

Most of the 92 cases of measles confirmed in California are among adults — more than 62 percent. Maybe they or their parents chose not to vaccinate, or maybe those people are allergic to one of the ingredients in the measles vaccine.

But it's also possible that a few of those adults happened to slip through the cracks when the measles vaccine first came to the public.

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HEALTH
10:44 am
Wed February 4, 2015

Leadville Hospital To Stay Open Under New Management

Colorado-based Centura Health will take over managing St. Vincent Hospital in Leadville.
Credit St. Vincent Hospital

It seems Lake County’s only hospital won’t be closing. A new partnership has saved St. Vincent General in Leadville.

Last November, St. Vincent Hospital announced it was planning to close in March due to financial issues. A property-tax increase that would have helped the hospital pay for much-needed repairs was turned down by voters. 

Now, things are looking better for St. Vincent General. This week the hospital’s board entered a verbal agreement with Centura Health, a Colorado-based company.

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HEALTH
2:41 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Beyond Rash And Fever: How Measles Can Kill

Writer Roald Dahl and his wife, actress Patricia Neal, with two of their children, Theo and Chantel Sophia "Tessa." The photo was taken a few years after oldest daughter, Olivia, died of measles.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 3, 2015 3:24 pm

In 1962, children's book author Roald Dahl lost his oldest daughter, Olivia, to measles. She was 7 years old.

Twenty-six years later, Dahl wrote a letter to parents about what happened:

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HEALTH
9:03 am
Tue February 3, 2015

Pain And Suffering At Life's End Are Getting Worse, Not Better

A lot of time and money has gone into trying to improve end-of-life care.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 2:39 pm

It's been more than 15 years since the Institute of Medicine released its seminal 1997 report detailing the suffering that many Americans experience at the end of life and offering sweeping recommendations on how to improve care.

But the number of people experiencing pain in the last year of life actually increased by nearly 12 percent between 1998 and 2010, according to a study published Monday. And the number of people with depression in the last year of life increased by more than 26 percent.

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HEALTH
12:18 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Why Teens Are Impulsive, Addiction-Prone And Should Protect Their Brains

Dr. Frances Jensen is a professor and chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.
Courtesy of Harper Collins

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 11:26 am

Teens can't control impulses and make rapid, smart decisions like adults can — but why?

Research into how the human brain develops helps explain. In a teenager, the frontal lobe of the brain, which controls decision-making, is built but not fully insulated — so signals move slowly.

"Teenagers are not as readily able to access their frontal lobe to say, 'Oh, I better not do this,' " Dr. Frances Jensen tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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HEALTH
3:07 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Multivitamins: The Case For Taking One A Day

Ideally, we'd all eat super healthful diets. But that's not the world we live in, and multivitamins may help bridge the nutritional gaps.
Jasper White Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 12:52 pm

In an ideal world, we'd all be eating copious amounts of nutrient-dense foods such as fruits and vegetables — and getting all the essential vitamins and nutrients our bodies need for optimal health.

But, as a nation, we're far from that healthful eating ideal.

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HEALTH
5:50 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Colorado Officials Try To Raise Radon Risk Awareness

Health officials say the best way to protect yourself from radon is by testing your home. And, winter is the perfect time to do it because when you test you need to keep all of your doors and windows closed.
Credit Laura Palmisano

Radon is an odorless, tasteless radioactive gas that occurs naturally in our environment. Long-term exposure to radon can cause lung cancer. That's why Colorado and the Environmental Protection Agency have declared January a call to action month for radon testing. 


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HEALTH
6:00 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Emergency Flu Shelter For The Homeless To Open In Mesa County

A medical technician with the Wiesbaden Army Health Clinic prepares an influenza shot.
Credit U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District

The state reports more than 2,600 people have been hospitalized because of the flu so far this season. And, St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction has seen its share of those cases. 

Gretchen Gore, with the hospital, says after patients are discharged it’s recommend they rest at home, but that’s not an option for everyone. 

"It was discovered that when we have someone that is homeless they don’t have a warm home to go home to and recover," Gore says.  

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HEALTH
1:30 am
Wed January 28, 2015

VA Steps Up Programs As More Veterans Enter Hospice Care

A hospital bed is draped with a flag after a veteran died in the hospice ward at St. Albans VA in Queens, N.Y.
Quil Lawrence NPR

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 2:32 pm

Ask Americans if someone in their family served in the military, and the answer is probably no. After all, fewer than 1 percent of Americans serve these days.

But ask if one of their grandfathers served, and you'll likely get a different answer. Between World War II and the wars in Korea and Vietnam, millions of men were drafted into service — and both men and women volunteered.

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HEALTH
3:05 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

To Protect His Son, A Father Asks School To Bar Unvaccinated Children

Rhett Krawitt, 6, outside his school in Tiburon, Calif. Seven percent of the children in his school are not vaccinated.
Courtesy of Carl Krawitt

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 12:09 pm

Carl Krawitt has watched his son, Rhett, now 6, fight leukemia for the past 4 1/2 years. For more than three of those years, Rhett has undergone round after round of chemotherapy. Last year he finished chemotherapy, and doctors say he is in remission.

Now, there's a new threat, one that the family should not have to worry about: measles.

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HEALTH
10:02 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Pediatricians Say Don't Lock Up Teenagers For Using Marijuana

A marijuana bud displayed in Denver. Don't legalize pot, the pediatricians say, but don't lock teenagers up for using it, either.
Seth McConnell The Denver Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 12:11 pm

Across the country, efforts to make marijuana more accessible have quickly gained traction. Medical marijuana is now legal in 23 states, and recreational use is also legal in four states and the District of Columbia.

Science, however, hasn't quite caught up. Largely due to its illegal status, there's been very little research done on marijuana's health effects. And researchers don't fully understand how pot affects the developing teenage brain.

This may explain the why the nation's pediatricians have changed their recommendations on marijuana and children.

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HEALTH
6:00 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Flu Quarantine Ends At Mesa County Jail

Health officials say you can reduce the spread of the flu by covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, washing your hands, and staying home if you are sick.
Credit flickr/breatheindigital

Up to nine inmates with influenza at the Mesa County Jail were quarantined for a five-day period that ended earlier this week. 

Heather Benjamin, with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, says the ill men were placed in two separate pods, or sections, during that time. 

"Those two pods were quarantined in the sense that no new inmates were moved into those pods and no inmates were moved out," Benjamin says.

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HEALTH
10:24 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Disneyland Measles Outbreak Hits 59 Cases And Counting

People who visited Disneyland in December were at risk of getting an unwelcome souvenir: the measles.
George Frey Landov

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 6:50 am

The measles outbreak that started at Disneyland and one other California theme park is expanding, with 59 confirmed cases in patients ranging in age from 7 months to 70 years. The California Department of Public Health has linked 42 of these cases to people who visited Disneyland or Disney's California Adventure Park.

Initially, cases were linked to people who visited the parks in mid-December, but health officials now say that other people with measles were at the parks in January while infectious and also have spread the disease.

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HEALTH
3:08 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

E-Cigarettes Can Churn Out High Levels Of Formaldehyde

Vapor from an e-cigarette obscures the user's face in a London coffee bar.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 2:55 pm

Vapor produced by electronic cigarettes can contain a surprisingly high concentration of formaldehyde — a known carcinogen — researchers reported Wednesday.

The findings, described in a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine, intensify concern about the safety of electronic cigarettes, which have become increasingly popular.

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HEALTH
4:22 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Parents Who Shun Vaccines Tend To Cluster, Boosting Children's Risk

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 6:05 am

Although vaccines are among the safest, most effective ways to protect children from major communicable diseases, some parents still doubt this. As a result, some choose immunization schedules that defy science or refuse to vaccinate altogether.

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