Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 6:27 am
The trillions of microbes that live in our guts and on our skin have the power to affect our health in big ways — from stomach disorders and autoimmune diseases to acne and mood. The secret life of what scientists call our microbiota has remained largely obscured, however, because many of the organisms in the gut can't be grown in a lab.
Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 3:34 pm
It's a sunny autumn afternoon and a good time to make apple crisp at Pathstone Living, a memory care facility and nursing home in Mankato, Minn. Activities staffer Jessica Abbott gathers half a dozen older women at a counter in the dining area, where the soundtrack is mostly music they could have fox-trotted to back in the day.
Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 2:55 pm
There's been a lot of attention drawn to people who don't believe in vaccinating their children, but there are many more people who believe that vaccines are the best way to protect children from contagious disease. A recent poll shows just how concerned parents are about vaccines when it comes to putting their children in day care.
Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 5:21 pm
We may be in for a nasty flu season. That's the warning out today from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC is worried because the most common strain of flu virus circulating in the United States is one called H3N2. In previous years, H3N2 strains have tended to send more people to the hospital than other strains — and cause more deaths, especially among the elderly, children and people with other health problems.
Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 5:57 am
A Shots post earlier this week by NPR's John Ydstie detailed the "family glitch" in the Affordable Care Act. That's where people who can't afford their insurance at work aren't eligible for help in the new insurance exchanges. Many of these Americans, most of whom make middling incomes, will remain uninsured.
That story got us wondering: Who else is getting left out by health law? And who is getting coverage?
Officials with Connect for Health Colorado say more than 22,000 people enrolled for health coverage last month.
Open enrollment for the state’s insurance exchange began on Nov. 15.
During the first two-week enrollment period 9,719 people signed up for private coverage, 12,533 enrolled for Medicaid, and 172 signed up for the state's Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+), according to state data.
Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 12:04 pm
Diabetes is an expensive disease to treat, costing the United States $244 billion in 2012, according to an analysis of the disease's economic burden.
When the loss of productivity due to illness and disability is added in, the bill comes to $322 billion, or $1,000 a year for each American, including those without diabetes. That's 48 percent higher than the same benchmark in 2007; not a healthy trend.
The increase is being driven by a growing and aging population, the report finds, as well as more common risk factors like obesity, and higher medical costs.
Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 10:00 am
On Election Day, Arizona voters approved a referendum that allows terminally ill patients to receive treatment with drugs and devices that haven't been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Arizona became the fifth state to approve a so-called right-to-try law this year.
Open enrollment for Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s health insurance marketplace, started Saturday. The enrollment period ends Feb. 15.
“It’s important for Coloradans to know that if they want their coverage to begin on Jan. 1, 2015, they need to enroll, select a plan and conclude the process by Dec. 15,” says Linda Gann with Connect For Health on the Western Slope.
The state exchange, which is separate from the federal marketplace, allows people and small businesses to purchase health insurance and apply for federal subsidies.
Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 8:30 am
Last week, 13 women died in India after undergoing sterilization procedures in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, possibly because of tainted pills administered after the surgery. This tragedy has cast a negative light on sterilization.