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.
Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 1:57 pm
NPR — along with seven public radio stations around the country — is chronicling the lives of America's troops where they live. We're calling the project "Back at Base." This is the latest in the ongoing series.
"There's been more advancement in the field of prosthetics since 1945 than there has been in the entire automobile industry," says Mark Vukov, a clinical education manager at College Park Industries, a manufacturer of prosthetic feet.
Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 3:03 pm
The second open enrollment season for health insurance offered through marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act is just around the corner. Are you ready?
Here's a quick checklist for people who don't get their health insurance at work and plan to shop for coverage on the health law's online exchanges. Enrollment starts Nov. 15, but you can start kicking the tires now.
Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 6:45 am
I write about health and health care, but even I'm not immune to the "young and invincible" mentality. My annual dental checkup is more than six months overdue.
A provision of the Affordable Care Act that took effect in 2010 aimed to make it easier for young adults to access preventive care by allowing them to stay on their parents' insurance until they turn 26. As of 2011, some 3 million young adults gained coverage through this provision.
So does this mean more young people are getting their annual checkups and cholesterol screenings?
Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 9:20 am
Fall is enrollment season for many people who get insurance through their workplace. Premium increases for 2015 plans are expected to be modest on average, but the shift toward higher out-of-pocket costs overall for consumers will continue as employers try to keep a lid on their costs and incorporate health law changes.
Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 2:20 pm
In the 1950s, four people — the founder of the birth control movement, a controversial scientist, a Catholic obstetrician and a wealthy feminist — got together to create a revolutionary little pill the world had never seen before.
They were sneaky about what they were doing — skirting the law, lying to women about the tests they performed and fibbing to the public about their motivations.
Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 12:25 pm
On a recent Sunday night, Liz Paul was tired. She'd worked in the morning, spent a full day with her family and she did not feel like going out for her daily jog.
"I tweeted out, 'Well, it's 9 p.m. on Sunday and I didn't work out,' " she says, "I really shouldn't go run in the dark should I?"
The response was immediate. The network of people Paul is relying on to help in her battle to lose weight chimed in with advice. Some tweeted back, "Yes, get out and run." Others offered alternatives like a video workout. But everyone said, "Do something!"
Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 6:22 pm
Update on Oct. 8: The Ebola patient in Dallas, the first diagnosed with the virus in the U.S., has died.
Holy moly! There's a case of Ebola in the U.S.!
That first reaction was understandable. There's no question the disease is scary. The World Health Organization now estimates that the virus has killed about 70 percent of people infected in West Africa.
Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 9:02 am
When essayist Eula Biss was pregnant with her son, she decided she wanted to do just a bit of research into vaccination. "I thought I would do a small amount of research to answer some questions that had come up for me," she tells NPR's Audie Cornish. "And the questions just got bigger the more I learned and the more I read."
Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 1:41 pm
For decades, OB-GYNs have offered prenatal tests to expectant moms to uncover potential issues, including Down syndrome, before they give birth. However, some tests, such as amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling, carry health risks, including miscarriage. For some women, the risks can be greater than the potential benefits from information they would gain.
Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 6:20 am
California's historic drought is partly to blame for the recent rise in West Nile virus infections, public health officials say. There have been 311 cases reported so far, double the number of the same time last year, and the most of any state in the country.
West Nile virus is spread by mosquitoes. They contract the virus when they feed on infected birds, then spread it to the birds they bite next. A shortage of water can accelerate this cycle.
Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 10:33 am
The Colorado Board of Health has voted against setting maximum patient caps for medical marijuana caregivers. The proposed rule would have limited caregivers to just 10 patients. After a tense and at times tearful hearing Tuesday, the board said the change was unnecessary.
Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 8:29 am
Colorado's new campaign to deter teen marijuana use tries to make the case that weed is bad for your brain.
One TV ad shows a group of teens lighting up inside a dark car as moody music plays in the background. The commercial cites a Duke University study that found a link between regular marijuana use and a lower IQ.
Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 6:58 am
When your child has an earache or a bad cold, it's hard to think that there's not much you can offer beyond Tylenol and sympathy. But most of those infections are mostly caused by viruses that don't respond to antibiotics, a study finds.
Just 27 percent of acute respiratory tract infections are caused by bacteria, researchers at Seattle Children's Hospital found. That means that more than two-thirds are viral and antibiotics don't help.
Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 3:33 pm
Just 82 children have confirmed cases of enterovirus-D68, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but hospitals around the country say they are treating hundreds more children who have been sickened by the rare virus.