Health

Series: Shifting the Balance
10:31 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Stand in the Place Where You Work

Photo by Chotda via Flickr Creative Commons

Are you sitting down? Well, listen up: research shows that sitting too much shaves years off of your life. In 2011, a study in the emerging field of Inactivity Studies found that each hour of sitting per day increases a person’s risk of death due to cardiovascular diseases by 18 percent. It turns out that eating well and getting plenty of exercise do not offset the detriments of couch potato time as much as living and working in an environment where standing is the default option. As part of our continuing series Shifting the Balance, we spoke with Dr.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:01 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Bird Flu Studies Getting Another Round Of Scrutiny By Panel

Health Department officials cull birds and put them in sacks after bird flu virus was detected in Bhubaneswar, India.
Biswaranjan Rout AP

Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 8:50 am

In June of 2009, a committee met at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to do a routine safety review of proposed research projects.

One of those projects involved genetically modifying flu viruses. And during the review, the committee brought up the idea of "dual-use" research. "Dual use" means legitimate scientific work that's intended to advance science or medicine, but that also might be misused with the intent to do harm.

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TB
12:50 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

TB Scare At Concord Elementary School

Public health officials have confirmed a case of tuberculosis at Dane Elementary School.

Director of Public Health, Dr. Jose Montero, says the infected child, a kindergarten student, likely contracted the illness from an adult who was exposed to the dangerous bacteria abroad. Most TB is treatable and is spread through the air. Montero says the adult was treated effectively.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:54 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Why Obama Hasn't Won The Battle Over Messaging About Health Care Law

Protesters show their opposition to President Obama's health care overhaul on March 16, 2010, days before it became law.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 8:44 pm

The sweeping health overhaul law turns 2 years old this Friday. And as it heads toward a constitutional showdown at the Supreme Court next week, the debate over the measure remains almost as heated as the day President Obama signed it into law.

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Series: Shifting the Balance
1:43 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

The Comfort Food Conundrum

Photo by songpd, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

In gentile Savannah, Georgia, traditional southern food remains a somewhat sacred rite. That devotion has made Mrs. Wilkes dining room a place of worship. The former boarding house, now restaurant, offers a relaxed atmosphere and an   abundance of home-cooked pleasure.  But,as Emily Corwin reports for our Shifting the Balance series, the way the food is served can make the difference between over-indulgence, and a satisfying, healthy intake.  

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Word of Mouth - Segment
12:32 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Getting High on Union Dues

This is the one union that will kick you out if you pass a drug test. Jesse McKinley wrote about the evolution and demands of the San Francisco drug users union for The New York Time.

New York Times Article  

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Reporter's Notebook
4:43 am
Wed March 21, 2012

A Nation Stands Together For A Fallen Soccer Player

Blackburn Rovers players wear T-shirts in support of Bolton Wanderers' midfielder Fabrice Muamba.
Paul Ellis AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 8:43 pm

Last weekend, English soccer fans were looking forward to a sporting feast. They ended up taking part in a nationwide communal vigil, focused on an African player's fight for life.

Something extraordinary is happening here.

It started in a sports stadium in London on Saturday. A big crowd had gathered there to watch two English teams, Tottenham and Bolton, do battle in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup.

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Law
4:59 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Justices Weigh IVF Technology Against 1939 Law

Justices heard arguments Monday in a case that attempts to reconcile modern in vitro fertilization technology with a 1939 law.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 7:19 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in a case testing whether children conceived through in vitro fertilization after the death of a parent are eligible for Social Security survivors benefits.

The case before the court began in 2001 when Robert Capato was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Before beginning treatments, he deposited sperm at a fertility clinic, and after he died, his wife, Karen, carried out the couple's plan to conceive using Robert's sperm.

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EarthTalk
12:00 am
Sun March 18, 2012

Natural Bug Repellents

iStockPhoto

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: I can’t seem to find any natural bug repellents that really work so I end up using the harsh, chemical varieties. Are there any really effective bug repellants that aren’t chemically based, or other strategies we can use to keep bugs at bay?                  -- Melissa Armantine, New Paltz, NY

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The Salt
3:37 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

USDA To Give Schools More Ground Beef Choices After Outcry Over 'Pink Slime'

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it will give schools alternatives to ground beef made with what critics have called "pink slime."
mcnsonbrg@yahoo.com iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 3:16 pm

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has weighed in on the use of so-called pink slime in beef served in the government's free and reduced-price school lunch program.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:01 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

Doctors Revamp Guidelines For Pap Smears

Cells gathered during a Pap test. Those on the left are normal, and those on the right are infected with human papillomavirus.
Ed Uthman Wikimedia Commons

Women should get screened for cervical cancer far less frequently than doctors have long recommended, according to new guidelines released Wednesday.

More than 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year in the United States, and more than 4,000 die from the disease.

For years, doctors have recommended that women start getting Pap smears every year or two to try to catch signs of cancer early, when it's easiest to prevent and treat.

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All Things Considered
5:50 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Adult Filmmakers Question Condom Requirement

Damian Dovarganes AP

Los Angeles has become the nation's first city to require male adult film actors to wear condoms. The city council's new ordinance has riled the region's billion-dollar-plus porn industry. Filmmakers are warning that the measure will harm the local economy and threaten the health of industry performers.

Condoms are now required on all film shoots that receive a city permit, but the law does not apply to adult films shot in studios. Those don't require city permitting in the first place. But a proposed ballot measure in November looks to extend the law throughout the county.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:17 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Connecticut Considers Letting Health Aides Give Medicines To Homebound

Connecticut is rethinking who should be allowed to give medicines to Medicaid patients cared for at home.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 1:44 pm

Connecticut, like every state trying to reduce health care spending, is looking closely at how it cares for people with chronic conditions.

Gov. Dannel Malloy has promised to move more than 5,000 poor and disabled patients out of nursing homes in five years.

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The Salt
5:15 pm
Mon March 12, 2012

Death By Bacon? Study Finds Eating Meat Is Risky

This would be considered a "once in a while" food.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 11:14 pm

Bacon has been called the gateway meat, luring vegetarians back to meat. And hot dogs are a staple at many a backyard BBQ.

But a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine finds that daily consumption of red meat — particularly processed meat — may be riskier than carnivores realize.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:01 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Gain Together, Lose Together: The Weight-Loss 'Halo' Effect

Studies show that friends and family gain weight — and lose weight — together.
Sean Locke iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 5:19 pm

Here's another good reason to lose weight: It might benefit your friends, family and co-workers. Such altruism might be just the final "nudge" some of us need.

Researchers are finding that the friends and family of obese and overweight individuals who lose weight lost weight themselves, and sometimes a lot of it. Dr. John Morton, who directs Bariatric Surgery at Stanford Hospital & Clinics, calls obesity a "family disease."

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Author Interviews
12:01 am
Thu March 8, 2012

'Fragile Beginnings': When Babies Are Born Too Soon

Dr. Adam Wolfberg had two daughters and another on the way when his wife, Kelly, went into labor. But this joyous occasion had come much too soon — Kelly was three months away from her due date. After just 26 weeks in the womb, their baby daughter Larissa entered the world by emergency cesarean section and was whisked into the neonatal intensive care unit of a Boston hospital. It was the same hospital where Wolfberg was doing his residency in obstetrics and gynecology, and his medical background turned out to be a mixed blessing.

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Shots - Health Blog
6:10 pm
Tue March 6, 2012

Deaths From Dangerous Gut Bacteria Hit Historic Highs

The C. difficile bacteria causes infections that kill about 14,000 Americans each year, the CDC reports.
CDC Public Health Image Library

Originally published on Tue March 6, 2012 7:19 pm

Federal health officials Tuesday called on hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and doctors' offices to work harder to fight the spread of a dangerous bacterial infection that can cause life-threatening diarrhea and other complications.

While other health-care related infections have been decreasing in recent years, cases of Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, continue rising, according to Clifford McDonald of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Pop Culture
12:01 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Zumba Is A Hit, But Is It Latin?

Zumba dance classes are all the rage, but some critics say the fitness craze shouldn't be considered Latin dance.
Christopher Futcher iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 10:51 am

Zumba isn't just a fitness craze; it's an international business with more than 12 million enthusiasts in its classes. You can buy Zumba CDs, a Zumba video game and Zumba clothes. For many students — who show up in spandex to body-roll, fist-pump and booty-shake — it's their first taste of Latin music and dance steps. Now, some Latin dancers are trying to make more of a distinction between their art — and what happens in a Zumba class.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:44 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

Expert Panel To Give Controversial Bird Flu Research A Second Look

An health official wearing protective gear culls a bird at a poultry farm after a naturally occurring bird flu virus was detected near Agartala, India, in January.
Sushanta Das AP

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 8:34 pm

Two controversial studies on bird flu will once again be reviewed by an expert committee that advises the government on what to do with biological research that could pose potential dangers.

The move is just the latest development in a fierce ongoing debate about genetically altered flu viruses created in laboratories at Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands and at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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U.S.
3:17 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

Virginia Governor Backs Down From Ultrasound Bill

An abortion rights activist speaks before the Virginia Senate Education and Health Committee on Thursday. Following a protest outside the state capitol and criticism from moderates in his own party, Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell asked for revisions to a bill requiring an invasive ultrasound before an abortion.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 10:29 am

Several states are considering laws that would mandate an ultrasound before a woman has an abortion. Critics say the laws are unnecessary and intrusive, and the debate reached a fever pitch recently over a Virginia bill that would have required an invasive ultrasound procedure.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
11:12 am
Wed February 22, 2012

The Surprising History of the War on Contraception

While Rick Santorum and the Catholic Church are continuing to fuel backlash over the Obama administration’s compromise to allow insurance companies to cover birth control for employees of faith-based organizations, new polling d

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Shots - Health Blog
5:19 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

The Big Squeeze: Calif. Weight Loss Clinics Under Investigation

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 6:24 pm

A group of weight-loss clinics in Southern California is under fire for an aggressive advertising campaign and the death of five patients.

The 1-800-GET-THIN marketing campaign and its affiliated surgical centers are being investigated by local, state and federal agencies, including Congress.

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NPR News
12:01 am
Mon February 20, 2012

Army Moves To Act Fast On Battlefield Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries are most often caused by powerful blasts from improvised explosive devices. A roadside bomb explodes and the concussive effect violently shakes the brain inside the skull.
Stefano Rellandini Reuters /Landov

Nineteen-year-old Army Pvt. Cody Dollman has a look in his eyes that makes you think he probably used to fight much bigger kids on the playground back home in Wichita, Kan. He says he always wanted to be a soldier — both his grandfathers served in the military — but he's the first in his family to see action overseas.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:01 am
Mon February 20, 2012

Does Tylenol Worsen Asthma For Kids?

Dr. John McBride examines 9-month-old Martez after his mother, Ceasha Moorer, brought him in to check on his asthma.
Courtesy of Karen Schaefer

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 5:50 pm

Parents and doctors around the world have been alarmed by the dramatic increase in childhood asthma.

One factor in the upswing is better detection by doctors, but at least one doctor thinks a common over-the-counter drug also has something to do with it.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:01 am
Mon February 20, 2012

Wanted: Specially Designed Tools For Pediatric Surgery

Surgeons often need specially designed tools to operate on small children.
istockphoto.com

One tool doesn't fit all when it comes to surgery.

Pediatric surgeons know this all too well when it's time to operate on a baby. Some infants are born prematurely. Others have congenital defects — some part of their internal anatomy that just didn't develop the way it was supposed to.

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EarthTalk
12:00 am
Sun February 19, 2012

Disease Clusters

National Resources Defense Council

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: There are many areas around the U.S. where “disease clusters” have occurred, whereby unusually large numbers of people have gotten sick, usually because of proximity to a polluter. What if anything is being done to remedy the situation?    -- Michael Sorenson, Natick, MA

 

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Shots - Health Blog
12:01 am
Thu February 16, 2012

Latest Drug Shortage Threatens Children With Leukemia

Many hospitals are perilously close to running out of a form of methotrexate that's necessary to inject in high doses to treat certain forms of cancer.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 5:55 pm

It's a new kind of brinksmanship for U.S. doctors: caring for patients with life-threatening diseases when the supply of critical drugs threatens to disappear.

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Medical Treatments
12:01 am
Thu February 16, 2012

Military Pokes Holes In Acupuncture Skeptics' Theory

iStockphoto.com

In a fluorescent-lit exam room, Col. Rochelle Wasserman sticks ballpoint-size pins in the ears of Sgt. Rick Remalia.

Remalia broke his back, hip and pelvis during a rollover caused by a pair of rocket-propelled grenades in Afghanistan. He still walks with a cane and suffers from mild traumatic brain injury. Pain is an everyday occurrence, which is where the needles come in.

"I've had a lot of treatment, and this is the first treatment that I've had where I've been like, OK, wow, I've actually seen a really big difference," he says.

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Health
4:21 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

For Profit Cancer Center Comes To NH to Make Its Case to Lawmakers

Cancer Treatment Centers of America is eyeing a spot in New Hampshire. The for profit chain wants to build a hospital in the Northeast. CTCA successfully lobbied Georgia to change its regulations so a specialty hospital could be built in that state. The company is hoping lawmakers in New Hampshire will make similar changes. A proposed law would exempt specialty cancer hospitals from certain regulations and also from Medicaid taxes.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Thu February 9, 2012

Medical Marijuana Heats Up Again in NH

With neighboring Vermont and Maine now allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana to their sick patients, a new bill with the same goal is afoot in New Hampshire. But it has an uphill battle as  recent similar proposals have failed before.  We’ll get the latest on the discussion here, and see how Maine and Vermont are doing, since medical marijuana was approved. 

Guests

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