Health

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.

Military Pokes Holes In Acupuncture Skeptics' Theory

Feb 16, 2012

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.

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.

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

Tai chi, the Chinese martial art involving slow and rhythmic movement, has been shown to benefit older people by maintaining balance and strength. Now, researchers have found that tai chi also helps patients who suffer from Parkinson's disease.

Leona Maricle was diagnosed with Parkinson's two years ago. At the time, she was teaching math, and she says she had experienced the telltale tremors of Parkinson's for a number of years. She learned how to cope.

NHPR Staff Photo

The Department of Health and Human Services says that changes in the foods offered through the Women, Infants and Children Nutrition Program or WIC have resulted in improved diets. 

WIC is a national program that gives nutrition education and nutritious foods to pregnant women and new mothers with income up to 185% of the federal poverty line.

Access to emergency contraception has swirled at the center of a recent flurry of debate over insurance coverage. It's a pill women can take if their birth control fails or they forget to use it.

The most popular brand of emergency contraception is called "Plan B One-Step." You might better know it as the morning-after pill. Today, about 10 percent of sexually active women say they've used it.

When he was 30 years old, David Finch's wife, Kristen, sat him down and asked him a series of odd questions:

"Do you notice patterns in things all the time?"

"Do people comment on your unusual mannerisms and habits?

"Do you feel tortured by clothes tags, clothes that are too tight or made in the 'wrong material'?"

"Do you sometimes have an urge to jump over things?"

David's answers to all of these questions — and more than 100 others — was an emphatic yes.

Yes, we're a nation of cheese-eaters. We load it onto pizza, layer it in burritos, sprinkle it on salads, and slap it on sandwiches.

In fact, we eat about 31 pounds of it per person each year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's estimates. That's nearly triple the amount Americans were eating in 1970.

But is cheese the true culprit behind flabby thighs and paunchy bellies?

In recent years, New Hampshire's Health and Human Services department has seen deep budget cuts and layoffs,  and is now battling with the state’s hospitals and the U.S. Department of Justice over issues of taxation and patient care.  Leading the way, its commissioner, Nick Toumpas, who was just reappointed for another term last month.  We’ll hear Toumpas’ take on these issues, as well as how the state is handling aspects of the new federal health care law. 

Guest

We’ve spoken on the program before about the tendency in science to connect today’s  traits and ailments to evolutionary adaptations for survival from which they presumably developed.  Not every aspect of humanity derives from Darwinian roots, argues Dr.

Photo by Rakka, courtesy of Flickr creative commons

The alarming spike in type-1 diabetes. Though type-2, commonly known as adult-onset diabetes, has been in the spotlight recently with Food Network star and butter-abuser Paula Deen's announcement that she is living with the condition, type-1 is also on the rise. The worldwide annual growth rate has climbed past three-percent. With its serious health risks and lack of a cure, public health researchers are scrambling to find the cause of type-1's recent spike.

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EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Are there healthy, green-friendly mouthwashes? I’ve heard that some contain formaldehyde and other nasty substances.                                           -- Marina Sandberg, Albany, NY

 

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EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

 

Dear EarthTalk: What’s the story with Echinacea? Many herb teas contain it, and many people swear by it as a cold remedy. But I’ve also seen headlines saying that the herb has no medicinal value whatsoever. Can you set the record straight?  -- Arlene Hixson, Portland, ME

 

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EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Is it true that asthma rates in the U.S. have doubled in the last three decades? What's behind this troubling trend and what can we do to reverse it?                 -- Patrick, via e-mail

 

 

Our guest embodies two very different worlds – the ivory tower, and the fitness center. By day, Lianne McTavish is a professor of art history at the University of Alberta Canada, she lectures on the seventeenth-century history of the body, and its representation in medieval art. After class, she heads to the gym for weightlifting and toning. Her enthusiasm for fitness got her thinking about working out as a woman and led her to create a new identity as – “feminist figure girl” – and enter the world of competitive bodybuilding.

Links

New Hampshire One of Healthiest States In Nation

Dec 6, 2011

A new report shows New Hampshire is again among the healthiest states in the nation.

But health officials say there is still room for improvement.

The United Health Foundation’s report looked at a variety of health issues, including heart disease deaths, cancer rates, premature births and access to health insurance.

New Hampshire was ranked second healthiest, an improvement from third last year.

The state scored well because of its low percentage of children in poverty, low crime rate, and high use of prenatal care and immunizations.

(Photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/wolkenkratzer/3451977163/sizes/l/in/photostream/" target="_blank">Wolkenkratzer</a> via Flickr Creative Commons)

NHPR's Chris Jensen reports on the Molar Express, a non-profit program engineered to delivery basic dental care to North Country kids. 

, Treating mental illness can take many forms. There are drugs, group therapy, and art therapy and the list goes on.

A new program in the Concord area is getting promising results by taking clients to a typical New England farm.

Mental health care doesn’t just take place in sterile offices or on therapists’ couches.

Some of the real breakthroughs happen out in the real world.

A new program in the Concord area is getting clients out to a local farm.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been labeled a flip-flopper. And when it comes to abortion, the former governor of Massachusetts appears to have changed his position from being in favor of abortion rights to being opposed.

But now some people are asking if Romney ever supported abortion rights at all? Backers of abortion rights don't think so.

(Photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/sunnyuk/3240916291/>Sunny UK </a>via Flickr Creative Commons)

Jessica Golloher, Word of Mouth's eyes and ears in Moscow, reports on the scads of Russians signing up for alternative medicine. 

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EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

 

Dear EarthTalk: Given the preponderance of carcinogenic chemicals out there today, is it true that eating certain foods like garlic or onions can actually help prevent cancer?    -- M. Stone, Boston, MA

(<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/sheepies/3539476944/sizes/m/in/photostream/" target="_blank">Andreas Photography</a> via Flickr Creative Commons)

Before vaccines became standard care, parents who wanted to build their children’s immunity to common diseases often brought them to play with other neighborhood kids already infected with bugs like the measles and chicken pox. Now, a small group of parents opposed to vaccines are reviving “pox parties” via social media sites like Facebook. Recently, one mother catered to that  crowd by advertising homemade lollipops tainted with the varicella virus…yep.

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EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: How clear (or not) are the links between the rising incidents of cancers around the world and the prevalence of synthetic chemicals in modern society?-- Alberto Buono, Lee, MA

Updated at 2:52 p.m. ET: Wal-Mart issued a statement Wednesday saying its request for partners to provide primary care services was "overwritten and incorrect." The firm is "not building a national, integrated low-cost primary health care platform," according to the statement by Dr. John Agwunobi, a senior vice president for health and wellness at the retailer.

Photo by Andyde, from Flickr Creative Commons

Adrian Slywotzky, author of the new book Demand: Creating What People Love Before They Know They Want It, discusses a revolutionary new eldercare model called Caremore.  He explains how trimming toenails and rides to the doctor can save dollars and improve quality of life. 

LINKS:

The Quiet Health-Care Revolution 

Health Insurers Defend High Premiums

Oct 28, 2011

New Hampshire has some of the highest health insurance rates in the country.  The state’s insurance department held its first hearing ever on some of the causes.

The average policy holder saw a 14 percent rise in premiums this past year.  A cavalcade of health care providers, employers and insurance companies offered their views.  Lisa Guertin, president of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, said one factor is new treatments.

LRGH Steers Clear of Medicaid Patients

Oct 26, 2011

More than 3,000 people on Medicaid in the Lakes Region will have to switch from their regular doctors by next month.  They are being reassigned to other area clinics.

Primary care doctors that are part of LRGH Healthcare will no longer treat Medicaid patients.  LRGH President, Tom Clairmont, says the joint federal-state program for the poor and disabled, covers less than half the cost of providing care.  Clairmont says that formula undermines the hospital’s ability to provide the most essential care.

mikebaird / Flickr/Creative Commons

Today we have this month's 11 for '11 segment, focusing on how the increasingly dangerous pursuit of oil affects the market price. Plus, alcoholism in Russia, and a journalist shares stories from inside the Balkan Underground, a crafty, cynical, and fearless network that has heisted hundreds of millions of dollars worth of jewels in 26 countries.

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