Health Desk

Shots - Health News
7:03 am
Sun April 12, 2015

What Could Go Wrong When Doctors Treat Their Own Kids?

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 4:55 pm

Famed doctor and medical educator William Osler once said, "A physician who treats himself has a fool for a patient."

What, I wonder, does that say about us doctors who treat our own kids?

This past winter, my daughter got the flu. She was miserable: daily fevers, achiness, sore throat, stuffy head and nausea with a total loss of appetite.

We didn't run a flu test on her, which you can do with a quick nasal swab at a doctor's office. Since my wife and I are both docs, we were comfortable that her symptoms fit the diagnosis.

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Mental Health
6:42 am
Sun April 12, 2015

Working Through Depression: Many Stay On The Job, Despite Mental Illness

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 11:53 am

When a pilot crashed a Germanwings plane into a mountainside in the French Alps last month, one word kept coming up over and over in the media coverage: depression. What did the airline know about the pilot's mental health, and what was he required to tell them?

Of course, being depressed is a very different thing from wanting to take the lives of others. But experts we talked with said that an event like this one — a violent act carried out by someone with a mental illness — increases the stigma for everyone with mental illness.

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Television
4:37 am
Sun April 12, 2015

'Nurse Jackie' Ends As TV's Most Honest Depiction Of Addiction

Edie Falco stars in Showtime's "Nurse Jackie."
David M. Russell Showtime

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 3:46 pm

Even after an accident with a carload full of pills gets her arrested, Nurse Jackie Peyton can't be honest about her addictions. Especially not while explaining her sudden absence to her ex-husband Kevin.

"Where were you this past week?" Kevin asks, tensely.

"Really, you want to know where I was?" Jackie responds. "I went to a detox program."

"Is that what you call jail?" he shoots back. "I was notified of the accident. The car's still in my name."

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The Salt
3:55 pm
Sat April 11, 2015

Eating To Break 100: Longevity Diet Tips From The Blue Zones

A distinct version of the Mediterranean diet is followed on the Blue Zone island of Ikaria, Greece. It emphasizes olive oil, vegetables, beans, fruit, moderate amounts of alcohol and low quantities of meat and dairy products.
Gianluca Colla Courtesy of Blue Zones

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 1:02 pm

Want to live to be 100? It's tempting to think that with enough omega-3s, kale and blueberries, you could eat your way there.

But one of the key takeaways from a new book on how to eat and live like "the world's healthiest people" is that longevity is not just about food.

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Commentary
7:56 am
Sat April 11, 2015

From Pork To Onion Sandwiches: Secrets To Supersurvivors' Long Lives

Jeralean Talley addresses the congregation as her pastor, Reverend Dana Darby, holds the microphone for her during a celebration of her 115th birthday.
Rebecca Cook Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sat April 11, 2015 10:05 am

Jeralean Talley is the world's oldest living person. She is 115 years old and inherited the title earlier this week from a 116-year-old Arkansas woman who died of pneumonia. She was preceded by a 117-year-old woman from Japan who died the week before. Death, it seems, is a hazard of being the oldest person in the world.

And in the case of those who outlast the rest and earn the title of most senior human, it is often a life well lived.

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Sports
6:43 am
Sat April 11, 2015

Compression Clothes' Advantage Could Be Placebo Effect

Originally published on Sat April 11, 2015 9:54 am

Copyright 2015 KERA Unlimited. To see more, visit http://www.kera.org/.

Transcript

TAMARA KEITH, HOST:

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Goats and Soda
6:03 am
Sat April 11, 2015

Former Ebola Fighters Feel As If They Get No Respect

Mohammed Zangar (left) and Amos Tomah find relief from the sun under the leaves of a mango tree.
Ingrid Gercama Ingrid Gercama

Originally published on Sat April 11, 2015 8:35 am

They are the heroes nobody remembers.

"We were the foot soldiers," says Amos Tomah, 25. When Ebola struck Liberia, he went door-to-door to raise awareness about the disease; he earned about $80 a day for his two-week stint.

His friend, 42-year-old Rancy "Hooks" Harrison, used his taxi (and later, a Red Cross ambulance) to pick up bodies of Ebola victims from West Point, a poor neighborhood in the capital city of Monrovia. Hooks made $600 a month while working for the Red Cross.

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Shots - Health News
4:38 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

Clam Cancer Spreads Along Eastern Seaboard

The blood cancer in soft-shell clams poses no risk to humans, but it does kill the shellfish.
Pat Wellenbach AP

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 7:50 am

Not every clam is, as the expression goes, happy as a clam. Even shellfish, it turns out, can get cancer. And it just might be that this cancer is spread from clam to clam by rogue cells bobbing through the ocean, scientists reported Thursday in the journal Cell.

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The Salt
2:57 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

Lunch, Not Landfill: Nonprofit Rescues Produce Rejected At U.S. Border

Yolanda Soto runs Borderlands Food Bank in Nogales, Ariz. Each year, the nonprofit rescues millions of pounds of nutritious and safe fruits and vegetables rejected near the U.S. border and redirects them to needy families across America.
Lisa Morehouse for NPR

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 10:07 am

Just across the border from Nogales, Ariz., rows of northbound trucks line up for inspection. Over half of the produce that's grown in Mexico and imported — $4 billion worth — comes through this border crossing. Most gets distributed to all parts of the U.S. and Canada, but some fruits and vegetables get rejected before they leave the city of Nogales.

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Parallels
11:22 am
Fri April 10, 2015

A Forgotten Generation: Half Of South Korea's Elderly Live In Poverty

Koreans — many of them elderly — line up to receive 500 won, or about 50 cents, from Shin Banpo Church in southern Seoul. Each week, organizers say, a few hundred seniors show up at each church that offers the service, and the line starts hours in advance.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Sun April 12, 2015 11:50 pm

South Korea may be known for its high-tech advances, luxury skin care products and rapid economic rise, but these days, the generation largely responsible for all that growth isn't faring so well. South Korea has the worst senior poverty rate among developed nations, and the options for seniors are slim.

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Shots - Health News
10:14 am
Fri April 10, 2015

Bundle Of Joyful Microbes: Mom's DNA Alters Baby's Gut Bacteria

During the first year of life, a baby's gut will become home to about 1,000 species of bacteria.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 7:35 pm

Right after birth, trillions of microbes rush into a baby's gut and start to grow. Most of these critters come from the mom's skin, birth canal and gut.

But exactly which types of bacteria take up residence in an infant's gut can depend on the mother's DNA, scientists reported Thursday.

The study, published in the journal Microbiome, focuses on a microbe called Bifidobacterium that potentially benefits babies.

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NPR History Dept.
9:54 am
Fri April 10, 2015

Defeating Polio, The Disease That Paralyzed America

A nurse prepares children for a polio vaccine shot as part of citywide testing of the vaccine on elementary school students in Pittsburgh in 1954.
Bettmann/CORBIS

Originally published on Sat April 11, 2015 7:57 am

Tens of thousands of Americans — in the first half of the 20th century — were stricken by poliomyelitis. Polio, as it's known, is a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

The hallmarks of the Polio Era were children on crutches and in iron lungs, shuttered swimming pools, theaters warning moviegoers to not sit too close to one another.

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Shots - Health News
5:03 am
Fri April 10, 2015

A Lifesaving Medicine That My Patient Didn't Get In Time

A kit with naloxone, also known by its brand name Narcan, is displayed at the South Jersey AIDS Alliance in Atlantic City. Naloxone counters an overdose with heroin or certain prescription painkillers by blocking the receptors these opioids bind to in the brain.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 4:56 pm

Every doctor and nurse in our hospital's emergency room knew Jerome. He was one of our regulars.

In his 20s, he had back problems that led him to become addicted to prescription painkillers. That habit proved too expensive, and he switched to heroin.

Jerome used to come to the ER nearly every week. Often, he just wanted a sandwich and someone to talk to. He had lost his job and his home. Several months ago, he decided he had to quit heroin.

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Goats and Soda
4:01 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

An Artist's Brainstorm: Put Photos On Those Faceless Ebola Suits

Heffernan photographs health care worker Martha Lyne Freeman.
Courtesy of Marc Campos/Occidental College

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 9:16 pm

How often does this happen: You're listening to a news story describing some problem halfway around the world and you say to yourself, "I know how to fix that!" It's not your area of expertise. It's not a place you know. But you are sure that if you went there you could solve the problem.

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Shots - Health News
2:56 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

Medical Schools Reboot For 21st Century

Dr. Raj Mangrulkar and medical student Jesse Burk-Rafel at the University of Michigan Medical School. Good communication skills, teamwork and adaptability will help doctors thrive through swift changes in medical science, Mangrulkar says.
Leisa Thompson Courtesy of University of Michigan Medical School

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 7:27 pm

Medicine has changed a lot in the past 100 years. But medical training hasn't — until now. Spurred by the need to train a different type of doctor, some top medical schools around the U.S. are tearing up the textbooks and starting from scratch.

Most medical schools still operate under a model pioneered in the early 1900s by an educator named Abraham Flexner.

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The Salt
2:55 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

Is It Time For A Warning Label On Sugar-Loaded Drinks?

A mock-up of a warning label for sodas and sugary drinks proposed in California by public health advocates.
California Center for Public Health Advocacy

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 4:15 pm

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: We consume a lot more sugar than is good for our health. Because of this, the next generation of Americans will struggle with obesity and diabetes more than any other. The most obvious culprit is the added sugar in sodas and other sugary beverages, like sports drinks or teas.

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The Two-Way
8:52 am
Thu April 9, 2015

Sabra Hummus Announces A Recall Over Listeria Fears

Sabra has announced a voluntary recall of some products, including Classic Hummus, after a sample tested positive for Listeria.
Sabra via Facebook

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 1:35 pm

A nationwide recall has been announced for some 30,000 cases of hummus made by the Sabra company, due to possible contamination. The FDA says the recall is voluntary and no illnesses have been reported.

The recall covers several products with a "best by" date of May 11 or May 15 (see details below). The products are predominantly the "Classic" variety of the hummus, in a range of sizes.

The FDA says anyone who has bought the packages should either dispose of them or take them back to retailers for a refund.

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Health Desk
7:26 am
Thu April 9, 2015

Recall Of 30,000 Cases Of Hummus Over Listeria Concerns

Several types of Sabra Classic Hummus Recalled

About 30,000 cases of Sabra hummus sold nationwide is being recalled due to a possible Listeria contamination.
 
 Listeria is a food-borne illness that can cause high fevers and nausea in minor cases, but the infections can be fatal to people with weakened immune systems and young children, along with causing miscarriages in pregnant women.
 
     The Sabra Dipping Co. is a joint venture of PepsiCo and Strauss Group.
 
     The recalled products include:
 
     Sabra Classic Hummus in 10-ounce sizes with UPC/SKU 040822011143 / 300067
 

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All Tech Considered
6:08 am
Thu April 9, 2015

Weighing Privacy Vs. Rewards Of Letting Insurers Track Your Fitness

Patient Gary Wilhelm looks at his medical data on a smartphone that is synchronized to a new Fitbit Surge on his wrist.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 6:11 pm

Would you be willing to hand over your health information to a life insurance company, in exchange for financial rewards?

Activity trackers have become increasingly popular over the past few years, tracking everything from how many steps you walk to your location throughout the day.

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Around the Nation
4:10 am
Thu April 9, 2015

Bill To Limit Vaccine Exemptions Moves A Step Closer In California

People who oppose repealing the personal belief exemption gathered outside California's Capitol in Sacramento on Wednesday.
Pauline Bartolone/Capital Public Radio

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 1:58 pm

A California bill that would allow students to opt out of mandatory school vaccinations only if they have a medical condition that justifies an exemption is one step closer to becoming law, though it still has a long way to go. The bill was introduced in the California Senate in response to a measles outbreak at Disneyland in late December that's now linked to almost 150 infections.

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Shots - Health News
2:30 am
Thu April 9, 2015

Doctors Make House Calls On Tablets Carried By Houston Firefighters

Houston firefighters learn to use a video chat program that will let them consult with an emergency medicine doctor while responding to 911 calls.
Courtesy of Houston Fire Department

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 7:58 am

It seems like every firefighter you ask can rattle off examples of 911 calls that didn't come even close to being life-threatening.

"A spider bite that's two or three weeks old," says Jeff Jacobs. "A headache, or a laceration," says Ashley Histand.

Alberto Vela remembers another call from a woman who said, "This medicine's not working; now you need to take me to the hospital so I can get a different medication."

Tyler Hooper describes those calls they shouldn't be getting as "anything from simple colds to toothaches, stubbed toes to paper cuts."

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Goats and Soda
2:28 am
Thu April 9, 2015

She's 66 And Finally Getting Electricity. Bring On The Ice Cream!

Monique Yusizanna Ouz, 66, is going to have electricity for the first time in her life.
Carrie Kahn/NPR

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 3:56 pm

In the village of Tuffet, a rocky 45-minute drive from the closest city along Haiti's southern coast, several men get down to work in Monique Yusizanna Ouz's rural home. They're wiring up her two-room, dirt floor house with a breaker box, an outlet and a light fixture.

She's 66 years old, and for the first time in her life, she's going to have electricity.

Ouz, who has five grandchildren, wants a refrigerator. She wants cold drinks — for herself but also to sell. And she wants ice cream, too.

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Shots - Health News
5:23 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

Link Between Heart Disease And Height Hidden In Our Genes

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 10:53 am

Shorter people are more likely than taller folks to have clogged heart arteries, and a new study says part of the reason lies in the genes.

Doctors have known since the 1950s about the link between short stature and coronary artery disease, "but the reason behind this really hasn't been completely clear," says Nilesh Samani, a cardiologist at the University of Leicester in the U.K.

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Shots - Health News
5:12 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

Sushi Science: A 3-D View Of The Body's Wasabi Receptor

The same nerve receptor that responds to the green paste on your sushi plate is activated by car exhaust, the smoke of a wildfire, tear gas and other chemical irritants.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed April 8, 2015 6:33 pm

Researchers have discovered the exact structure of the receptor that makes our sensory nerves tingle when we eat sushi garnished with wasabi. And because the "wasabi receptor" is also involved in pain perception, knowing its shape should help pharmaceutical companies develop new drugs to fight pain.

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Health Care
3:35 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

With Discounts For Healthy Behavior, John Hancock Courts Privacy Concerns

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 8:37 am

John Hancock announced a new program promising discounts for policyholders who wear a fitness tracker, exercise more and go to the doctor. The life insurance company says that if people live longer healthier lives, everybody wins. But privacy advocates worry about all the electronic monitoring.

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Goats and Soda
3:13 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

On A Scale Of 1 To 10, Brazil Gets A Zero For Disability Access

Rio has hosted competitions that include athletes with physical impairments (above: the open water swim at Copacobana beach for the Rei e Rainha do Mar). But there's never been an event on the scale of the Paralympics.
Buda Mendes Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 8, 2015 5:23 pm

For most disabled residents of Rio de Janeiro, every day is an Olympian struggle.

Pick almost any sidewalk, says Lilia Martins, who uses an electric wheelchair. She chooses one just outside her place of work. The location is relevant because Martins is an advocate for disabled people in Rio. Even here, we only manage to go a short way before the pavement becomes cracked and broken with huge roots popping up. There is literally no way a wheelchair can go on. It's like an obstacle course.

"Except there is no prize at the end," Martins quips.

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Shots - Health News
1:02 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

What's My Chance Of Having A Baby? A Better Predictor Of IVF Success

In the technique known as intracytoplasmic sperm injection, a fertility specialist uses a tiny needle to inject sperm into an egg cell.
Mauro Fermariello Science Source

Originally published on Wed April 8, 2015 5:19 pm

Before a couple commit time, money and emotion to the process of in vitro fertilization, they want to know one thing: What are our chances of having a baby?

Success rates vary dramatically by age. In 2013, for example, 40 percent of IVF cycles performed in women who were under the age of 35 resulted in live births, compared with 4.5 percent for women older than 42.

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The Two-Way
10:34 am
Wed April 8, 2015

John Hancock Hopes You'll Trade Activity Data For Insurance Discounts

You don't need to run a marathon — or wear a gorilla suit — to get a discount on John Hancock's new life insurance program. But at least one of them may help.
Rick Rycroft AP

Originally published on Wed April 8, 2015 11:44 am

Would you lead a more active lifestyle if it meant lower life insurance premiums? Insurer John Hancock and Vitality, a global wellness firm, are hoping the answer is yes. But there is a condition: They get to track your activity.

The practice is already employed in Australia, Europe, Singapore and South Africa, where Vitality is based.

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Shots - Health News
2:45 am
Wed April 8, 2015

Doctors Test Tumor Paint In People

Blaze Bioscience is commercially developing the "paint," which glows when exposed to near-infrared light.
Courtesy of Blaze Bioscience

Originally published on Wed April 8, 2015 4:52 pm

A promising technique for making brain tumors glow so they'll be easier for surgeons to remove is now being tested in cancer patients.

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Shots - Health News
4:47 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Many Obamacare Policyholders Face Tax Surprises This Year

Depending on the amount taken in subsidies, or changes in reported income and family status, some Obamacare policyholders this year will get a bigger refund than expected and others will owe more in taxes.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue April 7, 2015 6:54 pm

The old saying goes, "Nothing is certain except death and taxes." But the Affordable Care Act has added a new wrinkle.

For many policyholders, the ACA has introduced a good deal of uncertainty about their tax bills. That has led to surprise refunds for some and higher-than-expected tax payments for others.

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