Health Desk

Around the Nation
1:51 am
Tue October 15, 2013

One Roof, Many Generations: Redefining The Single-Family Home

Three generations live under this roof: (from left) 19-year-old Jamie Dusseault, grandmother Jacque Ruggles, mother Marci Dusseault and 22-year-old Chelsie Dusseault.
Peter O'Dowd KJZZ

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 9:12 am

New homes are back in a big way — literally. This summer, a typical new house in Phoenix was more than 20 percent larger than a resale home as builders across the country added more space to accommodate post-recession lifestyles.

Take Jacque Ruggles' family, for example. Four women from three generations live under one roof.

"I'm the matriarch," Ruggles says. "I'm grandma."

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Technology
4:02 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

HealthCare.gov Glitches Lead Many To Rely On Pen And Paper

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 5:19 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block. It's time now for All Tech Considered.

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)

BLOCK: Forget technology for the moment, good old pen and paper is the way many Americans are now signing up for the new health insurance exchanges. That's because of problems that continue to plague the healthcare.gov website that was supposed to be a one-stop shop for health coverage.

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All Tech Considered
1:46 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Hey, Why Did You Floor It? Tracking Junior Behind The Wheel

Alyson Illich used technologies that tracked her son Colter's location while he was driving. "I think it made him more thoughtful," she said.
Family photo

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 5:19 pm

Nowhere is the temptation to use technology to monitor a child greater than when that child is learning to drive.

Auto accidents are still the leading cause of death among teens in the U.S. And while fatalities are dropping, giving a teen the keys to a car is still one of the most terrifying things most parents ever do.

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All Tech Considered
1:10 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

'Menstrual Man' Had An Idea To Help Indian Women

Arunachalam Muruganantham installs his machine in a village in Chhattisgarh, India.
Amit Virmani

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 2:02 pm

Arunachalam Muruganantham had his light bulb moment when he was 29 years old, and holding a sanitary napkin for the first time.

Examining the cotton pads he was buying as a gift for his new wife, the Indian entrepreneur realized that the multinational company that produced them was probably spending cents on raw materials, and making a huge profit.

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Shots - Health News
2:22 am
Mon October 14, 2013

So What's The Real Deadline For Obamacare Sign-Up?

Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 12:06 pm

The health exchanges are now open, though some have a lot of glitches. You still have lots of questions about how the Affordable Care Act affects you and your family.

And we have answers. In our ongoing series, we're addressing questions you've asked about the sign-up process.

With people having so much trouble logging onto the websites to get coverage, some are wondering how soon they have to sign up for coverage to avoid the potential penalties.

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Shots - Health News
2:19 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Exercise May Help Knees More Than Glucosamine And Chondroitin

With osteoarthritis, knees become swollen and stiff, and cartilage can degenerate.
Ted Kinsman Science Source

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 8:18 am

If you're among the estimated 27 million Americans who suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee or hip, then perhaps you've tried the nutritional supplements glucosamine and chondroitin. They've been marketed for joint health for about 20 years, and sales are still brisk. But do they help?

Some horses might say yes. The supplements were first tried in horses, and there's some evidence that the supplements might improve joint function for them.

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Business
5:12 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

15 Years Later, Where Did All The Cigarette Money Go?

So far, the tobacco industry has paid more than $100 billion to state governments as part of a settlement. While smoking is down among young people and even adults in some areas, it's still unclear where much of that money has gone.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 11:12 am

Fifteen years after tobacco companies agreed to pay billions of dollars in fines in what is still the largest civil litigation settlement in U.S. history, it's unclear how state governments are using much of that money.

So far tobacco companies have paid more than $100 billion to state governments as part of the 25-year, $246 billion settlement.

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Health Care
6:49 am
Sun October 13, 2013

Prices On Health Exchanges Vary By State

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 7:47 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The widely varied success of the rollout of the health care exchanges, as part of the Affordable Care Act, highlighted the fact that even though the health care law is a national one, you're likely to experience it differently state to state.

Larry Levitt is a senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation. He's with us to help us sort through a few different scenarios. Welcome to the program, Larry.

LARRY LEVITT: Oh, thanks. It's a pleasure to be here.

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The Salt
2:54 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Feminist Hulk Smash Shutdown, Rescue Women On Food Aid!

Courtesy Jessica Lawson

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 8:09 pm

The government shutdown is frustrating enough for furloughed workers, but for families dependent on federal food assistance, it's infuriating.

Enter the Feminist Hulk.

The Twitter monster is smashing the shutdown's threats to the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Food and Nutrition program, which provides food aid to pregnant women and mothers of young children deemed to be at risk of malnutrition. And she's urging her nearly 74,000 followers to help.

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Shots - Health News
2:53 am
Sat October 12, 2013

More Evidence Against Vitamin D To Build Bones In Middle Age

If only it was as simple as popping a supplement and being set for life. But alas, no.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 10:51 am

It's not easy being a wonder vitamin these days. Just when it looks like you're the solution to every health problem, some doctors come along and burst your bubble. Now it's happening to vitamin D.

The supplement has been widely promoted to prevent osteoporosis and fight a host of other ills. But recent studies haven't found much benefit, for bones or for general health.

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The Salt
6:27 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Shutdown Leaves Some Seniors Worried About Their Next Meal

Seniors around the country depend on weekly deliveries of nutritionally balanced food from the USDA's supplemental nutrition program.
tmarvin iStockPhoto.com

You've no doubt heard of Senior Meals on Wheels preparing hot meals delivered to the elderly. But there's a different meal program that's been put on hold because of the partial government shutdown. It's the USDA's Commodity Supplemental Food Program.

In Michigan's western Kent County alone, more than 1,300 low-income seniors depend on the program. For them, it's a nutrition lifeline: They can't just go to a food pantry for similar assistance.

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Shots - Health News
3:50 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Why A Peanut Butter Test For Alzheimer's Might Be Too Simple

University of Florida researcher Jennifer Stamps administers the peanut butter sniff test to a volunteer.
Jesse S. Jones University of Florida

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 11:47 am

Alzheimer's disease can be tough to diagnose, especially early on. Doctors can order brain scans and assay spinal fluids. But existing tests are imperfect and some can be invasive.

So you might understand the appeal of an alternative that researchers at the University of Florida in Gainesville tried. They had asked patients to sniff a dab of peanut butter during a routine test of cranial nerve function. Later, the team wondered if it could help them figure of it someone might be in the early stages of Alzheimer's.

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Books
3:31 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

'Coming Clean' About Growing Up In A Hoarding Household

Kimberly Rae Miller grew up among piles of junk. Doors wouldn't close, stacks of paper turned to sludge, and the pool was filled with brown muck. Her father was a hoarder — in the most extreme kind of way. Host Michel Martin talks to Miller about how she coped, which is detailed in her memoir, Coming Clean. This segment initially aired July 29, 2013 on Tell Me More.

The Salt
2:04 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

What's In That Chicken Nugget? Maybe You Don't Want To Know

Chicken Nuggets, from artist Banksy's 2008 installation "The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill" in New York City.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 11:19 am

Chicken nuggets: Call 'em tasty, call 'em crunchy, call 'em quick and convenient. But maybe you shouldn't call them "chicken."

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The Affordable Care Act, Explained
2:00 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

FAQ: How Obamacare Affects Employers And How They're Responding

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 10:13 am

This is one of several explainers to help consumers navigate their health insurance choices under the Affordable Care Act, or as some call it, Obamacare. Click here for answers to other common questions. Have a question we missed? Send it to health@npr.org. We may use it in a future on-air or online segment.

Do employers have to do anything different under the Affordable Care Act?

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The Affordable Care Act, Explained
2:00 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

FAQ: Where Medicaid's Reach Has Expanded — And Where It Hasn't

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 3:23 pm

This is one of several explainers to help consumers navigate their health insurance choices under the Affordable Care Act, or as some call it, Obamacare. Click here for answers to other common questions. Have a question we missed? Send it to health@npr.org. We may use it in a future on-air or online segment.

Could I be eligible for Medicaid now?

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The Affordable Care Act, Explained
1:59 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

FAQ: What Retirees And Seniors Need To Know About The Affordable Care Act

This is one of several explainers to help consumers navigate their health insurance choices under the Affordable Care Act, or as some call it, Obamacare. Click here for answers to other common questions. Have a question we missed? Send it to health@npr.org. We may use it in a future on-air or online segment.

I am on Medicare. Do I need to use one of the new health insurance exchanges?

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The Affordable Care Act, Explained
1:59 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

FAQ: A Young Adult's Guide To New Health Insurance Choices

This is one of several explainers to help consumers navigate their health insurance choices under the Affordable Care Act, or as some call it, Obamacare. Click here for answers to other common questions. Have a question we missed? Send it to health@npr.org. We may use it in a future on-air or online segment.

So I have to carry health insurance?

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The Affordable Care Act, Explained
1:59 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

FAQ: All About Health Insurance Exchanges And How To Shop For Coverage

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 3:21 pm

This is one of several explainers to help consumers navigate their health insurance choices under the Affordable Care Act, or as some call it, Obamacare. Click here for answers to other common questions. Have a question we missed? Send it to health@npr.org. We may use it in a future on-air or online segment.



About The Exchanges

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The Affordable Care Act, Explained
1:58 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

FAQ: Understanding The Health Insurance Mandate And Penalties For Going Uninsured

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 3:16 pm

This is one of several explainers to help consumers navigate their health insurance choices under the Affordable Care Act, or as some call it, Obamacare. Click here for answers to other common questions. Have a question we missed? Send it to health@npr.org. We may use it in a future on-air or online segment.

So I have to carry health insurance?

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Health Care
1:39 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

Health Reform and Healthier Outcomes?

The Affordable Care Act marketplace opened up last week, but how might the health reform make us healthier? A group of experts discusses how insurance exchanges, accountability care organizations, and other aspects of the law may impact patient health.

Health
1:38 pm
Fri October 11, 2013

A Trade-off Between Skin Protection and Testicular Cancer Risk

A genetic variation that protects skin against sun damage may also increase the risk of testicular cancer, at least in mice. Researcher Gareth Bond discusses why this relationship may have evolved and how the findings could help to create personalized cancer treatments for humans.

Health Care
11:29 am
Fri October 11, 2013

In Mississippi, Bankruptcy Follows Broken Legs

According to a recent study, more than half of the Mississippians who file for bankruptcy do so because they cannot pay their medical bills. Clarion Ledger reporter Jerry Mitchell tells host Michel Martin what's causing such devastating costs.

Shots - Health News
10:03 am
Fri October 11, 2013

California Trains Helpers To Meet Demand For Health Insurance

Edward Avalos, one of the first certified enrollment specialists in California, is a very busy man.
Sarah Varney Kaiser Health News

Luisa Blue, head of the local Service Employees International Union in San Jose, Calif., has five more months to spend $1 million. The union received a grant from Covered California, the state's health insurance marketplace, to educate the public about the exchange.

SEIU is using some of the money to call people in their homes at night and on the weekend. "Over 4,000 (people) have said tell me more about Covered California and how can I enroll to get health insurance," Blue says of the union's first two weeks on the case.

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Health Desk
7:15 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Shutdown Stalls Inspections Of Some Medical Facilities

Credit http://www.idph.state.il.us

Illinois officials are scaling back on certain hospital and nursing home inspections because of the partial federal government shutdown.

The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports a state agency gets about $1.3 million a month to pay for inspections of medical facilities.

But the shutdown means the money isn't heading to Illinois. So the Illinois Department of Public Health has put certain inspections on hiatus.

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Shots - Health News
5:57 am
Fri October 11, 2013

What Humans Can Learn From A Simple Kiss

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 12:14 pm

At a basic level, kissing is a biohazard. What is love then, if not the willingness to expose yourself to a host of nasty diseases lurking in your partner's mouth?

But could kissing also be a tool with a purpose?

Psychology graduate student Rafael Wlodarski, from the University of Oxford, wanted to find out. Results from his experiments supported two of the existing hypotheses about why we kiss. First, we kiss to assess potential mates. Second, we kiss the mate we've found to maintain attachment.

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Around the Nation
3:02 am
Fri October 11, 2013

California's Health Exchange Rollout Is Off To A Good Start

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 9:58 am

California opted to run its own health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act. That makes it one of only 16 states and Washington, D.C. to do so. Enrollment is going well, but some trained outreach workers are still waiting to be put to work.

Around the Nation
3:02 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Web Glitches Hinder Mississippians Signing Up For Insurance

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 10:02 am

Transcript

JEFFREY HESS, BYLINE: I'm Jeffrey Hess in Jackson, Mississippi which is one of the 34 states letting the federal government take the lead in establishing a health insurance exchange. Heavy web traffic and software problems have made it nearly impossible to use the new web site since it opened last week.

MEREDITH STARK: Why I keep trying is because this is something we need.

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Shots - Health News
5:42 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Shutdown Imperils Costly Lab Mice, Years Of Research

Bob Adams is a lab animal veterinarian at Johns Hopkins University.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 7:33 pm

The government shutdown is likely to mean an early death for thousands of mice used in research on diseases such as diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer's.

Federal research centers including the National Institutes of Health will have to kill some mice to avoid overcrowding, researchers say. Others will die because it is impossible to maintain certain lines of genetically altered mice without constant monitoring by scientists. And most federal scientists have been banned from their own labs since Oct. 1.

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The Salt
3:40 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Starbucks Pours Money, And Health Hype, Into Pricey Juice

Starbucks'-owned Evolution Fresh says its method of processing juice delivers more of the flavor and nutrients of raw fruits and vegetables.
Courtesy of Starbucks

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 2:17 pm

Most Americans don't get the 4 to 6.5 cups of fruits and vegetables we're supposed to consume every day, per government guidelines. But companies that make juice, especially high-end, "fresh" juice, are ready to come to our rescue.

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