Health Desk

TED Radio Hour
8:21 am
Fri November 21, 2014

How Can We Find More Time To Be Still?

"In an age of constant movement, nothing is so urgent as sitting still." -Pico Iyer
Ryan Lash TED

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 10:50 am

Part 6 of the TED Radio Hour episode Quiet

About Pico Iyer's TED Talk

Pico Iyer says sitting still and reflecting is hard work. But we bring so much more to our experiences, and relationships when we make time to think.

About Pico Iyer

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TED Radio Hour
8:21 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Why Do We Undervalue Introverts?

"What I'm saying is that culturally we need a much better balance. We need more of a yin and yang between [introverts and extroverts]." - Susan Cain
James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Quiet.

About Susan Cain's TED Talk

In a culture where being social and outgoing are celebrated, it can be difficult to be an introvert. Susan Cain argues introverts bring extraordinary talents to the world, and should be celebrated.

About Susan Cain

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Africa
4:08 am
Fri November 21, 2014

In Liberia, A New Focus On Tracking Down Rural Ebola Cases

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 5:06 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
3:19 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Blind From Birth, But Able To Use Sound To 'See' Faces

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 1:04 pm

A brain area that recognizes faces remains functional even in people who have been blind since birth, researchers say. The finding, presented at the Society for Neuroscience meeting this week, suggests that facial recognition is so important that evolution has hardwired it into the human brain.

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The Salt
5:30 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Moderate Drinker Or Alcoholic? Many Americans Fall In Between

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 8:49 am

A lot of us make the assumption that there are two kinds of drinkers: moderate drinkers who have a glass of wine with dinner, and on the other end of the spectrum, alcoholics.

But this is not an accurate picture, according to researchers.

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Goats and Soda
4:30 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

The Whole World Is Fat! And That Ends Up Costing $2 Trillion A Year

This Chinese teenager weighs 353 pounds. At a "slimming center" in China's central Hubei province, he's exercising and undergoing acupuncture to lose weight.
Color China AP

Originally published on Sun November 30, 2014 4:37 pm

Obesity used to be an issue primarily in well-off countries. It was one of those things flippantly dismissed as a "first-world problem." Now people are packing on the pounds all over the planet. In some fast-growing cities in China, for example, half the people are now overweight.

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
4:17 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Debate: Should Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?

Bioethicist Peter Singer argues that, under certain circumstances, people should have the right to die at a time of their choosing.
Samuel La Hoz Intelligence Squared U.S.

Since Oregon legalized physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill in 1997, more than 700 people have taken their lives with prescribed medication — including Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old with an incurable brain tumor, who ended her life earlier this month.

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The Two-Way
3:51 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

White House Acknowledges Over-Counting Obamacare Signups

The White House acknowledged today that it overreported the number of signups under the Affordable Care Act by nearly 400,000 people.

Some people with separate medical and dental plans were counted twice, leading the administration to state erroneously that more than 7 million had enrolled in coverage under ACA, instead of the correct figure of about 6.7 million.

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Shots - Health News
2:51 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

What Diabetes Costs You, Even If You Don't Have The Disease

The costs of diabetes aren't all as obvious as an insulin pump.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 1:04 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.

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The Two-Way
2:29 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Keep Your Head Up: 'Text Neck' Takes A Toll On The Spine

Courtesy of Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 3:12 pm

"Text neck," the posture formed by leaning over a cellphone while reading and texting, is a big problem, according to the author of a newly published study in the National Library of Medicine.

Kenneth K. Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine, says the bad posture can put up to 60 pounds of pressure on the upper spine — sometimes for several hours a day, depending on how often people look at their devices.

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Health Desk
2:12 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

New Efforts To Track Antibiotic Resistance

Credit Courtesy of SIU School of Medicine

This week is "Get Smart about Antibiotics Week." It's meant to address the fact that a large amount of antibiotics are used inappropriately, which can lead to what are known as "super bugs".

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Goats and Soda
1:54 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Indian Shopkeepers Greet Wal-Mart's Expansion Plans With Protests

Protesters gather outside Wal-Mart's offices in Gurgaon, India. Their demand: Wal-Mart should build its stores far from markets where they work.
Rhitu Chatterjee for NPR

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 3:39 pm

A few hundred hawkers and street vendors gathered Wednesday on the side of a dusty, busy road in the northern Indian city of Gurgaon, a few miles from the capital, New Delhi. Some wore black headbands with "No Wal-Mart" signs. Others carried banners that said "Stop uprooting hawkers and vendors."

The crowd of protesters walked down the road to the Indian headquarters of Wal-Mart, located in one of many modern, multistoried buildings. They stood outside, chanting "Wal-Mart, down, down!" "Wal-Mart, come to your senses!"

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Shots - Health News
10:59 am
Thu November 20, 2014

How Well Do Your Apps Protect Your Privacy?

Google Maps scored an A on PrivacyGrade.org.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 7:21 am

When you open up your Skype app to make a call, it's probably no surprise that it's accessing your phone's call history. But would you expect your Nike+ Running app to collect that information too?

If you're like most people, the answer is no.

That's why the Nike+ Running app gets a B on PrivacyGrade, a site for people to figure out what information their apps might be collecting. Right now it only looks at Android apps, but the site already lists hundreds of them from Google Maps to Instagram to WebMD.

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The Salt
10:36 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Soda Companies Step Up Their Marketing To Black And Latino Kids

Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 2:06 pm

While beverage companies have cut their marketing of unhealthy drinks to children on TV and websites overall, they have ramped up marketing to black and Latino kids and teens, who have higher rates of obesity than white youth, a study finds.

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Shots - Health News
10:25 am
Thu November 20, 2014

A Worry In Theory, Medical Data Privacy Draws A Yawn In Practice

How concerned are people about the privacy of their medical information? The NPR-Truven Health Analytics Health Poll found worries were low.
NPR

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 1:01 pm

When it comes to health records, how concerned are Americans about what happens to their personal information?

We asked in the latest NPR-Truven Health Analytics Health Poll. And, in a bit of surprise to me, the responses showed that, in general, worries don't run very high.

First, we learned that nearly three-quarters of people see doctors who use electronic medical records. So the chances are good that your medical information is being kept digitally and that it can be served up to lots of people inside your doctor's office and elsewhere.

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Goats and Soda
9:42 am
Thu November 20, 2014

An NPR Photographer Looks Ebola In The Eye

Baby Sesay, a traditional healer in Sierra Leone, treated a child who later died, apparently of Ebola, and then became sick herself and went to a care center. As this photo was taken, her body seized up and she nearly collapsed.
David P Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 12:06 pm

Her eyes met the camera. She was there. And yet she wasn't there.

That's how NPR photographer David Gilkey remembers the moment last Saturday when he took a picture of Baby Sesay, a 45-year-old traditional healer in the village of Royail in Sierra Leone.

Sesay had tried to cure a sick little boy. The boy died, likely of Ebola. Then Sesay herself fell ill. She had come to a community care center a few hours earlier, walking in under her own power, to be tested for the virus.

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Shots - Health News
8:56 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Sleep's Link To Learning And Memory Traced To Brain Chemistry

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 4:23 pm

Almost a century after the discovery that sleep helps us remember things, scientists are beginning to understand why.

During sleep, the brain produces chemicals that are important to memory and relives events we want to remember, scientists reported this week at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington D.C.

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Shots - Health News
3:09 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Gilead Buys Shortcut For FDA Drug Review For $125 Million

Drew Kilb/Duke University's Fuqua School of Business

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 9:38 am

How much is a fast track for the Food and Drug Administration review of a new drug worth? Try $125 million.

In an auction, Gilead Sciences, a maker of HIV and hepatitis medicines, just bought a coupon good for the accelerated review of a drug of the company's choice from Knight Therapeutics, a Canadian company.

The priority review voucher entitles Gilead to move a drug of its choice through the FDA four months faster than the normal track.

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Goats and Soda
1:22 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Me, Myself And The Loo: A Woman's Future Can Rest On A Toilet

"Parents enroll their kids here because of our child-friendly toilets," says Eunice, the co-founder of a Kenyan school with latrines designed specially for kids.
Frederic Courbet WSUP/Panos

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 1:49 pm

What does it mean to have a toilet?

We in the West don't spend much time pondering that question (on or off the toilet).

"It's something that's always in the background that keeps everything else moving," says Sam Drabble of Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), a London-based nonprofit. "It allows us to live very busy lives, and it's not something we ever need to think about."

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Goats and Soda
10:43 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Toilets 'R' Him: Jack Sim Wants A Potty In Every Pad

Jack Sim, the founder of World Toilet Day, travels the world promoting access to safe and clean toilets.
John Poole/Ryan Kellman NPR

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 12:02 pm

Jack Sim's career is in the toilet — literally.

The 57-year-old Singaporean made his fortune in the construction industry when he was in his 40s. And he wanted to make a meaningful contribution to the world.

Sim tried his hand at saving historic buildings and answering phone calls from people in distress, but neither felt right. "I was looking for something that was neglected and able to serve large number of people," he says.

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Shots - Health News
10:21 am
Wed November 19, 2014

You Can Monitor Your Baby's Vital Signs 24/7, But Should You?

The Owlet, which is not yet on the market, is designed to measure a baby's heart rate and blood oxygen levels.
Courtesy of Owlet Care

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 4:23 pm

I'm sure I'm not the only parent who has hovered over a newborn's crib, wondering, "Is she breathing?" Tech companies are now offering to help parents manage that anxiety with devices that monitor a baby's vital signs and beam them to a smartphone.

But that might not be such a good idea, according to Dr. David King, a pediatric researcher at the University of Sheffield. He first heard baby vital signs monitors being discussed on the radio, and "I suspected there wasn't much evidence behind it, because I knew cardiovascular monitoring wasn't recommended in SIDS."

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Shots - Health News
7:59 am
Wed November 19, 2014

6 Pitfalls To Avoid When Picking Insurance On The Job

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 9:27 am

You don't get a pass this year on big health insurance decisions because you're not shopping in an Affordable Care Act marketplace. Employer medical plans — where most working-age folks get coverage — are changing too.

Rising costs, a looming tax on rich benefits packages and the idea that people should buy medical treatment the way they shop for cellphones have increased odds that workplace plans will be very different in 2015.

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Goats and Soda
6:03 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Take The Plunge Into World Toilet Day

Wilbur Sargunaraj "How to Use An Eastern Toilet" from YouTube
Wilbur World Wide

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 9:15 am

Today is a day to celebrate the wonders of the toilet — and to make a commitment to bringing toilets to all those in need. In case you're wondering, there are 2.5 billion people who are toiletless.

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Global Health
6:01 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Bloodmobiles To Collect Plasma From West Africa's Ebola Survivors

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 8:02 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Goats and Soda
7:01 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

India Quarantines Ebola Survivor Because Of Infectious Semen

India has record no Ebola cases, but the country is on high alert and has quarantined hundreds of travelers from West Africa. This hospital in New Delhi has set up an Intensive Care Unit for potential Ebola patients.
Sajjad Hussain AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 7:15 pm

The headlines circulating on the Web Tuesday may have given you pause: "India's First Ebola Patient Has Been Quarantined," Time Magazine wrote on its website. "Man tests positive for Ebola, kept under isolation," Press Trust of India declared.

But those headlines don't tell the full story.

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Global Health
5:16 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

The Best Prescription For Improving The Poor's Health? Cold Hard Cash

A man carries old plastic containers in March 2012 through the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya. Kenyans living in poverty often collect plastics that they can turn into cash by taking it to companies that recycle it.
Carl de Souza AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 5:41 pm

What if, the next time you went to the doctor, instead of a prescription for blood thinners you got one for cash? What if you walked out the door with $1,000 in your pocket instead of paying a copay?

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Goats and Soda
4:24 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Aid Groups See A Drop-Off In U.S. Health Volunteers To Fight Ebola

Nurses Bridget Mulrooney and Kelly Suter volunteered to work for the International Medical Corps at an Ebola treatment unit in Liberia. IMC is reporting a drop-off in recruits this fall.
Stuart J. Sia International Medical Corps

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 3:14 pm

The federal agency that oversees many American healthcare workers volunteering in Ebola-stricken regions of West Africa says there's been a significant decline in the number of people who are willing to go. International aid groups attribute that drop to the mandatory quarantine rules implemented by New York and New Jersey last month.

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Health Care
4:05 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Americans Think Ebola Is A Top Health Care Problem

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 5:32 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Goats and Soda
4:05 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Dangerous Deliveries: Ebola Leaves Moms And Babies Without Care

A woman enters the Ebola treatment center at the Island Hospital outside of Monrovia, Liberia, Oct. 6. She said she was bleeding heavily from a miscarriage and was turned away from other clinics in the city.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 10:24 am

For more than two decades, Lucy Barh has been helping women deliver babies. Even during Liberia's violent civil war, when other midwives left, Barh stuck around.

But none of this prepared her for a patient she saw a few months ago.

"I was on duty that day when the patient came in," says Barh, at the headquarters of the Liberian Midwives' Association in Monrovia. "We did the examination. She was not in labor."

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Shots - Health News
4:02 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Outreach Workers Look For Gains In Second Year Of Obamacare

Lee Ann Johnson, director of the Missoula Indian Center, encourages Native Americans in Montana to enroll in private coverage through Healthcare.gov at an outreach event on Saturday, November 15.
Eric Whitney

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 7:42 am

With the HealthCare.gov website working for consumers much more smoothly than last year, health officials are focused on reaching out to potential customers.

For starters, they want to people who bought insurance last year to take another look at those plans. And, of course, the exchange wants to bring in new customers who didn't need or skipped insurance last year.

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