Camden, N.J., has serious health problems, with too many people going to local emergency rooms unnecessarily. But progress is being made, albeit slowly.
John Pike, 53, is a Camden resident who used to be a frequent flier at the ER.
Pike has a smoker's cough, and when that cough or pain in his bad hip flared up, he'd go to the ER — maybe eight or nine times a year. But when he did, ER staffers didn't really remember him or his medical history.
President Obama has announced an ambitious plan to explore the mysteries of the human brain.
In a speech Tuesday, Obama said he will ask Congress for $100 million in 2014 to "better understand how we think and how we learn and how we remember." Other goals include finding new treatments for Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy and traumatic brain injury.
Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 1:32 pm
Last week, scientists announced they had sequenced the full genome of the most widely used human cell line in biology, the "HeLa" cells, and published the results on the web. But the descendents of the woman from whom the cells originated were never consulted before the genetic information was made public, and thus never gave their consent to its release.
Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 12:02 pm
The U.S. is slowly but steadily closing in on tuberculosis.
For the first time since the government started tracking the disease in the 1950s, the number of annual TB cases has dropped below 10,000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 10:36 am
Nothing sends more kids to the hospital than asthma.
So when doctors at Children's Hospital in Boston noticed they kept seeing an unusually high number of asthmatic kids from certain low-income neighborhoods, they wondered if they could do something about the environment these kids were living in.
Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 9:47 am
Wisconsin has the highest number of binge drinkers in the nation — one in four adults. And binge drinking — defined as five or more alcoholic drinks in a short period of time for men, and four for women — cost the state $6.8 billion in 2012.
That breaks down to about $1,200 per person in higher taxes, more health care, and other costs, according to a new study from the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.
Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 12:05 pm
If aging is not for sissies, that's especially true if you're homeless. You can be on your feet for hours, or forced to sleep in the frigid cold or seriously ill with no place to go. But, increasingly, the nation's homeless population is getting older. By some estimates, more than half of single homeless adults are 47 or older.
And there's growing alarm about what this means — both for the aging homeless and for those who have to foot the bill. The cost to society, especially for health care and social services, could mushroom.
Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 10:44 am
There's a kind of rice growing in some test plots in the Philippines that's unlike any rice ever seen before. It's yellow. Its backers call it "golden rice." It's been genetically modified so that it contains beta-carotene, the source of vitamin A.
Bacon and bologna are hardly health food. But a huge new study offers the strongest evidence yet that eating processed meat boosts the risk of the two big killers, cancer and heart disease.
A multinational group of scientists tracked the health and eating habits of bacon-loving Brits, wurst-munching Germans, jamon aficionados in Spain, as well as residents of seven other European countries — almost a half-million people in all.
Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 4:34 pm
Federal officials warned Tuesday that an especially dangerous group of superbugs has become a significant health problem in hospitals throughout the United States.
These germs, known as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, have become much more common in the last decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the risk they pose to health is becoming evident.
Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 4:35 pm
Scientists believe a little girl born with HIV has been cured of the infection.
She's the first child and only the second person in the world known to have been cured since the virus touched off a global pandemic nearly 32 years ago.
Doctors aren't releasing the child's name, but we know she was born in Mississippi and is now 2 1/2 years old — and healthy. Scientists presented details of the case Sunday at a scientific conference in Atlanta.
Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 12:12 pm
Robert Lustig wants to convince the world that sugar is making us very sick. And lately he's turned to an unconventional field – econometrics – to do it.
Lustig rounded up statisticians and epidemiologists to look at the relationship between food and diabetes risk. The paper, published this week in the journal PLoS One, found that the more sugar on the market in 175 countries, the higher the country's diabetes rate.
When NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health asked parents and caregivers in our new poll whether getting a good night's sleep is important, families overwhelmingly told us that sleep is a high priority.
But almost all said that it's difficult to pull off. And studies suggest this is especially true for teenagers.