Health

Shots - Health Blog
3:32 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Nail Biting: Mental Disorder Or Just A Bad Habit?

Pathological nail biting may be a form of grooming on steroids, but it also makes the biter feel good, unlike fear-driven OCD.
Andrea Kissack for KQED

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 9:54 am

Do you bite your nails? For 30 years, I did. We nail biters can be "pathological groomers" — people for whom normal grooming behaviors, like skin picking or hair pulling, have become virtually uncontrollable.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:33 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

For Best Toilet Health: Squat Or Sit?

A contractor designed the Squatty Potty to help his mother get closer to the squatting position on the john.
Courtesy of Squatty Potty

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 2:50 pm

We at Shots don't shy away from talking about poop, as Michaeleen Doucleff demonstrated last month with her post on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's investment in fake feces.

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The Picture Show
10:29 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Losing 160 Pounds, One Photo At A Time

No. 1 (Wedding Dress)
Courtesy of Julia Kozerski

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 11:23 pm

After her wedding in 2009, artist Julia Kozerski decided to drastically change her lifestyle. She lost 160 pounds in one year — and documented the transition with her iPhone.

Her series — called "Changing Room" — was shot in various dressing rooms in 2010 and 2011. Her body was changing so rapidly that she kept trying on clothes as a way of exploring her identity.

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The Salt
10:35 am
Mon September 17, 2012

U.S. Kids Eat Nearly As Much Salt As Adults, Putting Health At Risk

It's going to take a lot more than emptying the salt shaker to cut back on the sodium U.S. kids are getting.
L. Marie Flickr.com

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:42 pm

Yes, we love salt. It makes everything taste better. But as a society, we're eating way too much of it. And, so are our children.

A new study from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that children in the U.S. between the ages of 8 and 18 are eating, on average, 3,387 mg per day. That's about the same amount as adults. But it's a lot more than the 2,300 mg daily limit recommended by the federal dietary guidelines.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:36 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Teachers' Expectations Can Influence How Students Perform

Teachers interact differently with students expected to succeed. But they can be trained to change those classroom behaviors.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 9:52 am

In my Morning Edition story today, I look at expectations — specifically, how teacher expectations can affect the performance of the children they teach.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:42 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Where Traffic Noise Takes A Toll On Health

How much does noisy traffic in Atlanta affect people's health?
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 11:29 am

Living next to a noisy highway can be annoying. The racket can also disrupt your sleep.

Too many bad nights' sleep can raise the risk of heart attack, high blood pressure and other ailments.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:20 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

More Vaccines Come Without Copays, Unless You're On Medicare

Got Medicare? That vaccination could cost you.
Pamela Moore iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 1:31 pm

The health care overhaul law makes it easier for most people with private insurance to get the vaccines they need without going into their pockets for a copay. Medicare beneficiaries don't get the quite same sweet deal, though.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:24 am
Tue September 11, 2012

Two Mutations Can Transform A Swine Flu Virus

A hog gets a closeup at the Illinois State Fair in August. Officials took special precautions to make sure no livestock sick with a new strain of swine were part of the fair.
Seth Perlman AP

Flu pandemics don't happen very often. So many people might feel the relative fizzle of a flu pandemic three years ago somehow immunizes the globe against another one for awhile.

But don't relax, say the authors of a report published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:06 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

High Blood Pressure: Often Recognized, But Still Poorly Controlled

Knowing your blood pressure is just the beginning.
iStockphoto.com

After decades of encouragement, Americans are getting their blood pressure checked more often.

And there's a little more good news, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most adults with high blood pressure are being treated these days.

But, and you knew there had to be a but, more than half of all Americans with hypertension — about 36 million people, all told — still haven't got it under control.

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Shots - Health Blog
8:46 am
Fri August 31, 2012

Tax Breaks For Organ Donors Aren't Boosting Transplant Supply

A kidney donor is wheeled to an operating room for a transplant at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore in late June.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Seventeen states offer tax incentives to people who donate a kidney, a portion of their liver or bone marrow for transplantation. But a study finds these sweeteners aren't working.

Researchers looked at what happened in the years before and after these tax incentives were passed and found no increase in organ donation rates.

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The Salt
3:04 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Introducing Microgreens: Younger, And Maybe More Nutritious, Vegetables

Brendan Davison grows 11 kinds of microgreens, including arugula and basil, at his Good Water Farms in East Hampton, N.Y.
Lindsay Morris

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 10:33 am

We've come to accept the baby-fication of our vegetables – baby spinach, baby lettuce, and baby squash prized for their tenderness and cute size have staked out territory in the produce section of many a grocery store.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:52 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

Why Does Pregnancy Last 9 Months?

How much longer could Junior really stay in there?
Olivier Lantzendorffer iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 9:42 am

Babies are lovely but altogether helpless creatures.

Wouldn't it be better if tiny humans were born able to walk, like horses, or generally were readier for the rigors of the world, like, say, chimps?

Among primates, human have the least developed brains at birth, at least when compared to adult human brains. If humans were born as far along on cognitive and neurological scales as rough and ready chimps are, though, human pregnancy would have to last at least twice as long. Eighteen months in the womb, anyone?

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Shots - Health Blog
10:10 am
Tue August 28, 2012

An Unloved Subject During Doctor Visits: Men's Sexual Health

We need to talk.
George Peters iStockphoto.com

If men could become pregnant, they'd probably visit the doctor more often.

But without a compelling inducement like contraception to get them in the door, they often miss out on sexual and reproductive health services that could protect not only them but also their partners.

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The Salt
10:32 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Kids Ditching Full-Sugar Soda For Diet Drinks, Just Like Mom And Dad

Even Junior is drinking diet soda now. But is it good for him?
Todd Keith iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 11:00 am

Diet soda, once the soft drink of choice for adults watching their calories, isn't just for grown ups anymore. Increasingly, kids are getting their fix, too.

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Shots - Health Blog
8:07 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Even In Vacation Season, Office Noises Can Sap Your Concentration

What's all that racket?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 11:48 pm

In offices around the country, the ranks of workers are pretty thin as people grab their last moments of summer vacation.

For those of us left to toil in our cubicles, the absence of disruptions might seem like a help for productivity. So why is it still so hard to focus?

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Shots - Health Blog
2:58 am
Fri August 17, 2012

Would Judge Give Psychopath With Genetic Defect Lighter Sentence?

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 11:06 am

In 1991, a man named Stephen Mobley robbed a Domino's pizza in Hall County, Ga., and shot the restaurant manager dead.

Crimes like this happen all the time, but this particular case became a national story, in part because Mobley seemed so proud of his crime. After the robbery, he bragged about the killing and had the Domino's logo tattooed on his back.

But there was another reason Mobley's case became famous.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:36 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

CDC Recommends Hepatitis C Testing For All Boomers

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 6:19 pm

Listen up, baby boomers. The government wants every one of you to get tested for the hepatitis C virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made a sweeping recommendation official amid growing concern about the estimated 2 million boomers infected with the virus, which can cause cirrhosis and liver cancer. The advice was published in the latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:15 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Exposed Nearby City To Little Radiation

Care managers tend elderly people in March 2012 in Minamisoma, Japan. The home's residents were evacuated eight days after the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station was crippled by the March 11, 2011 tsunami.
Koji Sasahara AP

After a tsunami disabled the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant in March of 2011, residents of the nearby city of Minamisoma, just 14 miles from the plant, were evacuated.

But within a few months, most returned to their homes. Still, many communities near the plant have remained skeptical and concerned about possible radiation exposure.

To find out how much radiation exposure these people have received, Japanese researchers measured levels of radioactive cesium in nearly 10,000 residents starting six months after the incident.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:22 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Family's Fight Against Bipolar Disorder Leads To Shock Therapy Success

Linea Johnson, left, and her mother, Cinda, in May 2012 at the launch of their book on the family's struggle with Linea's bipolar disorder.
Tommy Voeten

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 2:56 pm

The Mayo Clinic's confirmation Monday that Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. is receiving care there for bipolar depression is a reminder that the condition, which affects around 2.3 million Americans, can be treated.

But figuring out the right treatment for each patient can be a long and difficult road, as a new memoir called Perfect Chaos: A Daughter's Journey to Survive Bipolar, a Mother's Struggle to Save Her shows.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:30 am
Mon August 13, 2012

Medicaid Fight Reinvigorated With Political Light On Health Care

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., points to piles of the health care overhaul legislation during a markup hearing before the U.S. House Budget Committee last year in Washington, D.C.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 9:57 am

The addition of Rep. Paul Ryan to the GOP ticket is certain to elevate health care as a campaign issue this fall.

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