Health

Health
3:30 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Best To Not Sweat The Small Stuff, Because It Could Kill You

Keith Negley for NPR

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 8:21 am

Chronic stress is hazardous to health and can lead to early death from heart disease, cancer and of other health problems. But it turns out it doesn't matter whether the stress comes from major events in life or from minor problems. Both can be deadly.

And it may be that it's not the stress from major life events like divorce, illness and job loss trickled down to everyday life that gets you; it's how you react to the smaller, everyday stress.

The most stressed-out people have the highest risk of premature death, according to one study that followed 1,293 men for years.

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Health
4:15 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Will Obama's Plan Bring The Ebola Outbreak Under Control?

President Obama meets with Emory University doctors and health care workers during his visit Tuesday to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 12:37 am

It is the biggest anti-Ebola effort yet.

After months of calls by aid workers for the global community to do something about the escalating crisis, President Obama has announced plans for a massive international intervention.

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Health
3:38 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Too Few University Jobs For America's Young Scientists

Victoria Ruiz (left), a postdoctoral fellow in immunology, works with Brianna Delgado, a high school student that she mentors, at the Blaser Lab, inside NYU's Langone Medical Center in New York, NY.
Ramsay de Give for NPR

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 8:21 pm

Imagine a job where about half of all the work is being done by people who are in training. That's, in fact, what happens in the world of biological and medical research.

In the United States, more than 40,000 temporary employees known as postdoctoral research fellows are doing science at a bargain price. And most postdocs are being trained for jobs that don't actually exist.

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Health
3:30 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Changing Tack, GOP Candidates Support Over-The-Counter Birth Control

iStockPhoto

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 2:32 pm

A string of Republican candidates for Senate are supporting an issue usually associated with Democrats: easier access to contraception.

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Health
4:03 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Rare Virus Has Sickened Hundreds More Children, Hospitals Say

PCR tests like this can tell if a virus is an enterovirus, but they can't ID the new virus that has caused a surge in serious respiratory infections.
BSIP / Science Source

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 5:33 pm

Just 82 children have confirmed cases of enterovirus-D68, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but hospitals around the country say they are treating hundreds more children who have been sickened by the rare virus.

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Health
1:32 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Some Things You Can Do In Your Sleep, Literally

After people learned to sort words while awake, their brains were able to do the same task while asleep.
Courtesy of Current Biology, Kouider et al.

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 11:23 am

For those who find themselves sleeping through work — you may one day find yourself working through sleep.

People who are fast asleep can correctly respond to simple verbal instructions, according to a study by researchers in France. They think this may help explain why you might wake if someone calls your name or why your alarm clock is more likely to rouse you than any other noise.

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Health
8:42 am
Wed September 10, 2014

How Could A Doctor's Death From Ebola Possibly Be 'Good'?

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 2:57 pm

Here are three words you don't often see in close proximity: Good. Death. Ebola.

Yet there they stand, united in the headline for an essay in the New England Journal of Medicine this month: "A Good Death: Ebola and Sacrifice."

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Health
3:49 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

U.S. Doctor Didn't Treat Ebola Patients Yet Still Caught The Virus

Dr. Rick Sacra, who had worked in Liberia in previous years, went back in August to tend to pregnant women and to children. The 51-year-old Massachusetts family physician is the third American to contract the Ebola virus.
Courtesy of SIM

Christian aid group SIM has identified the third American to catch the disease as Dr. Rick Sacra.

The 51-year-old family physician from Massachusetts has been working on and off in Liberia with his wife, Debbie, since 1995. He joined SIM in the late '80s and between 2008 and 2010 was the acting medical director at the group's ELWA Hospital in Monrovia. He had previously served as the group's Liberia director for several years.

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Health
5:14 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Double Mastectomies Don't Yield Expected Results, Study Finds

Double mastectomy has become increasingly popular as a breast cancer treatment, but it may not reduce cancer risk.
Sladjana Lukic iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 2:30 pm

More women are choosing to have bilateral mastectomies when they are diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, even though there's little evidence that removing both breasts improves their survival compared with more conservative treatments.

The biggest study yet on the question has found no survival benefit with bilateral mastectomy compared with breast-conserving surgery with radiation.

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Health
3:29 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Rats! New York City Tries To Drain Rodent 'Reservoirs'

New Yorkers can take city-run classes to learn how to make their homes and businesses less attractive to these guys.
Ludovic Bertron Flickr

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 8:00 am

New York City is launching the latest salvo in its never-ending war on rats.

City officials are ramping up efforts to teach regular New Yorkers how to make their streets, businesses and gardens less hospitable to rodents — in other words, to see their neighborhood the way a health inspector would.

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Health
4:16 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Scentless: Losing Your Sense Of Smell May Make Life Riskier

If you can't smell this, you could be in big trouble.
Henrik Sorensen Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 2:55 pm

Losing your sense of smell may not sound like a big deal, but it can increase your risk of injury, researchers say. Without the sniffer serving as early warning system, it can be hard to know if the pan is burning on the stove or the chicken has gone bad.

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Health
4:12 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

They Are The Body Collectors: A Perilous Job In The Time Of Ebola

A team of body collectors carry the corpse of a woman suspected of dying of Ebola in Monrovia, Liberia's capital.
Tommy Trenchard for NPR

Originally published on Wed December 31, 2014 10:40 am

"When I wake up in the morning, I will pray to God to give me strength and focus," says 21-year-old Sorie Fofana.

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Health
5:12 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Life After Ice Buckets: ALS Group Faces $94 Million Challenge

Bill Gates, Martha Stewart, LeBron James, Lindsay Lohan, Kermit the Frog and Conan O'Brien all got icily drenched for charity.
via YouTube

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 7:29 pm

The ALS ice bucket challenge continues to bring in huge donations this summer for efforts to cure and treat what's commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. As of today, the viral campaign has raised more than $94 million for the ALS Association. That's compared with $2.7 million raised by the group during the same time last year.

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Health
4:07 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

How Ebola Kills You: It's Not The Virus

Lisa Brown for NPR

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 11:49 am

Ebola has a nasty reputation for the way it damages the body. It's rightfully earned.

"At the end stage of the disease, you have small leaks in blood vessels," says Thomas Geisbert, an immunologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. "You end up with essentially no blood pressure. Your body temperature drops and you go into shock."

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Health
11:51 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Health Organizations Call For A Ban On E-Cigarettes Indoors

A woman smokes an electronic cigarette at a store in Miami.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 2:59 pm

Tobacco control advocates disagree on whether e-cigarettes are a useful tool to get smokers off tobacco, or just a sleeker form of one of the world's deadliest addictions.

A lot of that discord comes from the fact that there's just not enough science to know the risks and benefits of e-cigarettes, which deliver nicotine in a vapor rather than through tobacco smoke. And it could take years to find out if vaping causes cancer and other deadly diseases.

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Health
9:16 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Insurers Refuse To Cover Some Contraceptives, Despite Health Law

The NuvaRing contraceptive ring can be used monthly to prevent pregnancy.
Sandy Huffaker Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 8:54 am

How much leeway do employers and insurers have in deciding whether they'll cover contraceptives without charge and in determining which methods make the cut?

Not much, as it turns out, but that hasn't stopped some from trying.

People still write in regularly describing battles they're waging to get birth control coverage they're entitled to under the Affordable Care Act.

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Health
9:23 am
Wed August 20, 2014

What Kids' Drawings Say About Their Future Thinking Skills

Researchers asked 4-year-olds to draw a child. Here's a sample of their artwork.
Twins Early Development Study/King's College in London

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 8:54 am

At age 4, many young children are just beginning to explore their artistic style.

The kid I used to babysit in high school preferred self-portraits, undoubtedly inspired by the later works of Joan Miro. My cousin, a prolific young artist, worked almost exclusively on still lifes of 18-wheelers.

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Health
3:38 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Pittsburgh Health Care Giants Take Fight To Each Other's Turf

The headquarters for University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield dominate the Pittsburgh skyline much as they organizations have dominated health care in the region for decades.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 10:47 am

Pittsburgh's dominant health insurance company and its largest healthcare provider are, essentially, getting a divorce.

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Health
3:35 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Mental Health Cops Help Reweave Social Safety Net In San Antonio

Officers Ned Bandoske (left) and Ernest Stevens are part of San Antonio's mental health squad — a six-person unit that answers the frequent emergency calls where mental illness may play a role.
Jenny Gold Kaiser Health News

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 12:08 pm

It's almost 4 p.m., and police officers Ernest Stevens and Ned Bandoske have been driving around town in their unmarked black SUV since early this morning. The officers are part of San Antonio's mental health squad — a six-person unit that answers the frequent emergency calls where mental illness may be an issue.

The officers spot a call for help on their laptop from a group home across town.

"A male individual put a blanket on fire this morning," Stevens reads from the blotter. "He's arguing ... and is a danger to himself and others. He's off his medications."

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Health
7:16 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Experimental Vaccine For Chikungunya Passes First Test

Marqui Ducarme is aided by his wife after catching chikungunya at his home in Port-au-Prince, May 23. The virus swept through Haiti this spring, infecting more than 40,000 people.
Marie Arago Reuters/Landov

Scientists have taken the first steps to developing a vaccine for chikungunya — an emerging mosquito-borne virus that has infected more than a half million people in the Western Hemisphere this year. About 600 Americans have brought the virus to 43 states.

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