Health

Health
12:13 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Heat Wave Safety Tips from NOAA & The American Red Cross

Today's forecast calls for a heat index around 101 degrees. Here are some tips from NOAA for staying safe during extreme heat conditions:
 

  • Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening.

 

  • To reduce risk of heat related illnesses during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recomends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air conditioned environments.

 

Read more
Health
4:57 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Microbe Transplants Treat Some Diseases That Drugs Can't Fix

Billie Iverson, 86, of Cranston, R.I., recently underwent a transplant of intestinal microbes that likely saved her life.
Ryan T. Conaty for NPR

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 5:20 pm

Billie Iverson may be getting up there, but for an 86-year-old, she's still plenty active.

"I take trips, and I go do my own shopping, and I take myself to the doctor," Iverson says. "I do everything. I don't let anything stop me."

But one day, she got hit with something she'd never experienced — the worst case of the runs ever.

For days at a time, off and on for weeks, the problem kept coming back. Iverson eventually got so weak, she ended up in a nursing home.

"I just thought maybe I wasn't going to make it," she says. "I thought I was going to die."

Read more
Health
6:55 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

E-Cigarettes May Match The Patch In Helping Smokers Quit

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 10:18 am

Electronic cigarettes are sparking lots of skepticism from public health types worried they may be a gateway to regular smoking.

But the cigarettes, which use water vapor to deliver nicotine into the lungs, may be as good as the patch when it comes to stop-smoking aids, a study finds.

Smokers who used e-cigarettes in an attempt to quit the old-fashioned kind of cigarettes did about as well at stopping smoking as the people who tried the patch.

After six months, 7.3 percent of e-smokers had dropped cigarettes, compared to 5.8 percent of people wearing the patch.

Read more
Health
2:54 am
Fri September 6, 2013

After A Decade, Congress Moves To Fix Doctors' Medicare Pay

I think I see the problem.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 7:59 am

Hear the words health care and Congress, and you think fight, right?

And you'd be forgiven, particularly because the House has now voted some 40 times in the past two years to repeal or otherwise undo portions of the Affordable Care Act.

Read more
Health
10:28 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Parents' Harsh Words Might Make Teen Behaviors Worse

Sure you're steamed. But teenagers tend to meet harsh words with even worse behavior, a study says.
Katherine Streeter

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 1:56 pm

Most parents yell at their kids at some point. It often feels like the last option for getting children to pay attention and shape up.

But harsh verbal discipline may backfire. Teenagers act worse if they're yelled at, a study finds.

Researchers asked parents of 13-year-olds in the Philadelphia area how often in the past year they'd yelled, cursed or called the kid "dumb or lazy or some other word like that" after he or she had done something wrong.

Read more
Health
5:40 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Multitasking After 60: Video Game Boosts Focus, Mental Agility

Strenuous mental exercise like reading difficult books, solving tricky math problems — or, maybe, playing the right video game — can help keep a healthy brain sharp, research suggests.
Images.com/Corbis

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 5:22 pm

A brain that trains can stay in the fast lane. That's the message of a study showing that playing a brain training video game for a month can rejuvenate the multitasking abilities of people in their 60s, 70s and 80s.

"After training, they improved their multitasking beyond the level of 20-year-olds," says Adam Gazzaley, one of the study's authors and a brain scientist at the University of California, San Francisco.

Read more
Health
3:43 am
Wed September 4, 2013

For Hospital Patients, Observation Status Can Prove Costly

The next bed could cost you a lot if the hospital says you're there on observation.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 9:25 am

If you're on Medicare and you're in the hospital for a few days, you may think you're an inpatient. The hospital may have other ideas. Increasingly, hospitals are placing older patients on "observation status." They may be there for days, but technically they're still outpatients.

This is a big deal for someone on Medicare because follow-up treatment in a nursing home isn't covered unless someone has been an inpatient for at least three days. That's leaving some seniors on the hook for thousands of dollars in nursing home bills.

Read more
Health
3:03 pm
Mon September 2, 2013

Enough With Baby Talk; Infants Learn From Lemur Screeches, Too

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 9:26 am

New research suggests that 3-month-old human babies can use lemur calls as teaching aids. The findings hint at a deep biological connection between language and learning.

Read more
Health
3:06 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Money May Be Motivating Doctors To Do More C-Sections

Pregnant doctors are less likely than other women to deliver their babies via C-section, recent research suggests. Economists say that may be because the physician patients feel more empowered to question the obstetrician.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 8:57 am

Obstetricians perform more cesarean sections when there are financial incentives to do so, according to a new study that explores links between economic incentives and medical decision-making during childbirth.

Read more
Health
11:07 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Taking A Closer Look At Milgram's Shocking Obedience Study

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 6:39 pm

Read more
Health
1:12 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Diverse Gut Microbes, A Trim Waistline And Health Go Together

The tale of the tape may be told, in part, by the microbes inside you.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 6:39 pm

Scientists have discovered new clues about how microbes in our digestive systems may affect health.

European researchers found that the less diverse those microbes are, the more likely people are to gain weight, become obese and develop risk factors for serious health problems.

Evidence has been mounting in recent years that bacteria and other organisms in our bodies do a lot more than just help us digest food.

Read more
Health
3:58 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Patients Love A Gentler Approach To Surgery, But Surgeons Balk

We know you'd rather skip the fasting and bowel prep. But that's the way we've always done it.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 4:37 pm

Surgery can be a necessary misery, endured in hope of health.

But what if you took away the misery, and kept the benefits?

When hospitals quit subjecting patients to prolonged fasting, nasogastric tubes, abdominal drains, and other commonplaces of surgical care, a study finds, patients feel less pain and recover faster.

Read more
Health
12:46 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

More Stroke Patients Now Get Clot-Busting Drug

A brain scan followed by quick drug treatment in the right patients can stop a stroke in its tracks.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 12:14 pm

It's been a long and often controversial road, but U.S. doctors are finally embracing a drug that can halt strokes and prevent disabling brain damage.

An analysis of more than 1 million stroke patients shows that use of the 17-year-old drug, called alteplase (brand-name Activase), nearly doubled between 2003 and 2011.

Read more
Health
12:17 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

For Kids With Special Needs, More Places To Play

Brooklyn Fisher rolls down the ramp on the playground named for her in Pocatello, Idaho. The playground was built using accessible features so children of all abilities could play alongside each other.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 6:31 pm

Remember running around the playground when you were a kid? Maybe hanging from the monkey bars or seeing who could swing the highest?

It wasn't just a mindless energy burn. Many have called play the work of childhood. Play teaches children how to make friends, make rules and navigate relationships.

But for kids whose disabilities keep them from using playgrounds, those opportunities can be lost.

Read more
Health
3:45 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Sweet Cigarillos And Cigars Lure Youths To Tobacco, Critics Say

Candy-flavored cigars like these in a shop in Albany, N.Y., are the focus of efforts to restrict sales of sweet-flavored tobacco.
Hans Pennink Associated Press

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 2:56 pm

The good news: Cigarette sales are down by about a third over the past decade. Not so for little cigars and cigarillos. Their sales more than doubled over the same time period, in large part owing to the growing popularity of these little cigars among teenagers and 20-somethings.

The appeal among young people has lots to do with the large variety of candylike flavors in the little cigars, according to Jennifer Cantrell, director of research and evaluation at the anti-tobacco Legacy Foundation.

Read more
Health
10:37 am
Thu August 22, 2013

'Why This Compulsion To Run Long Distances?' A Runner's Beautiful Confession

From Racing the Antelope

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 1:50 pm

Biologist Bernd Heinrich was in Zimbabwe, in the field, eyes down, looking for beetles, when for no particular reason he looked up and saw ... well, at first he wasn't sure what it was, so he stepped closer, leaned in, and there, painted on the underside of large protruding rock, were five human figures "running in one direction, from left to right across the rock face." They weren't very detailed, just "small, sticklike human figures in clear running stride" painted by a Bushman, two, maybe three thousand years ago.

Read more
Health
4:09 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Kids Involved in Bullying Grow Up To Be Poorer, Sicker Adults

It hurts now. And it hurts later, too.
iStockphoto.com

Bullied children and kids who bully others have more health problems when they grow up than kids who aren't part of the bullying cycle, a study finds. They're also more likely to have financial problems, including difficulty keeping a job.

The findings run counter to a still-widespread notion that bullying is a childhood rite of passage with little lasting harm, the researchers say.

Read more
Health
5:54 am
Sat August 17, 2013

How Many Cups Of Coffee Per Day Are Too Many?

A barista makes coffee using the pour-over method at Artifact Coffee in Baltimore.
NPR Benjamin Morris

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 11:40 am

That morning cup of Joe is a daily, practically sacred ritual for many of us.

Read more
Health
2:16 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Chronic Insomnia? Hitting The Treadmill Could Help ... Eventually

Can't sleep? Run down? Keep exercising.
CSA_Images iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 10:32 am

Studies on exercise and sleep come up with the same conclusion time after time: If you want to hit the hay earlier and sleep better, get a good cardio workout.

But if you're already sleep-deprived, don't expect a 30-minute run or stint on the elliptical to knock you out quicker tonight.

The sleep-boosting effects of exercise can take a few months to kick in for people who suffer insomnia, scientists report Thursday in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

Read more
Health
10:01 am
Thu August 15, 2013

A Safety Checklist To Save Teen Athletes' Lives

Ray Copeland, a football coach at Bishop McGuinness High School, puts his players through a workout in Oklahoma City in 2007. As is often the case in much of the U.S., the first day of high school football practice that year began in a heat wave.
AP

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 8:03 am

For all the benefits of exercise and teamwork to the heart and head, high school athletes still lead the nation in athletics-related deaths. And it doesn't have to be that way, sports medicine specialists say.

Read more

Pages