Health

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Health
4:07 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Obamacare: People With Disabilities Face Complex Choices

Speech-language pathologists Jill Tullman (left) and Mendi Carroll (right) work with Bryce Vernon at Talking with Technology Camp in Empire, Colo., on July 25.
Kristen Kidd KCFR News

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 7:59 am

The Affordable Care Act has set new standards — called essential health benefits — outlining what health insurance companies must now cover. But there's a catch: Insurance firms can still pick and choose, to some degree, which specific therapies they'll cover within some categories of benefit.

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Health
3:00 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Patients Can Pay A High Price For ER Convenience

In case of emergency, go to the strip mall or the hospital?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 7:59 am

Medical entrepreneurs are remaking the emergency room experience. They're pulling the emergency room out of the hospital and planting it in the strip mall.

It's called a "free-standing ER," and some 400 of them have opened across the country in the past four years.

The trend is hot around Houston, where there are already 41 free-standing ERs and 10 more in the works.

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Health
5:03 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Dementia Test Tweaked For Gen X: Hirohito Out, Oprah In

Is Oprah Winfrey a celebrity for the ages?
Surian Soosay Flickr

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 7:56 am

It's bad enough to have to be tested for dementia. It's even worse if the test isn't fair. Researchers in Chicago found they needed to update the screening test for a type of early onset dementia so that the measure would more accurately pick up symptoms among a new wave of patients — baby boomers and Gen Xers.

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Health
3:07 am
Mon August 12, 2013

New Muscle Drugs Could Be The Next Big Thing In Sports Doping

Belgian Blue bulls look like they are made of muscle because they have a mutation in the gene that codes for the protein myostatin. In humans, as in other types of cattle, myostatin normally limits the number of muscle fibers that form before birth and then limits the growth of those fibers later on.
Courtesy of Se-Jin Lee and Alexandra McPherron PNAS

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 11:03 am

Research intended to help people with muscle-wasting diseases could be about to launch a new era in performance-enhancing drugs.

The research has produced several muscle-building drugs now being tested in people with medical problems, including muscular dystrophy, cancer and kidney disease. The drugs all work by blocking a substance called myostatin that the body normally produces to keep muscles from getting too big.

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Health
6:12 pm
Sat August 10, 2013

Booze Restores Vigor, Nine Of 10 Charlatans Agree

When dealing with aches and pains, sometimes the best way to get better is to feel better — and fast. Some popular medicines of old favored additives like cocaine.
Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine

Originally published on Sat August 10, 2013 8:05 pm

Feeling bilious? Have a swig of tonic. Got a kid with a toothache? A dab of cocaine tooth powder could do the trick.

Much to the shock of our 21st-century sensibilities, popular remedies of the late 19th century often contained strong mind-altering substances like cocaine and opium. And while patients may not have understood what the ingredients were or what they did, these heavy-hitting patent drugs could deliver a feeling of well-being, which may, in some cases, have led to actual well-being.

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Health
7:04 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Experimental Malaria Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Test

A red blood cell infected with malaria parasites (blue) sits next to normal cells (red).
NIAID Flickr.com

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 11:02 am

A viable, effective vaccine against malaria has long eluded scientists. Results from a preliminary study have ignited hope that a new type of vaccine could change that.

The experimental vaccine offered strong protection against malaria when given at high doses, scientists report Thursday in the journal Science.

The study was extremely small and short-term. And the candidate vaccine still has a long way to go before it could be used in the developing world.

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Health
8:00 am
Thu August 8, 2013

What Makes Good Bacteria Go Bad? It's Not Them, It's You

S.pneumoniae bacteria may look harmless, but don't rile them.
CDC

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 10:01 am

Imagine a friend of a friend brings his family to stay with you — his family of tiny survivalists. For weeks or months you all live quietly side by side with no problems. You share meals. Your kids play together.

Then one day you get sick — maybe felled by a bad cold or the flu. Suddenly certain the end is near, your jittery houseguest breaks out an armory's worth of chemical weapons. He abandons his community to save himself and hunt for a new home, wreaking havoc on the way out the door.

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Health
1:57 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Decades After Henrietta Lacks' Death, Family Gets A Say On Her Cells

Henrietta Lacks and her husband, David, in 1945.
Courtesy of the Lacks family

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 11:03 am

The family of the late Henrietta Lacks finally got the chance to weigh in on how scientists use cells taken from her — without consent — more than 60 years ago.

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Health
12:43 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Falling Obesity Rates Among Preschoolers Mark Healthful Trend

This map from the CDC shows decreases (light blue) and increases (gray) in obesity prevalence among low-income, preschool-aged children from 2008-2011.
CDC

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 7:47 am

A fresh analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests the tide may be turning on the childhood obesity front.

After decades of steady increases, 19 states and U.S. territories saw small decreases in their rates of obesity among low-income preschoolers. And another 20 states held steady at current rates.

A CDC map shows several Southern states — including Florida, Georgia and Mississippi — that are part of the downward trend.

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