health

Back To Life

Aug 12, 2015

Doctors have more means than ever before to bring a patient back from the brink of death, but can reviving someone do more harm than good? On this edition of Up To Date, we discuss the tricky ethics of resuscitation.

Guest:

The leading causes of death in the metropolitan Kansas City area remain heart disease and cancer. Death rates for both, however, declined over the 10 years from 2003 to 2013 — as did the rates for most of the leading causes of death.

One notable exception: Rates of death from Alzheimer's disease rose slightly. Another notable exception: Suicides jumped nearly 30 percent. 

Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI)

One in nine workers in Greater Kansas City works in the health care industry, according to a report compiled by the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) and released last week. 

It's the area's fastest growing industry, averaging more than 3,000 jobs per year over the last decade. 

And demand over the next five years is only expected to increase — in some cases significantly.

Listed below are the top 25 health-related occupations, along with projected changes over the next five years, annual openings and median hourly earnings. 

REACH Healthcare Foundation and Mid-America Regional Council

When it comes to health outcomes in the 11-county Kansas City metropolitan area, there’s good news and there’s bad news.

That’s the takeaway from a regional health assessment released Tuesday by the REACH Healthcare Foundation in Merriam, Kansas, which aims to improve health care for the poor and medically underserved.

The good news: Except for obesity and diabetes, health outcome trends in the metro area are improving.

For decades, politicians have battled over how to regard people who suffer chronic pain.  Are we a compassionate nation or are we enabling people to take advantage of the system?

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Creative Commons, Wikimedia

The first marathon-runner was a Greek messenger who ran 26 miles to announce a Greek victory in the Trojan War before dropping dead in his tracks. A cardiologist living in Kansas City has amassed research and data suggesting there might have been a reason for that. Extreme cardiovascular activity for prolonged periods of time done rigorously and continuously over a lifetime doesn't correlate with a long lifespan, he says. And the heart has a lot to do with that.

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Bridget Colla / Flickr

Medical and scientific communities have been working hard to reassure parents that vaccinating children is safe, especially in light of current Measles incidents in the United States. But there is something about immunization that triggers fear in a lot of people, even people who do opt in. What is that fear about? How do human beings perceive and weigh different kinds of risks on behalf of their children? 

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Umberto Salvagnin / Flickr

Sugar consumption can now be linked to a number of health complications, including cardiovascular problems. James DiNicolantonio, a researcher whose New York Times op-ed about sugar has gone viral, says he still allows himself one "hit" of added sugar a day. If that language hints at drug references, that's not as far-fetched as it sounds. DiNicolantonio says studies show that lab rats prefer sugar to cocaine. 

Guest:

Ashley Booker, KHI News Service

Gov. Sam Brownback opened the 2015 Kansas legislative session Monday with an inaugural speech that emphasized strengthening families as a solution to the state’s financial woes.

Addressing newly elected legislators and statewide office holders in the House chamber, the governor said a “lack of healthy families” plays a major role in poverty, both in Kansas and nationwide.

“While many of our problems are economic and we will be second to none in addressing them, the reality is the solutions are principally cultural and moral,” Brownback said.

Dan Margolies / KCUR

 

A local skin-care products company may have lost a bit of its luster.

Kansas City-based DERMAdoctor Inc. and its owner on Monday settled a complaint brought by the Federal Trade Commission over allegedly deceptive claims made by the company.

The FTC charged that DERMAdoctor Inc. and its principal, dermatologist Audrey Kunin, made misleading claims about DERMAdoctor’s anti-aging and body-slimming products.

Marius Mellebye / Creative Commons-Flickr

New health rankings  show Kansas stuck at No. 27 among the 50 states, the same slot it occupied last year. But there was a time – not that long ago – when the state ranked much higher than the middle of the pack.

The annual United Health Foundation rankings are a snapshot of 30 health measures ranging from clinical care to behavior and environment to state policy. Dr. Rhonda Randall, the foundation’s chief health advisor, says there’s no mistaking the trend.

Merrill College of Journalism / Flickr Creative Commons

  A new proposal from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services would change the way we regulate medical research. Some doctors disagree with the changes believing that it will  confuse patients, and make participation in clinical trials more difficult. On this edition of Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with a bioethicist and an outcomes researcher about why they oppose altering research guidelines. 

Guests: 

publik15 / flickr.com

America’s prisons are dealing with an unprecedented issue: a rapidly increasing population of elderly inmates. It’s estimated that one-third of the entire prison population will be 55 years and older by the year 2030.

Centers for Disease Control

With the kids in school, the risk of viral infection skyrockets. Over the past month, a rare form of enterovirus has sent more than 400 children in the Kansas City area to the emergency room.

On Friday's Up to Date, we talk with local health care professionals to better understand Enterovirus D68.

Guests:

Ron Henry / Flickr-CC

The death of Robin Williams is sparking a nation-wide discussion about depression and its effects.

On Wednesday's Up to Date we hear about new research that suggests that lifestyle changes can make more of a difference than medicine when it comes to clinical depression.

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Daniel Juřena / Flickr--CC

High school athletes in Kansas and Missouri start outdoor workouts for fall sports in August, no matter how hot or humid it is outside. One of the main safety concerns in the heat is dehydration. 

Sometimes it’s not the weather but what the athletes drink that makes the problem worse. A can of Red Bull, Monster, 5-Hour Energy, or any other energy drink before practice can dehydrate an athlete.

More than a quarter of Americans self-identify as being under a great deal of stress. What's troubling us, and why do some people respond to stressful situations with greater resilience than others?

Guest:

Adrian Clark / Flickr--CC

 

Missouri now boasts a new category of medical licensee: assistant physicians.

Despite strong opposition from some healthcare groups, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Thursday signed into law a measure that would allow medical school graduates who have not completed residencies – or even obtained medical licenses — to practice medicine.

Nixon, however, issued signing statements warning of the need for additional safeguards to ensure that patients are not placed in jeopardy.

1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division Public Affairs/US Army

The death last month of 26-year old Army veteran Isaac Sims in a confrontation with Kansas City, Missouri police raised many questions including whether this loss of life could have been prevented.

On this edition of Up to Date Steve Kraske brings together a panel to look at the events leading up to Sims' death, the special municipal court that works with veterans facing criminal charges, and a therapy program treating military PTSD sufferers while they are still on active duty.

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Imagine watching a group of men mutilate the body of your mother.  This is what poet Edgar Allan Poe experienced as a hallucination brought on by alcohol-induced delirium tremens, DT’s.  On this edition of Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with historian Matthew Osborn to discover how this condition, first described in 1813, was the catalyst for changing how the medical profession diagnosed and treated the problems of alcohol abuse.

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Centers for Disease Control

There are 76 million Americans who were born between the mid-40s and the mid-60s. The Baby Boomers have much of the wealth, much of the power, much of the responsibility in our nation today. But, they also now have the highest suicide rate among all age groups. Guest host Brian Ellison talks with Kansas City Star reporter Rick Montgomery about this alarming statistic and how the rate in Kansas has skyrocketed in the last few years.

www.maxstrom.com

There is no app for happiness. So reads the title of Max Strom's new book that examines what holds us back from being happier people. Turns out that one big obstacle is technology, which has only made many of us more depressed, anxious, sleep deprived and over-medicated. On Thursday's Up to Date Steve Kraske talks with the yoga master about how inner calm and self-awareness can help people cope with the stress our devices bring.

vaXzine / Flickr Creative Commons

If you’ve got a shooting pain in your back that won’t quit or nagging, achy knees, you might be one of millions of Americans who suffer from chronic pain.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske sits down with Judy Foreman to discuss her new book, A Nation in Pain. We'll get to the bottom of why our society fails to fully treat nearly 100 million Americans who live with chronic pain.

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public domain / Wikimedia Commons

Aristotle said, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." 

But making excellence a habit is easier said than done. For most people, the word habit evokes thoughts of junk food or television, not excellence.

Psychologist Bruce Liese stopped by Central Standard to talk about the ins and outs of habit formation, and help us recognize the difference between a good habit and a bad one. He offered advice on getting to the root causes of our most deeply ingrained patterns and offered insight into the common problem of relapse. 

Emily Whitty / Submitted photo

If your allergies seem more severe this year in Kansas City, you're not alone.

That's according to Dr. Jay Portnoy, who leads the allergy and asthma department at Children's Mercy Hospital.

"We've been tracking pollen for 15 years in the Kansas City area and over that time, the pollen count has been slowly increasing," Portnoy says. "Each year is getting a little bit worse."  

On Thursday, Portnoy explained to Up To Date Host Steve Kraske that the day's tree pollen count was only 529, but two weeks ago, it hit an all-time high of 9,000.

Missouri spends the least on public health per person in the country, according to a new report out from the non-partisan Trust for America's Health. 

The Show-Me state spent just $5.86 per person, compared with a national average of $27.49, in fiscal 2013, the report says.

Google Commons

A doctor looking to help a patient prescribes a medication for a condition it was not originally marketed to treat. How legal, and how risky the off-label use of prescription drugs?On Thursday's Up To Date  Steve Kraske talks with a pharmacist about just how common this practice is among physicians and why drug companies don’t market their products for multiple uses.  

Guest:

Rick Couldry is Director of Pharmacy at the University of Kansas Hospital. 

In the final weeks of the legislative session, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has made a last-ditch effort to resurrect a push to expand Missouri’s Medicaid program and accept roughly $2 billion a year in federal money.

The governor, a Democrat, unveiled his “Missouri Health Works’’ program before business leaders Monday in Cape Girardeau. By coincidence or design, state House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka and an opponent of Medicaid expansion, was also in Cape on Monday with conservative low-tax icon Grover Norquist to highlight a different issue.

A bill awaiting Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s signature would require health insurance sold in the state to include coverage for autism services--at least in a limited fashion. 

The bill sent to the governor last week includes coverage for Applied Behavioral Analysis. 

Representative John Rubin, of Shawnee, guided the bill through the House.  He says research shows ABA is the most effective form of therapy for a majority of kids with autism, but it needs to start in the preschool years…

United Network for Organ Sharing

In the Midwest, the supply of organs for patients who need transplants to live is relatively strong.  But, that’s not the case in many locations across the country.

Currently, donated organs are distributed through local and regional networks, but there is talk of changing that system to one that basically puts everyone on equal footing.

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