Health

Shots - Health Blog
8:54 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Shopping Bags Can Also Carry Stomach Flu Virus

An electron micrograph of human norovirus.
Charles D. Humphrey CDC Public Health Image Library ID 10708

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 8:48 am

Think you're safe from norovirus, the nasty bug behind the stomach flu, if you steer clear of someone who has it?

Think again. Researchers in Oregon investigating an outbreak of stomach flu among some young soccer players learned the virus can hitch a ride on those reusable plastic bags many of us have gotten accustomed to carrying to and from the store.

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Health
2:22 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Patients, Providers, Companies Await Medicaid Ruling

*5/13/12 Update*: Judge Drumm has dismissed the case. Molina is evaluating its grounds for appeal.

A main part of Missouri’s Medicaid program is at the center of a lawsuit right now.

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Health
2:55 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Community Health Center To Expand In Independence

Swope recently completed installing an electronic record system throughout its clinics. Nurse Practitioner, Kamara Allen, recently used the record system during a prenatal visit with patient Whitney Robinson.
Elana Gordon KCUR

One of Kansas City’s main community health centers got a major funding boost today. Swope Health Services has received $2,515,313 in federal grants for facility and infrastructure upgrades. 

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Up to Date
5:35 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

Parents, Teens, & Bullying

It's become all too common: kids bullying other kids.

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Health
3:05 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

Missouri Governor Stays Out Of Tobacco Tax Debate

bigstock.com

While supporters of raising Missouri’s cigarette tax wrap up their petition gathering efforts in the next week, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has reaffirmed his distance from the initiative. 

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Shots - Health Blog
10:54 am
Mon April 30, 2012

As Diabetes Rises In Kids, So Do Treatment Challenges

Pong, soda and junk food: the beginning of the end for health?
iStockphoto.com

More kids than ever have Type 2 diabetes, the kind that used to be referred to as the adult-onset variety.

It's a sign of our sedentary, calorie-rich times. Childhood obesity, a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes, is commonplace. For teens, about half of new cases of diabetes are now Type 2 compared with just 3 percent a few decades back.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:59 am
Fri April 27, 2012

How Work Is Messing Up Your Sleep

One-third of workers say they're seriously short on sleep.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 4:24 pm

It's no secret that Americans are short on sleep. But there's been disagreement as to why. A new study says here's one big reason: work.

An analysis from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health asked people where they're working, and how much they sleep. The more people work, the less sleep they're likely to get. And some jobs are much less sleep-friendly than others. Sort of saw those coming, even through our bleary eyes.

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Health
1:37 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Missouri Medicaid Contracts In Flux: Court To Hear Lawsuit

Update: Both parties - Molina Healthcare and the state - must file evidence and briefs with the court by the end of the day, Monday, May 7.   Once a motion is then submitted, Judge Drumm can issue a decision at any time. 

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The decision following a Cole County Circuit Court hearing, scheduled for today, will affect the enrollment situation for tens of thousands of Medicaid beneficiaries in the Kansas City region and could impact hundreds of thousands more throughout the state.

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Health
8:23 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Brownback Offers To Postpone Kancare For DD Waiver Services

Shortly after hundreds of Kansans converged on the Statehouse to oppose one aspect of Gov. Sam Brownback’s Medicaid reform plan, the governor has acceded to their demands—at least partially.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:04 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

Doctor Pay: Where The Specialists Are All Above Average

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 3:42 pm

Making a living practicing medicine is more complicated and frustrating than ever. But it still pays. And pretty well.

A survey of more than 24,000 doctors conducted online for Medscape, a doctor-oriented information service of WebMD, finds that their average annual pay ranges from $156,000 for pediatricians, the lowest-paid specialty, to $315,000 for the top earners.

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Health Care
1:23 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

Hundreds Rally Over Kansas Gov.'s Medicaid Overhaul

Hundreds of developmentally disabled Kansas residents and advocates for them have rallied at the Statehouse against part of Gov. Sam Brownback's plan to overhaul the state's Medicaid program.

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Health
1:11 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

Medical Software Giant Expands In KCK

Construction at Cerner's new campus, near Sporting Kansas City's soccer stadium in Kansas City, Ks., began in February.
Elana Gordon KCUR

Construction is now underway at Cerner’s new campus near the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan. Once completed, the $190 million development will contain two nine-story buildings on a 660,000 square-foot campus and employ thousands of people.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:40 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Los Angeles Bets On Crusading Doctor To Turn Around Public Health System

Dr. Mitch Katz rides his bike to work, defying the commuting norm in Los Angeles.
Michael Wilson L.A.County Health Services Dept.

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 8:24 pm

It would be easy to confuse Dr. Mitch Katz with any other doctor at the Roybal Comprehensive Health Center in East Los Angeles. His desk in a closet-sized, windowless office is littered with patient records, X-rays and cans of Diet Coke.

His everyman demeanor belies his stature. As director of the county's Department of Health Services, Katz, 52, oversees Los Angeles' public hospitals and clinics, the health care of last resort for millions of low-income Angelenos. He oversees 22,000 employees and a $3.7 billion-dollar budget.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:25 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Bird Flu Scientist Has Applied For Permit To Export Research

The Dutch scientist at the center of the controversy over recent bird flu experiments says that his team applied for government permission today to submit a paper describing their research to a science journal.

The Dutch government has asserted that the studies, which describe how to make bird flu virus more contagious, fall under regulations that control the export of weapons technology.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:07 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Americans' Cholesterol Levels Shrink, Even As Waistlines Expand

Americans are heavier than ever, yet the amount of cholesterol in our blood is on the decline.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 8:47 am

A curious — and good — thing has happened on the road to Obesity Nation: the share of the U.S. adult population with high cholesterol has dropped.

Data just out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that only 13.4 percent of adults in this country have high cholesterol, according to data collected in 2009 and 2010.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:36 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Dream Adventure Vacation Can Turn Into Medical Bill Nightmare

Zambezi River in Africa." href="/post/dream-adventure-vacation-can-turn-medical-bill-nightmare" class="noexit lightbox">
Here goes nothing. A big jump over the Zambezi River in Africa.
James Whatley Flickr

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 12:18 pm

If your idea of fun while traveling abroad involves taking part in sports like scuba diving or jumping from someplace high while attached to a bungee cord, you could be in for an unpleasant surprise if you get injured.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:32 am
Tue April 24, 2012

If The Health Care Overhaul Goes Down, Could Medicare Follow?

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 4:18 am

A growing number of health experts are warning of potential collateral damage if the Supreme Court strikes down the entire 2010 Affordable Care Act: potential chaos in the Medicare program.

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Family Matters: The Money Squeeze
2:29 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Preparing For A Future That Includes Aging Parents

Natasha Shamone-Gilmore (right) attends church with her husband, Curtis Gilmore (center), and her father, Franklin Brunson, 81. Shamone-Gilmore moved Brunson into her Capitol Heights, Md., home after he developed dementia.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:52 am

Planning a wedding is exciting.

Mapping out a vacation is fun.

Figuring how to afford care for your confused, elderly father? That one may never cross your mind — at least, not until you need more money to care for him.

"Never thought about it," Natasha Shamone-Gilmore, 58, says about her younger self. "Never ever."

She thinks about it a lot these days. Shamone-Gilmore, a computer trainer in Maryland, now shares a modest home with her husband, 24-year-old son and 81-year-old father.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:18 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Cancer Doc Brawley Says The U.S. Health Care System Is Sick

Otis Brawley, M.D., chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society.
Chris Hamilton American Cancer Society

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 8:48 am

Journalists make for a pretty tough crowd.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:40 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Swaddling and Shushing Help Soothe Babies After Vaccinations

I could use some shushing and swaddling right about now.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 6:57 am

Imagine you're a happy baby, off with your folks to visit the doctor.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:39 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Children With Autism Are Often Targeted By Bullies

Abby Mahoney, 13, has Asperger's syndrome. She says she has memorized nearly everything there is to know about Star Wars. Her enthusiasm for the subject helped make her the target of a bullying boy.
Courtesy of the Mahoney family

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 8:42 am

Lots of kids get bullied. But kids with autism are especially vulnerable.

A new survey by the Interactive Autism Network found that nearly two-thirds of children with autism spectrum disorders have been bullied at some point. And it found that these kids are three times as likely as typical kids to have been bullied in the past month.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:46 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

Exercising Even A Little Bit Makes It Easier For Smokers To Quit

A competitor stops for a cigarette after he broke down during the Enduropale race at Le Touquet Beach on February 22, 2009 in Le Touquet, France.
Paul Gilham Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 9:16 am

Smoking is bad. Quitting smoking is hard. But exercising can make quitting easier, and make sliding back into smoking less likely.

That's the word from a big new study, which tracked the health and habits of 434,190 people in Taiwan from 1996 to 2008. Smokers who got just 15 minutes of exercise a day were 55 percent more likely to quit than were people who weren't active at all. And those active smokers were 43 percent less likely to relapse when they did quit.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:05 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Doctors Group Tells Patients To Go For Cheaper, High-Value Treatments

Got a backache? You can probably skip that pricey scan.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 9:30 am

The American College of Physicians is urging patients with newly diagnosed diabetes and back pain not to opt for the latest-and-supposedly-greatest.

It's part of a new campaign to steer patients (and their doctors) to what the College of Physicians calls "high value care," and away from expensive tests and treatments that aren't any better — and often are worse.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:48 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

When It Comes To A1C Blood Test For Diabetics, One Level No Longer Fits All

A person with diabetes may need to test blood glucose levels up to 10 times a day.
Isaac Santillan iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 1:38 pm

If there's one thing that people with diabetes get pounded into their heads, it's that they've got to keep their A1C level under control. That's the blood glucose measure that's used to decide how well a person is managing their diabetes.

But new diabetes management guidelines announced today will cut many people with diabetes some slack.

Where old guidelines from the American Diabetes Association said that people should maintain an A1C of 7, the new guidelines say that patients should work with their doctors to determine an appropriate A1C target.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:51 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Staying Active Fends Off Alzheimer's, Even In People Over 80

This would count. But even washing the dishes helps fend off dementia in old age.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 11:39 am

Activity cuts the risk of Alzheimer's disease and slows cognitive decline, even in the very old, according to a new study.

There's been plenty of evidence for the "use it or lose it" theory of brain capacity. But this study is one of the first to show that activity of all sorts benefits people over age 80, even if they're not "exercising."

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Shots - Health Blog
9:46 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Flossing Is Good For The Gums, But Doesn't Help The Heart

It's still a good idea. But it won't protect you against heart disease.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 9:24 am

Think flossing and brushing is helping to fight off heart disease and stroke? Think again.

An expert panel of dentists and cardiologists, writing in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, says there is no evidence that treating or preventing gum disease has any direct effect on heart health.

That's a big turnaround. For the past decade, the medical establishment has been telling people that cardiovascular disease can be caused by poor oral hygiene. Why the change?

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Shots - Health Blog
3:13 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

What We Can Learn From Warren Buffett's Prostate Cancer

Billionaire Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, will be treated for prostate cancer starting in July.
Shuji Kajiyama AP

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 3:25 pm

Benjamin Davies, a urologic cancer specialist, doesn't mince words.

On Twitter today, the good doctor said he would fire on the spot any medical resident who biopsied the prostate of an 81-year-old man.

And that would include Warren Buffett, the 81-year-old CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, who disclosed Tuesday that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:36 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Seniors In Medicare 'Doughnut Hole' More Likely To Stop Heart Drugs

Falling into the "doughnut hole" of Medicare drug coverage led people to stop taking medicines more often than to search for cheaper alternatives.
iStockphoto.com

Medicare patients who reach the annual gap in coverage for prescription drugs known as the "doughnut hole" are 57 percent more likely than those with continuous insurance coverage to stop taking drugs for heart-related conditions such as high blood pressure or heart disease.

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Health
11:37 am
Tue April 17, 2012

The Race To Create The Best Antiviral Drugs

The HIV-1 virus cultivated with human lymphocytes.
C. Goldsmith, P. Feorino, E. L. Palmer, W. R. McManus CDC Public Health Image Library

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 2:42 pm

If you've ever had a bacterial infection like staph or strep throat, your doctor may have prescribed penicillin. But if you've had the flu or a common cold virus, penicillin won't work. That's because antibacterials only kill bacteria, and both the flu and the common cold are viruses. So for illnesses like the flu, doctors prescribe antiviral drugs, which target the mechanisms that viruses use to reproduce.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:31 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Sebelius To Lend Support To Vaccination Projects In Haiti

Rice farmer Alexi Rochnel shows his blank cholera vaccination card. April is the beginning of Haiti's rainy season, which will likely intensify Haiti's cholera outbreak.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 11:34 am

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is in Haiti today to support two big vaccination initiatives.

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