Health

Mental Health
2:20 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

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

Keith Negley for NPR

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 2:18 pm

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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Altruism
3:32 am
Mon September 22, 2014

The Biology Of Altruism: Good Deeds May Be Rooted In The Brain

Rob Donnelly for NPR

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 10:55 am

Four years ago, Angela Stimpson agreed to donate a kidney to a complete stranger.

"The only thing I knew about my recipient was that she was a female and she lived in Bakersfield, Calif.," Stimpson says.

It was a true act of altruism — Stimpson risked pain and suffering to help another. So why did she do it? It involved major surgery, her donation was anonymous, and she wasn't paid.

"At that time in my life, I was 42 years old. I was single, I had no children," Stimpson says. "I loved my life, but I would often question what my purpose is."

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Code Switch
11:47 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Is Corporal Punishment Abuse? Why That's A Loaded Question

Adrian Peterson (right) was ordered to stay away from his team, the Minnesota Vikings, while he addresses child abuse charges in Texas.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Sat September 20, 2014 1:10 pm

Over the past week, Adrian Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings' all-world running back and one of the NFL's biggest stars, has become the face of corporal punishment in America. Peterson turned himself in to police over the weekend on charges of child abuse after he allegedly hit his son with a switch that left welts on his body.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Leveling the Playing Field on Education and Health Care

Leveling the Playing Field panel, University of Hartford
Lorraine Greenfield

All this week, the University of Hartford has hosted events marking the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. The programs have been designed to encourage reflection on what was accomplished back then, as a way to ask ourselves, “what can we do now?”

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Parenting
3:37 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Kids' Perception Of Parents' Favoritism Counts More Than Reality

If a child feels like the odd person out, it could mean more problems in the teenage years, psychologists say.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 5:32 pm

We all know which kid Mom and Dad liked best, and odds are you're thinking it's not you.

But does that really make a difference? It can, researchers say, but not always the way you might think.

Less-favored children are more likely to be using drugs, alcohol and cigarettes as teenagers, according to researchers at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

But what matters is not how the parents actually treat the children, but how the kids perceive it.

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Newborn Health
2:41 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Listen: For Connecticut Parents in Distress, a Safe Haven

Kelly Pabilonia
Jeff Cohen WNPR

The recent discovery of a dead newborn in trash can in East Hartford has restarted a conversation about the state's Safe Haven law. It allows parents in distress who are unable to care for their infants to leave them at a hospital emergency room. 

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Storm Preparedness
2:09 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Connecticut Hospitals Struggled During Sandy

Credit scantaur/iStock / Thinkstock

A new federal report finds hospitals in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey were not prepared to meet the challenges of Superstorm Sandy. 

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Ebola
8:47 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 Wed September 17, 2014 7:50 pm

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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Vermont
7:56 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Governor Temporarily Pulls Plug On Troubled Health Care Exchange

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 6:31 pm

Vermont’s online connection to its health care exchange has been temporarily disconnected. The governor pulled the plug Monday night to fix persistent problems.

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Cities
12:09 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Yale's Rudd Center Plans Major Move to Downtown Hartford

Constitution Plaza in downtown Hartford, where the Rudd Center is moving January 1.
Henk Sijgers Creative Commons

A nationally recognized research center dedicated to food policy and issues of obesity will leave Yale University at the end of the year and partner with the University of Connecticut.

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Disease
8:18 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Children Treated for Respiratory Virus in Hartford

Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford.
Credit C-HIT

Officials at Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford said they're treating children with symptoms similar to those of a serious respiratory illness suspected of sickening dozens of boys and girls in at least 12 other states. 

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Public Health
5:36 am
Sun September 14, 2014

Newly Crowned Miss America Felt Helpless Against Domestic Violence

Several contestants in this year's Miss America pageant chose domestic violence as their platform topic.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 9:09 am

Update at 11:50 p.m. EDT

This year's Miss America competition has involved lots of satin and some excellent ventriloquism by Miss Ohio. But it has also involved a public health issue that's been in the headlines over the past week: domestic violence.

And it's not just because it's in the news. Miss New York, Kira Kazantsev — who was crowned Miss America 2015 in Sunday's ceremony — was in an abusive relationship during college.

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Brain Science
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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Medical Education
11:32 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Mentoring Program Works to Attract More Young, Black Nurses

A mentoring program in Connecticut aims to attract more young African Americans to nursing. Pictured is College of DuPage Nursing student Monashay Pertee.
College of DuPage

A mentoring program in Northern Connecticut is working to get more African Americans interested in nursing.

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Research Funding
5:13 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

When Scientists Give Up

Randen Patterson left a research career in physiology at U.C. Davis when funding got too tight. He now owns a grocery store in Guinda, Calif.
Max Whittaker/Prime for NPR

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 3:29 pm

Ian Glomski thought he was going to make a difference in the fight to protect people from deadly anthrax germs. He had done everything right — attended one top university, landed an assistant professorship at another.

But Glomski ran head-on into an unpleasant reality: These days, the scramble for money to conduct research has become stultifying.

So, he's giving up on science.

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The Faith Middleton Show
12:59 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Napping at Work Makes Employees More Productive

Credit Takashi Hososhima/flickr creative commons

Studies show that power naps at work make us more productive. At the software giant Google's headquarters, employees are actually invited to nap in an area set up for this purpose.

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Ebola
8:11 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Connecticut Doctor Fighting Ebola Outbreak: "It's a Terrible Way to Die"

A 19 year old woman fully recovered from Ebola kisses her baby outside a Doctors Without Borders Clinic in Sierra Leone.
P.K. Lee Medecins Sans Frontieres

A doctor from Southern Connecticut State University is sharing what he saw while spending time in Africa fighting the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.

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Ebola Outbreak
3:56 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

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 3:49 pm

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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Law Enforcement
1:00 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

New Training Helps State Troopers Save Lives

Tourniquets and gauze can help to stop severe bleeding quickly.
Defense Imagery Management Operations Center U.S. Department of Defense

Connecticut state troopers say new training they've received on how to prevent death by controlling early bleeding from major injuries has helped to save lives.

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Tobacco
11:58 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Drugstore Chain CVS Kicks Tobacco Habit A Month Early

An unnamed CVS employee removes tobacco products from the store shelves in East Greenwich, R.I.
AP

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 4:59 pm

CVS Caremark has pulled cigarettes from its shelves a month ahead of schedule.

In February, CVS, one of the nation's largest drugstore chains, said it would stop selling tobacco products by October, despite the profits they brought the company. Now cigarettes in the company's stores are history.

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Going Cold Turkey
9:00 am
Tue September 2, 2014

Meds to Alleviate Stress May Help Women Smokers Quit

Javier Ignacio Acuna Ditzel Creative Commons

For the last 50 years, men have consistently had an easier time quitting smoking than women. More men go cold turkey. More men stop on nicotine blockers like gum and patches. More men succeed on medications. Sherry McKee, an associate professor of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine, thinks she may know why.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue September 2, 2014

How Well Is Connecticut Caring for Its Child Mental Health Patients?

David Fulmer Creative Commons

As the school year gets underway, the number of child psychiatric visits generally increases. But children are facing long wait times in emergency rooms around the state, especially for those coming in with mental health emergencies. 

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Women's Health
8:57 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Researchers Take a Closer Look at Endometriosis, a Leading Cause of Infertility

Huntstock Thinkstock

Researchers in New York are taking a closer look at endometriosis. It's a disease that's not often talked about, but it affects one in ten women in the U.S., and 176 million women worldwide.

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Electronic Cigarettes
1:12 pm
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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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Talking About Suicide

Robin Williams in a scene from the 2006 film, "The Night Listener."

The recent death of actor Robin Williams left many people shocked, and it re-started the conversation about suicide, its warning signs, and ways to get help. We revisit a show we did about the illness last year.

We also hear a moving story about depression from author Andrew Solomon, who shared it at The Connecticut Forum earlier this year.

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School Start
1:38 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Pediatricians Say School Should Start Later For Teens' Health

About 40 percent of high schools start before 8 a.m., which contributes to chronic sleep deprivation among teens, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Chris Waits/Flickr

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 9:44 am

Many parents have pushed for a later start to the school day for teenagers, with limited success. But parents just got a boost from the nation's pediatricians, who say that making middle and high schoolers start classes before 8:30 a.m. threatens children's' health, safety and academic performance.

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Consumers
3:29 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Grocers Lead Kids To Produce Aisle With Junk Food-Style Marketing

A kids healthy snacks display at Giant Eagle.
Courtesy of Giant Eagle

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 4:09 pm

Despite all the cheerleading for healthy eating, Americans still eat only about 1 serving of fruit per day, on average. And our veggie consumption, according to an analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls short, too.

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Medical Research
3:25 am
Mon August 25, 2014

People With Down Syndrome Are Pioneers In Alzheimer's Research

Justin McCowan, 39, has Down syndrome and lives at home with his parents in Santa Monica, Calif.
Benjamin B. Morris for NPR

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 8:53 am

When researchers at the University of California, San Diego wanted to study an experimental Alzheimer's drug last year, they sought help from an unlikely group: people with Down syndrome.

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Code Switch
6:24 pm
Sat August 23, 2014

For Parents Of Young Black Men With Autism, Extra Fear About Police

Police officers and other first responders attend a 2012 autism information training session in Wrentham, Mass. Several cities are working to reduce the risk of miscommunication between police officers and people with autism.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Sun August 24, 2014 11:51 am

Lorraine Spencer has been watching the news from Ferguson, Mo., where an unarmed black 18-year-old was shot and killed by police, and worrying about her own son's safety. Jermaine is 16 years old and bi-racial, with a dark complexion. He also has autism and wants to be more independent, especially as he nears adulthood.

"It's my worst nightmare," she says. "I have the issue with him not understanding, possibly, a command to put your hands up or to get on the ground. So, yes, it's scary."

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Rhode Island
1:49 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

CVS To Offer Overdose Antidote Narcan Without Prescription

CVS will soon provide the anti-overdose medication Narcan, to customers even without a description. Walgreens was the first nationwide pharmacy chain to provide such as service.

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 11:53 am

CVS Caremark will be joining Walgreens in allowing pharmacists to dispense a life-saving antidote for drug overdoses, without a prescription. That means that soon Narcan will be much more widely available throughout the state.

Rhode Island Hospital drug abuse epidemiologist Traci Green has been working with a statewide overdose prevention task force to get Narcan – also known as naloxone—into as many hands as possible. The drug can rescue someone who has overdosed on an opioid like heroin or prescription painkiller OxyContin.

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