Health

Emily Corwin / NHPR

A new kind of water contamination has shown up all over the U.S., including New England.

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As Connecticut continues to deal with the consequences of opioid abuse, a new national survey says most people prescribed painkillers in America get more than they need -- and many are saving those pills for later use. 

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As coverage of the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida dominates the news, it becomes increasingly more difficult to shield children from these types of events. How much information is too much? 

One impact of the addiction epidemic has been a skyrocketing rise in newborns experiencing withdrawal after being exposed to opioids in the womb. 

From 2006 to 2011, the number of newborns in withdrawal more than doubled in New Hampshire, and hospitals say the problem is only getting worse.

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Five Connecticut physicians have received letters from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) alleging that they may have purchased unapproved drugs that put patients at risk of adverse health consequences, documents obtained by C-HIT show.

I'm hanging out with my 4-year-old daughter in the early evening, trying to keep her entertained and pull dinner together, when my phone buzzes.

Normally I'd feel guilty for checking it immediately, and distracted even if I didn't. But this time it's not a Twitter mention or an email from my editor. It's a timely suggestion from an app called Muse.

Here's what it says: "Try playing 'Simon Says' with L, using directional words like: behind, around, between. (ex. 'Simon Says stand between the chairs.')"

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For some patients looking to break their addiction to heroin or prescription painkillers, there's a drug out there that works. It’s called Suboxone, but government regulations and individual doctors have made it difficult to get, which is leading many to buy it illegally. 

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An antibiotic-resistant "superbug" gene was discovered in the United States recently, triggering a media frenzy. Across the world, newspaper and television headlines warned of "nightmare bacteria," "deadly" infections, and a looming "global health crisis." But was the response warranted? 

Crystal Emery

This hour, New Haven-based filmmaker Crystal Emery takes us behind the scenes of her new documentary  "Black Women in Medicine." We meet some of the women profiled in her film, and discuss recent efforts to increase diversity in the science and medical fields. 

With his wife expecting a baby in October, American road racer Tejay van Garderen has withdrawn from consideration for the Rio Summer Olympics, citing the Zika virus that's been linked to birth defects.

From a statement released by USA Cycling on van Garderen's behalf today:

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes and U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, both Democrats from Connecticut, met with public health officials and law enforcement in Stamford on Tuesday for a forum on the opioid and heroin epidemic. Himes says the epidemic is affecting more well-off communities, like Stamford, and he asked how Connecticut could use emergency federal funds to fight it.

The Food and Drug Administration is leaning on the food industry to cut back on the amount of sodium added to processed and prepared foods.

The FDA on Wednesday released a draft of new sodium-reduction targets for dozens of categories of foods — from bakery goods to soups.

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Mosquito-testing season has begun in Connecticut and public health officials have added a new virus to their monitoring list this year: Zika. 

Harriet Jones / WNPR

A group of Connecticut investors is helping to fund the first human clinical trial of a new Alzheimer's treatment that its inventors believe could revolutionize the way we see the disease.

Concussions have become part of the daily news. But how much have these brain injuries become part of daily life?

To find out, we asked people across the country about concussions in the latest NPR-Truven Health Analytics Health Poll.

The poll, conducted during the first half of March, found that nearly a quarter of people — 23 percent of those surveyed — said they had suffered a concussion at some point in their lives. Among those who said they'd had a concussion, more than three-quarters had sought medical treatment.

Office of Gov. Dannel Malloy

Governor Dannel Malloy signed into a law on Friday what he called "the most comprehensive strategy" in the nation for combating opioid addiction and overdose. 

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Most of us have heard that our bodies need eight cups of water every day to stay healthy and hydrated. Some think that's the minimum we should drink to prevent the chronic dehydration that doesn't trigger the usual warnings of dryness, like thirst.  

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Connecticut’s outpatient surgery centers fare well in preventing patient falls and wrong-site surgeries, compared to national rates, but poorly in avoiding patient burns and in ensuring that surgical patients get intravenous antibiotics, new federal data show.

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A bill that would protect the rights of sexual assault victims has passed the U.S. Senate with unanimous support. The measure, which was co-sponsored by Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, focuses primarily on rape kits.

All sorts of health information is now a few taps away on your smartphone, from how many steps you take — to how well you sleep at night. But what if you could use your phone and a computer to test your vision? A company is doing just that — and eye care professionals are upset. Some states have even banned it.

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Many of America's young adults appear to be in no hurry to move out of their old bedrooms. For the first time on record, living with parents is now the most common arrangement for people ages 18 to 34. 

“Alright, we’re going to go check those eyes and ears now buddy. Ok?” Nurse Kristen Marrese leads 4-year-old Daniel Atkinson down the hall for an eye exam. It’s part of his routine check-up at a clinic in Rochester, New York, Starlight Pediatrics.

During the visit, which took nearly two hours, Daniel also got up to date on his vaccines and his nurse practitioner gave him a thorough check-up of his growth and development. He’s been coming here since he was an infant.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

When state governments  -- in Maine, Utah, and elsewhere  -- want to learn about ending homelessness, they often look to Connecticut.

Since it came onto the scene in 1943, penicillin has made syphilis a thing of the past — almost. Now, the sexually transmitted disease is making a comeback in the U.S. and there's a shortage of the medication used to treat it.

Pfizer, the company that supplies it, says it's experiencing "an unanticipated manufacturing delay," and in a letter to consumers wrote that it would be providing just one-third of the usual monthly demand until July.

Six years of your life. Or 2,190 days. That's about how long the average woman will spend having her periods.

For some women, that's too many days, too many periods.

More women in their 20s and 30s are choosing contraception that may suppress their menstrual cycles, says Dr. Elizabeth Micks, who runs an OB-GYN clinic at the University of Washington in Seattle. "In general, I think views are changing really rapidly," Micks says. "That need to have regular periods is not just in our society anymore."

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New data show a surge in drug overdose deaths in Connecticut during the first three months of this year involving the opioid fentanyl.  The information was released on Friday by the State’'s Chief Medical Examiner Dr. James Gill.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

A Connecticut man who said he was sexually abused as a child at a private school in Massachusetts wants to see the statute of limitations on the crime abolished. 

Oklahoma lawmakers have passed a bill that makes performing an abortion a felony.

NPR's Jennifer Ludden told our Newscast unit that the bill is the first of its kind, and an pro-abortion rights group plans to sue if the governor signs the bill into law. Gov. Mary Fallin has not yet indicated what she plans to do. Here's more from Jennifer:

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Why are prescription drugs so expensive? And what can be done to make them more affordable? A forum held Wednesday in Hartford aimed to answer those questions.

Heather Brandon illustration / WNPR

As heroin and opiate addictions continue to spread among middle class communities, families who never thought they’d face this problem are finding out one simple truth: treating someone for an addiction can be really, really costly. 

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