Health

Health Care
11:32 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Operating Profits Drop at Connecticut Hospitals: New Report

Windham Hospital in Willimantic.
Credit C-HIT

Connecticut’s acute-care hospitals saw gains from their operations tumble 35 percent in the last fiscal year, with seven of 29 hospitals reporting operating losses, according to a new state report.

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Treating Cancer
11:20 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Doctors Are Slow To Adopt Changes In Breast Cancer Treatment

New evidence on the effectiveness of medical treatments can take a long time to influence medical practice.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 4:58 pm

Cancer doctors want the best, most effective treatment for their patients. But it turns out many aren't paying attention to evidence that older women with early stage breast cancer may be enduring the pain, fatigue and cost of radiation treatment although it doesn't increase life expectancy.

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Medicine
4:57 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Old And Overmedicated: The Real Drug Problem In Nursing Homes

Antipsychotic drugs aren't necessary in the vast majority of dementia cases, gerontologists say. The pills can be stupefying and greatly raise the risk of falls — and hip fracture.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 4:22 pm

It's one of the worst fears we have for our parents or for ourselves: that we, or they, will end up in a nursing home, drugged into a stupor. And that fear is not entirely unreasonable. Almost 300,000 nursing home residents are currently receiving antipsychotic drugs, usually to suppress the anxiety or aggression that can go with Alzheimer's disease and other dementia.

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World AIDS Day
2:13 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Syringe Exchange Program in Connecticut Must Operate With Fewer State Funds

Shawn Lang is the Director of Public Policy for the Connecticut AIDS Coalition
Chion Wolf WNPR - Connecticut Public Radio

Earlier this week, countries marked World AIDS Day. In the U.S., 1.2 million people are estimated to be HIV-positive.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Supporting Survivors of Cancer

Ellen Dornelas is a psychologist for Hartford Healthcare Cancer Institute
Chion Wolf

More than a million people get cancer every year in the United States, with about 22,000 new cases in Connecticut in 2014. But, thanks to better detection and more advanced treatment, the number of people surviving cancer is growing rapidly. There are 13 million survivors alive today.

So, most of us likely know someone with cancer...a neighbor, a friend, or more often, a member of our family.

The American Cancer Society says that three-out-of-four families have at least one person in their family who has survived cancer...and that number is rising every year. 

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The Business of Health Care
2:27 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Hospitals Hike "Facility Fees" on Privately-Insured Patients

scantaur/iStock Thinkstock

Hospital groups in Connecticut have defended the increasing practice of charging facility fees. These are charges that may be billed separately to patients, and vary depending on where the care was delivered.

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Disease
12:50 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

CDC Warns That The Flu Season May Be A Bad One

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, got his flu shot in September.
J. David Ake AP

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 7:21 pm

We may be in for a nasty flu season. That's the warning out today from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC is worried because the most common strain of flu virus circulating in the United States is one called H3N2. In previous years, H3N2 strains have tended to send more people to the hospital than other strains — and cause more deaths, especially among the elderly, children and people with other health problems.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
8:21 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Inflammation Can Kill You

Vishwa-Deep Dixit is Professor of Comparative Medicine and of Immunobiology at the Yale School of Medicine
Chion Wolf

I got interested in this topic last year when the Yale Medical School got a $10 million Blavatnik grant for more work in the specific area of  Immunobiology.

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Mental Health
2:18 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Biological Explanations for Mental Health Symptoms Make Clinicians Less Empathetic

Credit Commerce Marketing Communications Photography / Texas A&M UNiv

A new Yale University Study reveals a negative bias toward mental health patients whose symptoms are explained biologically.

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Topline
1:28 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

How Ebola Impacted National Confidence in Hospitals and Health Agencies

Army Medicine Creative Commons

WNPR's Where We Live is kicking off a new, biweekly series in partnership with the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at UConn. The series, called Topline, aims to explore new topics using data pulled from the center's opinion polling archives. 

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Giving Blood
5:43 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

FDA Considers Allowing Blood Donations From Some Gay Men

Several countries, including Australia, Japan and Great Britain, already encourage blood donations from some gay men.
Kevin Curtis Getty Images/Science Photo Library

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 11:50 am

The Food and Drug Administration is considering revising a ban on blood donations from men who have had sex with other men.

An FDA advisory committee Tuesday mulled the issues raised by changing the policy, which has been in effect since the early 1980s.

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Affordable Care Act
1:32 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Connecticut's Medical Device Makers Hoping on Tax Repeal

An operating room table.
Credit Dario Lo Presti/iStock / Thinkstock

Connecticut’s medical devices industry could benefit from the change in control in Washington next year as Republicans vow to repeal a tax that was put on device makers almost two years ago.

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Public Health
1:06 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Connecticut Legislative Hearing Focuses on Ebola Response

State Rep. Susan Johnson, center, co-chairs the state legislature's Public Health Committee. Pictured is a discussion of hospitals and health care discussion last month.
Connecticut House Democrats

Connecticut lawmakers held a hearing on Monday to learn more about the state's protocols for handling any future Ebola cases. 

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Infection Control
11:52 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Half of Connecticut Hospitals Exceed Infection Rates, New Data Show

Phalinn Ooi Creative Commons

State health inspectors visiting Stamford Hospital in late 2012 turned up several infection-control violations, including the improper drying and storage of endoscopes, instruments used to look inside the body.

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Courts
12:36 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

If Supreme Court Strikes Federal Exchange Subsidies, Health Law Could Unravel

Supreme Court police stand guard during a storm in March.
Michael Reynolds EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 2:28 pm

Exactly what would happen to the Affordable Care Act if the Supreme Court invalidates tax credits in three dozen states where the federal government runs the program?

Legal scholars say a decision like that would deal a potentially lethal blow to the law because it would undermine the government-run insurance marketplaces that are its backbone, as well as the mandate requiring most Americans to carry coverage.

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Massachusetts
12:27 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Construction Begins On New Health Education Center

Holyoke Community College trustees pose in front of the building that will be renovated to become the Center for Health Education

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 12:27 pm

Under a reorganization that started two years ago, the community colleges in Massachusetts are becoming regional workforce development centers.  Holyoke Community College is building a new facility to help meet the demand for skilled workers in the health care industry.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:07 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Would You Survive a Life-Threatening Disaster?

The Honduras Gulf from a 12-foot fishing boat.
Josh Glovo Creative Commons

John Aldridge, a 45-year old lobster fisherman from Long Island, flew off the back of his boat when a plastic handle supporting a box hook snapped with the power of his pull. He grabbed at the side of the boat, missing it by inches before landing in the water at 3:30 am, alone and stunned, as the boat sped away with his partner sleeping in his cabin. They were 40 miles off the coast of Montauk, Long Island. First, yelling, then panic, then silence before he allowed himself to think he was going to die. 

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Holiday Safety
11:30 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Connecticut Organization Reminds Holiday Drivers Not to Drink

Jenson Lee Creative Commons

The holidays can be happy, but they can also be a dangerous. Safe driving advocates are renewing their campaigns to separate drinking from driving. 

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Open Enrollment
4:17 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

State: Demand High for Obamacare Insurance

The Access Health CT enrollment center storefront in New Britain.
The Connecticut Mirror

The second round of open enrollment in the Affordable Care Act is underway. State officials say they've enrolled nearly 12,000 people in health insurance in the sign-up period's first week. 

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The Faith Middleton Show
3:15 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

There Is No Such Thing as Silence

Credit Ray/flickr creative commons

That's what we learned from neuroscientist Dr. Seth Horowitz of Brown University; true silence is non-existent. "In truly quiet areas," he writes in his book, The Universal Sense, "you can even hear the sound of air molecules vibrating inside your ear canals or the fluid in your ears themselves."

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Medicine
12:07 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Merck Partners With NewLink To Speed Up Work On Ebola Vaccine

A 26-year-old man receives an injection in September of an experimental Ebola vaccine being tested by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and GlaxoSmithKline.
NIAID

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 12:01 pm

It's now Goliath versus Goliath in the quest for an Ebola vaccine.

Until now, the two leading candidates for a vaccine to protect against the Ebola virus were being led by global pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline on the one hand, and a tiny company in Ames, Iowa, that was virtually unknown, on the other.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Obamacare: What's Working; What Isn't?

Pete Creative Commons

The Republican takeover of the House and Senate means Obamacare is back in the news again.

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Exercise
3:14 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

To Stay Energy Efficient As You Age, Keep On Running

People use energy less efficiently as they age. Running seems to help prevent that slowdown.
iStockphoto

Walking is a simple thing that becomes really, really important as we age. Being able to get around on our feet for extended periods of time not only makes everyday life easier, it's linked to fewer hospitalizations and greater longevity. As we get older, though, the body takes about 15 to 20 percent more energy to cover the same terrain.

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Affordable Care Act
11:33 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Republicans File Suit Against Obama Administration Over Health Law

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 12:49 pm

House Republicans on Friday followed through on a threat to sue President Obama over actions he has taken concerning the Affordable Care Act.

The lawsuit was filed in a federal court against the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Treasury.

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Lyme Disease
8:57 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Scientist Who Identified Origin of Lyme Disease Dies at 89

Dr. Willy Burgdorfer identified the bacterium responsible for Lyme Disease.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease

Dr. Willy Burgdorfer, the Swiss-born researcher who gained international recognition for discovering the origins of Lyme disease, has died.

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Talky Tina
2:55 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Need Help With Obamacare in Connecticut? Meet Tina

An avatar named Tina greets users visiting accesshealthct.com.
accesshealthct.com

Have a question about the Affordable Care Act? Meet Tina.

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The Faith Middleton show
2:47 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Are Artificial Wombs on the Horizon? And Those Egg-Freezing Parties…

Credit International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center/flickr creative commons

Reportedly, younger women of child-bearing age are paying $10,000 to freeze their eggs, hoping to preserve their viability until the women find mates, or their careers and finances allow them to become pregnant. That's just one issue addressed by Faith's guests, regular contributor Dr. Mary Jane Minkin and new guests Dr. Erin Wysong Hofstatter and Dr. Elena Ratner, all affiliated with Yale's School of Medicine.

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Wellness
1:37 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Hartford Surgeon Discusses Disproportionate Barriers to Health

Dr. Nissin Nahmias.
Credit vcu.edu

Though all people and communities deserve equal opportunities to be healthy, there are many barriers to good health in communities across the U.S. Low-income communities, particularly those of color, face a disproportionate number of barriers.

St. Francis Hospital in Hartford co-hosts a town hall meeting on Tuesday titled, "Is Food Making Us Sick? A Conversation About Food and Our Health" with a panel of experts who will talk about food and health. WNPR's Diane Orson spoke with bariatric surgeon Dr. Nissin Nahmias, whose work centers on people struggling with obesity.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon November 17, 2014

America's Changing Landscape of Elderly and End-of-Life Care

sima dimitric Creative Commons

A new report from the Institute of Medicine takes a closer look at end-of-life care in the U.S. The report, called "Dying in America", shines light on the quality of care available to those nearing the end of life -- offering some recommendations on how to make care more sustainable and accessible to patients and their families. 

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Health
3:41 am
Mon November 17, 2014

The Power Of Suggestion Could Trigger Asthma — Or Treat It

Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 4:41 pm

Lots of things can trigger an asthma attack, but one of the most common causes is odor — anything from the heavy scent of perfume to a household cleaner.

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