Health

The Colin McEnroe Show
3:08 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

How Asexuals View The World

Kathy Way is a self-identified asexual. It's estimated roughly one percent of the American population is asexual.
Credit Chion Wolf

If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, asexuals seem like brothers and sisters from a distant solar system. 

Western societies are gradually growing accustomed -- with varying degrees of comfort -- to the initials in LGBT, but what about A? On our show today we explored the idea that some people have no sexual orientation -- not because of a hormonal deficiency or a position on the autism spectrum or some buried childhood sexual trauma -- but because they don't have a discernable sex drive.

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Where We Live
10:39 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Talking About Suicide

Young adults who consider suicide are not all depressed. Since young brains aren't fully developed, impulsive behavior can take over, causing them to act before they think. It is best to keep potential means to suicide, such as prescription medication and guns, out of their reach.
Credit John Brawley on Flickr Creative Commons

Yesterday marked the beginning of National Suicide Prevention Week and tomorrow is World Suicide Prevention Day, both intended to call attention to a serious public health issue.

We were recently shocked by the suicide of a 15-year-old Greenwich High School student after his first day of school.

But the numbers prove this is not an isolated incident. Every 15 minutes, someone dies by suicide in the U.S. For every one of the almost 40,000 people who died this year, there are many more who think about, plan, or attempt suicide.

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News
4:39 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

New Study Shows Weight Bias Among Mental Health Professionals

Credit Tony Alter / Creative Commons

People with eating disorders like obesity could be getting treatment from a therapist with their own inherent weight bias, that's according to a new study from the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.

The survey of 329 mental health specialists revealed that while almost all of them agreed it's important to treat obese patients with compassion and respect, they admitted that many of their colleagues have negative biases about their obese patients. 56 percent said they heard or witnessed other professionals making negative comments and fat jokes about obese patients in their care.

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Technology
3:45 pm
Mon September 2, 2013

An App for Researching Eyeball "Floaters"

Credit Gtanner (Wikimedia Commons)

Smartphone apps have been changing the way people track data about their health and fitness. Now a Yale University researcher has developed a smartphone app to gather data for medical research.

Dr. Jadon Webb says the idea began when floaters began interfering with his own vision. "I really came to notice a lot of spots in front of my eyes," said Webb. "A lot of things would look like cobwebs, or lines or shapes, that would move and seem to swim around inside my field of vision."

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The Faith Middleton Show
11:56 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Love 2.0

Credit Camdiluv ♥/flickr creative commons

We all know love matters, but today, positive emotions expert Barbara Fredrickson joins Faith to show us just how much. Even more than happiness and optimism, love holds the key to improving our mental and physical health as well as lengthening our lives. Using research from her own lab, Fredrickson redefines love not as a stable behemoth, but as micro-moments of connection between people—even strangers. She demonstrates that our capacity for experiencing love can be measured and strengthened in ways that improve our health and longevity. Finally, she introduces us to informal and formal practices to unlock love in our lives, generate compassion, and even self-soothe.

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Where We Live
11:11 am
Thu August 29, 2013

The War on Lyme...and About Lyme

We often don't feel a tick on us because they secrete chemicals that numb us to their presence. While they can stay on us for up to one week, the threat of infection is low if we remove them within 36 hours.
Credit John Tann on Flickr Creative Commons

Lyme disease gets its name from the Connecticut town, and it’s always been a problem here...but it’s spreading, as far North as Maine and south down to Virginia. Dr. Paul Mead of the CDC says that due in part to the “reforestation” of the Northeast.

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Health Care
2:55 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Connecticut Says it's Ready to Implement New Health Care Marketplace

There's just a month to go before those without health insurance can go online to buy it through a state-sponsored website. The goal of the Affordable Care Act is to offer health insurance to more people at a lower cost. And now, the next step is upon us.

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News
1:12 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Diverse Gut Microbes, A Trim Waistline And Health Go Together

The tale of the tape may be told, in part, by the microbes inside you.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 6:39 pm

Scientists have discovered new clues about how microbes in our digestive systems may affect health.

European researchers found that the less diverse those microbes are, the more likely people are to gain weight, become obese and develop risk factors for serious health problems.

Evidence has been mounting in recent years that bacteria and other organisms in our bodies do a lot more than just help us digest food.

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News
3:42 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Kids With Costly Medical Issues Get Help, But Not Enough

Katie Doderer, with dad Mark, big sister Emily, and mom Marcy, has a rare medical condition that requires 24-hour use of a ventilator.
courtesy of the Doderer family

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 9:56 am

Katie Doderer is a very poised 15-year-old with short blond hair and a wide smile. She's a straight A student who loves singing, dancing and performing in musicals.

This could be considered something of a miracle.

"I have a complex medical condition known as congenital central hypoventilation – blah—syndrome. CCHS," Katie explains, stumbling on the full name of her malady. "Basically my brain doesn't tell me to breathe. So I am reliant on a mechanical ventilator."

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Where We Live
11:03 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Understanding Dyslexia, and Closing the Diagnosis Gap

Credit Hey Paul Studios, Creative Commons

Connecticut’s governor has talked openly about his developmental struggles. He's also one in five people who has dyslexia. It’s a developmental reading disorder that causes difficulties with spelling, reading and writing.

Dyslexia is something that keeps Malloy from being able to read and write as well as he’d like to this day, but it also drives him.  

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Health Care
3:41 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Health Premiums Up, But Modestly

A lot of Americans get their health insurance from their job. And according to a new study, the price of that insurance went up by about four percent last year. A new report finds that annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage reached $16,300 this year -- up four percent over last year.

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Science News
5:27 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Lyme Disease Far More Common Than Previously Known

Black-legged ticks like this can transmit the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.
CDC

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 6:58 pm

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 300,000 Americans are getting Lyme disease every year, and the toll is growing.

"It confirms what we've thought for a long time: This is a large problem," Dr. Paul Mead tells Shots. "The bottom line is that by defining how big the problem is we make it easier for everyone to figure out what kind of resources we have to use to address it."

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Medical Technology
2:41 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Google Glass in the Doctor's Office?

Hartford Hospital is looking into medical uses for Google Glass.
Ariel Zambelich/WIRED (Creative Commons)

You've probably heard of Google Glass - the computer you wear like eyeglasses. The computer display is right in front of your eyes, and is navigated by voice commands.

Now Hartford Hospital has been given a pair of the futuristic glasses by Google to explore the possibilities of using Google Glass in life saving situations by medical personnel.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:40 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

A Salute To Urine!

Wikimedia Commons

In 1978, Indian prime minister Moraji Desai flustered Dan Rather during a Sixty Minutes interview by describing his health practice of drinking his own urine. I'm not sure how many people around the world do this for its supposed health benefits, but there are more than you might think. Rather was grossed out. Desai lived to be 99. So bottoms up! The list of people who have done this includes J.D. Salinger, the singer Kesha and the actress Sarah Miles as well as thousands of Americans who discovered Indian medicinal ideas during their immersion in yoga.

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Technology
2:25 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Google Glass in the Doctor's Office?

Ariel Zambelich/WIRED (Creative Commons)

You've probably heard of Google Glass - the computer you wear like eyeglasses. The computer display is right in front of your eyes, and is navigated by voice commands. Now Hartford Hospital has been given a pair of the futuristic glasses by Google to explore the possibilities of using Google Glass in life saving situations by medical personnel.

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Where We Live
11:10 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Creating Safe Communities with the Connecticut Youth Forum

Chion Wolf

A common thread running through any type of interpersonal conflict in whether it’s bullying in school or online, gun violence on a street corner, or abuse in a home,  is a need for safe places to live, work, and learn. It’s a fundamental human need.

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Child Health
8:56 am
Mon August 12, 2013

DCF Adopts New Model for Working With Families

Lucy Nalpathanchil

The last person a struggling parent wants to see at his or her door is a worker from the state Department of Children and Families. Years of adversarial relationships with families have contributed to the troubled agency's reputation. Now, as WNPR’s Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, DCF has adopted a reform that turns the old way of doing things on its head.

Amy DeRosa is a 36 year-old mom with two children. She's a pretty positive person despite life handing her one challenge after another

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Here & Now
4:10 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Deadline Looms For States To Enroll Thousands In Health Plans

By October 1, states are supposed to have their health insurance exchanges up and running so they can enroll residents.

The exchanges are online insurance marketplaces for individuals and small businesses — where people can shop for a health plan.

Some people will pay out of pocket for their health coverage and others may get some help from the federal government to pay for their premiums.

Polls show that 40 percent of Americans do not know that the Affordable Care Act is in effect, and that percentage is higher for uninsured populations.

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Child Health
12:43 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Falling Obesity Rates Among Preschoolers Mark Healthful Trend

This map from the CDC shows decreases (light blue) and increases (gray) in obesity prevalence among low-income, preschool-aged children from 2008-2011.
CDC

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 7:47 am

A fresh analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests the tide may be turning on the childhood obesity front.

After decades of steady increases, 19 states and U.S. territories saw small decreases in their rates of obesity among low-income preschoolers. And another 20 states held steady at current rates.

A CDC map shows several Southern states — including Florida, Georgia and Mississippi — that are part of the downward trend.

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Coming Home Project
2:16 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Suicide Haunts New Generation Of Veterans

(sjbresnahan/Flickr)

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 3:49 pm

It’s estimated that more than 20 veterans kill themselves every day. A new survey of men and women who served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan shows that mental health is the most important issue they face.

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Hospital Care
2:42 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

St. Francis Changes Course, Funds Program for Expectant Mothers Month-To-Month

 But the hospital has apparently had a change of heart. Last month, St. Francis told the city that it would no longer fund the program. But Raul Pino, the city's health director, says the hospital has let him know it has reversed its course. "They have informed us that they are funding the program on a month-to-month basis." Pino says the hospital will also conduct an analysis of the program to see if it is running efficiently.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:41 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Prenatal Massage, Hypnobirthing, And Other Ways To Manage Having A Baby

Credit Nagobe, Flickr Creative Commons

Home birthing? Doulas? Midwives? Hypnobirthing? Prenatal massage? Today, we’re talking about alternative birthing.

Fifty years ago, it was pretty simple: you went to the hospital, they knocked you out, and you had your baby — while dad smoked a cigar in the waiting room. Or if no hospital was nearby, you gave birth at home and hoped a savvy neighborhood lady could to help out. In later years, the question became home birth versus hospital birth.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:19 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Prenatal Massage, Hypnobirthing, and Other Ways to Manage Having a Baby

Nagobe, Flickr Creative Commons

Home birthing? Doulas? Midwives? Hypnobirthing? Prenatal massage? Today, we’re talking about alternative birthing.

Fifty years ago, it was pretty simple: you went to the hospital, they knocked you out, and you had your baby — while dad smoked a cigar in the waiting room. Or if no hospital was nearby, you gave birth at home and hoped a savvy neighborhood lady could to help out. In later years, the question became home birth versus hospital birth.

Read more
Where We Live
11:53 am
Tue July 30, 2013

The Resurgence Of Heroin

Bludgeoner86 on Flickr Creative Commons

Prescription painkillers have become the most widely-used drugs in America, and the Centers for Disease Control says that deaths from overdose are at “epidemic” levels. The death rate has tripled since 1990.

Doctors are prescribing fewer of the opiates, because they fear addiction, abuse and illegal black market sales.

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Shots - Health News
2:16 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Cyclo-What? A Nasty Stomach Bug Spreads In The Midwest

Cyclospora is a tough parasite that can survive for weeks outside the human body.
CDC

Originally published on Sat July 27, 2013 11:45 am

It seems like the Midwest is a hotbed for medical mysteries these days.

Earlier this week, scientists traced a brand-new virus to ticks in Missouri. Now disease detectives are hot on the trail of another puzzling pathogen in the heartland.

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Here & Now
1:18 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

An Argument Against Standing Desks

(Pace McCulloch)

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 3:55 pm

One office worker says he enjoys sitting and he’s tired of the “superior moral attitude” from the standers around him.

Writer Ben Crair told Here & Now he accepts the medical studies showing that sitting at your desk is bad for your health. His objection to standing is based on “the pure satisfaction I get from sitting,” he said.

He argues there are other solutions to the health problem of sitting too long.

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Here & Now
1:17 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

New Alzheimer's Research Could Lead To Treatments

Alexis McKenzie, right, executive director of The Methodist Home of the District of Columbia Forest Side, an Alzheimer's assisted-living facility, puts her hand on the arm of resident Catherine Peake, in Washington, Feb. 6, 2012. (Charles Dharapak/AP)

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 3:55 pm

A new report in the journal Nature shows a significant step forward in figuring out what causes things to go wrong in the brain early on in Alzheimer’s disease.

The research could lead to new treatments.

More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, and that number is projected to triple by 2050. So there’s urgent demand for treatments — or even better, a cure — but so far, there has been little progress on that front.

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10:28 am
Fri July 26, 2013

Connecticut May Act on Mental Health Parity Provisions

Lead in text: 
New state legislation may soon be considered to address enforcement gaps in existing federal regulations related to mental health coverage.
Frustrated by what they consider a lack of clarity from the federal government on how to enforce a landmark mental health parity act, some Connecticut officials want the state to issue its own guidance for interpreting the law. "We just can't wait any longer," said Anne Melissa Dowling, the state's deputy insurance commissioner.
Mental Health
4:45 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

How A Family Copes With Schizophrenia And Suicide

Homer Bell's family: sister Laura Bell (from left), sister Regina Bell, mother Rosalind Scott and stepfather Jack Wilcox.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 7:21 pm

Homer Bell was 54 years old when he killed himself in April in a very public way — he laid down his head in front of a stopped bus in his hometown of Hartford, Conn. It was the last act in a life filled with struggle, as Bell and his family endured his schizophrenia.

At a time when there are calls to strengthen the mental health system, Bell's story shows how hard coping with mental illness can be.

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