Health

Domestic Violence
8:40 am
Sat October 19, 2013

Grant Will Train Health Care Personnel

CTCADV executive Director Karen Jarmoc receives $10,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation.
Credit Mackenzie Kreitler / Verizon Wireless

The Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence received a grant form the Verizon Foundation Friday that will train Health Care providers to become effective domestic violence screeners.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:46 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

The Evolution of Animal Research

Credit understandinganimalresearch, Flickr Creative Commons

Almost every cure and treatment of diseases exists thanks to medical research on animals. Through animal research, we can understand the addictive nature of Oreos like in a study from Connecticut College recently, and Macaques are crucial for the development of AIDS vaccine strategies. We’ll find out why certain animals work best for certain studies, some big challenges in finding the healthiest control subjects, and more.

GUESTS:

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Trouble with Opioids
10:46 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Painkiller Overdose Deaths Strike New York City's Middle Class

What's in your neighbor's medicine cabinets may influence overdose risk in the community.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 12:12 pm

Drug overdoses are usually thought to afflict mainly the poor and troubled. But it looks like OxyContin and other opioid painkillers are changing the picture.

People in stable, middle-class neighborhoods are also dying from opioid overdoses, a study in New York City finds.

Opioids have become among the most popular drugs of abuse in the past decade, with deaths from overdoses of oxycodone, hydrocodone and codeine eclipsing those from heroin and cocaine combined.

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StoryCorps
3:25 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Best Friends, Sharing 'Two Sides Of The Same Heart'

Starr Cookman (left) says she and Kylee Moreland Fenton have been "connected at the hip" since they were kids in Tucson, Ariz.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 12:23 pm

Starr Cookman and Kylee Moreland Fenton have been inseparable since childhood. They live on the same street. Kylee, a nurse, was present for the delivery of Starr's son, Rowan. And when Rowan came home from the hospital breathing rapidly and spitting up his food, both friends were alarmed — even when the pediatrician said he was doing fine.

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Brain Science
2:11 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Oreos as Addictive as Cocaine, in Lab Rats

Rats were found to prefer the middle part of an Oreo, just like many humans.
Credit BrokenSphere / Wikimedia Commons

News has been pretty rough lately, between the government shutdown and the debt ceiling. Now comes word that America’s favorite cookie can produce similar effects on the brain as addictive drugs. New research from Connecticut College finds that the Oreo cookie is just as addictive as cocaine, at least for lab rats.

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The Faith Middleton Show
11:00 am
Thu October 17, 2013

The Science of Skinny

Credit D. Sharon Pruitt/flickr creative commons

With scientific research, her own chemistry background, and the traditional diets of our not-so-distant ancestors as her guide, Dee McCaffrey casts new light on an age-old wisdom: Eating foods in their closest-to-natural form is the true path to sustained weight loss and, in fact, the remedy for almost any health problem. We are so far removed from foods in their natural state that we now call them “health foods,” a sad admission that we’ve compromised our health for the sake of convenience.

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Technology
3:06 am
Thu October 17, 2013

If A Tech Company Had Built The Federal Health Care Website

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 5:25 pm

HealthCare.gov was meant to create a simple, easy way for millions of Americans to shop for subsidized health care.

Instead, in a little two more than weeks, it has become the poster child for the federal government's technical ineptitude.

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Sports Science
10:37 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Chinese Olympic Coaches and Trainers Visit UConn

Chinese coaches, trainers, and physicians will spend the next few days learning about the latest innovations in sports science.
Shawn Kornegay UConn

A delegation of Chinese Olympic coaches, trainers, and physicians will spend the next few days at the University of Connecticut's Kinesiology Department, learning about the latest research in sports science. The department is regarded as one of the best in the country. UConn professors will speak to the delegation about research on injury rehabilitation, sports nutrition, training, hydration, and particular concerns facing female athletes.

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Steady Habits
1:06 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Random Bedtimes Breed Bad Behavior In Kids

Play now, pay later: consistency matters when it comes to kids and sleep.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 1:06 pm

Parents learn the hard way that late bedtimes make for cranky kids the next day. But inconsistent bedtimes may have a greater effect on children's behavior, a study says.

Kids who didn't go to bed on a regular schedule had more behavior problems at home and at school. When those children were put to bed at the same time each night, their behavior improved.

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Access Health CT
9:03 am
Sat October 12, 2013

So, Who is Signing Up for Obamacare?

Kevin Counihan, CEO of Access Health CT.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

It's been two weeks since enrollment began under the new health insurance law known as Obamacare. First, the numbers. Connecticut has about 344,000 people without health insurance. Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, was designed to lower that number.

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Affordable Care Act
7:36 am
Sat October 12, 2013

Health Insurance Exchanges Suffer Ills Of Geography

Alexandra Dixon is one of 350 "navigators" hired to help people sign up for health insurance in Maryland.
Jenny Gold for NPR

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 9:05 am

These first two weeks have been rocky for the state health insurance exchanges. The online marketplaces opened across the country Oct. 1, with computer glitches and staffing shortages.

Even the states that have agreed to run their own exchanges are having a hard time. In states that have not embraced the Affordable Care Act, the federal government is struggling to fill in the gap.

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Animal Studies
6:14 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Shutdown Imperils Costly Lab Mice, Years Of Research

Bob Adams is a lab animal veterinarian at Johns Hopkins University.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 8:33 pm

The government shutdown is likely to mean an early death for thousands of mice used in research on diseases such as diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer's.

Federal research centers including the National Institutes of Health will have to kill some mice to avoid overcrowding, researchers say. Others will die because it is impossible to maintain certain lines of genetically altered mice without constant monitoring by scientists. And most federal scientists have been banned from their own labs since Oct. 1.

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Brain Science
1:44 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Want To Feel 5 Years Older? Just Take A Memory Test

Playing this game won't make you feel older, unless you're already getting up there in age.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 4:11 pm

Researchers in a memory lab at Texas A&M University noticed that all the older people coming in as volunteers were really worried about how they'd do.

So the scientists decided to measure how taking a memory test affects a person's subjective sense of age.

Before the test, the 22 participants felt pretty darned good. Even though their average age was 75, they said they felt about 58.

Then they were given a list of 30 nouns, told to study them for two minutes, and then asked to recall as many of them as they could in three minutes.

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The Faith Middleton Show
12:40 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Slash Your Risk of Disease by 80 Percent

Credit Miranda Granche/flickr creative commons

by Faith Middleton

Yale University Preventive Medicine expert Dr. David Katz says he has a four-step approach to keep disease away. His technique involves a change in diet, exercise, no smoking, and weight-control. Master the skill-set to bring these areas in line, and we'll have longer and healthier lives. If you believe genes play the leading roll, or that environmental factors mean we're probably going to die younger than we thought, Dr. Katz says he has data to show you otherwise.

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Coming Home Project
9:56 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Interactive Feature: House Veterans Affairs Hearing on VA Opiate Prescriptions

VA’s opiate overload feeds veterans’ addictions, overdose deaths
Credit Center for Investigative Reporting

The House Veterans Affairs Committee is holding a hearing to find out more about a shocking trend of opiate prescriptions in VA hospitals nationwide.  A report by the Center for Investigative Reporting found that since 9/11, the number of opiate prescriptions has grown 270 percent. CIR says this has contributed to the rate of overdose deaths among veterans that is double the national average.

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Youth Radio
5:37 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

High Schools Struggle To Tackle Safety On The Football Field

Football practice at Castro Valley High School in California. Proper hitting technique requires players to keep their heads up to prevent neck injuries and concussions.
Brett Myers Youth Radio

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 7:41 pm

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Health Care
7:43 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Access Health CT Sees Plenty of Young Enrollments

CEO Kevin Counihan on Access Health CT's opening day October 1.
Credit Christine Stuart / CT News Junkie

Almost a third of those who have signed up on Connecticut's health care exchange so far are in the coveted under-35 demographic. The exchange has been operating for just over a week. By Tuesday, the exchange had processed just over 1,400 applications.

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Genius Among Us
8:06 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Yale Professor Wins Nobel Prize in Medicine

James Rothman
Credit Yale University

There is a brand-new Nobel Laureate in the Nutmeg State. Yale University professor James Rothman is one of three researchers to win the 2013 Nobel Prize in medicine for discoveries on how hormones, enzymes and other key substances are transported within cells.

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Sex Education
4:28 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Should Pleasure Be Taught as Part of Sex Ed?

Credit robertelyov, creative commons

What I remember of middle school sex ed consists mostly of what the kids told me in the back of the bus (gasp!). When they split the boys and the girls up into groups at school, I was given a “starter kit.” It was a cardboard box full of scary and curious feminine hygiene products. I don’t know what the boys got.

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Where We Live
12:00 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Joycelyn Elders and Dan Savage: Let's Talk About Sex

Joycelyn Elders, speaking in Hartford
Credit Arielle Levin-Becker

Joycelyn Elders is a doctor and a public health administrator and advocate. She was appointed the first African American surgeon general during the Clinton administration -- and then fired from her post  for some frank comments around sex and AIDS prevention. 

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Child Care
10:34 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Federal Audit Finds Numerous Day Care Violations

A children's outdoor play area without a fence or protective barrier to prevent children from entering the driveway where cars are parked. Also shown is a set of stairs without protective gates.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

A federal inspection of family day cares in Connecticut found numerous violations, including lack of criminal background checks, safety issues, and sanitary concerns. It's not the first time issues have been found with the way the state monitors day care facilities.

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Access Health CT
7:29 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Malloy Calls Obamacare Rollout "Historic"

Governor Dannel Malloy and others at a ribbon-cutting for Access Health CT.
Credit Jeff Cohen/WNPR

Connecticut has about 344,000 residents who live without health insurance. The goal of the new law, also known as Obamacare, was to figure out a way to get them covered through private insurers at a reasonable cost.

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It's Hard to Access Health CT
1:21 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

State's Obamacare Website Struggling on Day One

Kevin Counihan.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Today is the day the uninsured can enroll in the state's new health care exchange under the Affordable Care Act. But technical glitches have hampered the rollout.

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Coming Home Project
1:12 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

VA Benefits Continue for Now

Connecticut VA Commissioner Linda Schwartz
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The federal shutdown has a lot of Americans including veterans worried about how they'll be affected. Some media reports have stated compensation, pension and disability checks from the federal VA will see immediate interruptions but that is not the case. 

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Hunger
12:07 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

1 In 8 Suffers From Chronic Hunger Globally, U.N. Report Says

Schoolgirls eat a free midday meal in Hyderabad, India, last month. India has offered such meals since the 1960s to persuade impoverished parents to send their children to school. A U.N. report released Tuesday finds modest progress in the worldwide fight against chronic hunger.
Mahesh Kumar A. AP

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 1:17 pm

Worldwide, roughly 1 in 8 people suffered from chronic hunger from 2011 to 2013, according to a new report from three U.N. food agencies.

They concluded that 842 million people didn't get enough food to lead healthy lives in that period, a slight drop from the 868 million in the previous report.

The modest change was attributed to several factors, from economic growth in developing countries to investments in agriculture. And in some countries, people have benefited from money sent home by migrant workers. But the gains were unevenly distributed, the report's authors say.

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Extra Virgin
11:28 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Former Connecticut Official Knighted in Italy for Protecting Purity of Olive Oil

Credit Cosasdebeas / Wikimedia Commons

Just as wine lovers want complexity in a great vintage wine, olive oil fans expect purity in their favorite extra virgin. But high-end olive oil is expensive to produce. And in the mid-2000s, fraud was a growing problem.

When Connecticut officials discovered that some imported olive oil was really a cheap knock-off, they leapt into action. Jerry Farrell was commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection at the time.

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Health Care
9:11 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Where We Live: Rolling Out the Health Care Exchange

Kevin Counihan.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Join us while we talk about the new Connecticut health care exchange on Where We Live. Listen live here.

9:11 am: Kevin Counihan, CEO of Connecticut's health insurance exchange, says Access Health CT is up and running. He says plenty of people are visiting the site and it's active. "It's a highly complex implementation," he says, citing lots of support in the state for the health care exchange.

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Health Care
8:01 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Access Health CT Opens Its Virtual Doors

Credit Pete/Comedy_Nose / Flickr Creative Commons

Access Health CT, the state's new health care marketplace, goes live for customers today. Officials are encouraging people shopping for insurance plans to do it online, if possible, to limit paperwork. Officials are also sending workers into the community to work with low-income people who may not have web access, or may not be web-savvy. 

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7:46 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Car Ignition Lock Use Tripled in a Year in Connecticut

Lead in text: 
Use of ignition interlock devices has tripled since a state law took effect in 2012 requiring first-time DUI offenders to have the device installed. The Day reports that nearly 2,700 people in the state currently use such a device in their cars. The device is wired to the car's ignition and requires a breath sample before the car will start. Mothers Against Drunk Driving is pushing for the device for all convicted drunken drivers and intends to reintroduce state legislation at the 2014 legislative session.
Publication: The Day Norwich - Jacqueline Caron of Norwich has spent months perfecting the proper steps needed to start her car. On one recent afternoon, the 52-year-old planted herself in the driver's seat, inhaled deeply, pursed her lips and exhaled into a tube while humming a tone reminiscent of a prolonged "whooo."
Affordable Care Act
3:23 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Lessons For The Obamacare Rollout, Courtesy Of Massachusetts

Then-Gov. Mitt Romney signs the Massachusetts health care bill in Boston on April 12, 2006.
Brian Snyder Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 9:23 am

Today marks a milestone on the nation's long march toward universal health coverage: the launch of online marketplaces, called exchanges, designed to help people find insurance they can afford.

It's an idea pioneered by Massachusetts seven years ago. People here call their program a success, and say the state's exchange was an indispensable factor.

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