health care

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.

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.

NPR — together with member stations from across the country — has been reporting on troubles with the Veterans Choice program, a $10 billion plan created by Congress two years ago to squash long wait times veterans were encountering when going to see a doctor. But as we reported in March, this fix needs a fix.

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Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine are launching new technology that will allow patients to access their medical records and take a more active role in their own healthcare. 

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Nearly 60,000 Connecticut children under age six were reported with lead exposure in 2013, and an additional 2,275 children had high enough levels of the toxin in their blood to be considered poisoned.

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Dr. Gail Christopher has been a crusader for better health outcomes in America, championing an idea that “place matters,” finding that the way people live in some communities puts them at a much higher risk for disease. 

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If your cabinets are filled with leftover prescription drugs, you'll have an opportunity to clean them out on Saturday. 

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Physicians, patients, and drug manufacturers are often at the center of discussions about pain and opioid abuse. But what about insurance providers? One Connecticut company said it's found a way to better manage pain, while reducing the number of prescribed opioids. 

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As Connecticut ages, more and more people find themselves in a caregiving role. And so entrepreneurs are turning their attention to problems encountered by this growing sector of the population. 

A new initiative is working to create a data dashboard that almost any city could use to get a handle on the health of its citizens. City-level health data can be critical when it comes to measures like reducing smoking or deciding where to build new parks and health clinics. Yet most health data is collected at the county, not the city level. That means city leaders looking to improve residents’ health lack a baseline of information to work from.

New Report Cites Long Wait Times for VA Primary Care

Apr 21, 2016
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Some newly enrolled veterans seeking a primary care appointment at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) wait more than 90 days before they see a provider, and the agency’s way of calculating wait times understates them, according to a new report by a government watchdog office.

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The world is getting older. According to the National Institutes of Health, the number of people aged 65 and up will grow to 1.6 billion by mid-century. 

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Layoff notices continue to be issued to Connecticut state employees.

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Discovery in the biomedical sciences is running at a pace that challenges our ability to keep up, financially, ethically, and legally. And thinkers in the field are calling on policy makers to reconsider our response.

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Unions representing more than 36,000 Verizon landline phone and cable workers are threatening a strike starting Wednesday morning if the company doesn't agree to a new contract.

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America’s elderly population is growing, and so is the number of older adults with mental health needs. According to the American Psychological Association, between 20 and 25 percent of adults aged 65 and older have a mental health disorder. Yet reports show only a small fraction are receiving the kind of specialized professional care they need.  

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The high cost of insulin, which has risen by triple-digit percentages in the last five years, is endangering the lives of many diabetics who can’t afford the price tag, say Connecticut physicians who treat diabetics.

The Placebo Effect

Apr 6, 2016
CHRISTIAN SCHNETTELKER / Creative Commons

Placebo treatments have been making people feel better for a long time. They've been working since long before Franz Mesmer was run out of 18th-century Vienna for "mesmerizing" a young pianist into regaining her eyesight, after all hope for a medical cure had been lost.  

Doctors have long dismissed the placebo effect as inferior to conventional medical treatments that sometimes fail where placebo works well, including in surgical procedures like arthroscopy, a popular procedure that relieves the pain of arthritic knees. 

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With an opioid crisis still underway across the country, pain and how it’s treated is under scrutiny. The Centers for Disease Control in March came out with national standards for prescribing opioid painkillers, notably that clinicians should consider other options first.

When Architect Matthias Hollwich was approaching 40, he wondered what the next 40 years of his life might look like. He looked into the architecture that serves older adults, places like retirement communities and assisted living facilities, and didn't like what he saw. But what if we changed our habits earlier in life so we could stay in the communities we already live in?

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Radiologists and advocates are trying to persuade Connecticut lawmakers to reverse a cut made last year to the state Medicaid reimbursement rate for radiology services. 

Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center

New Haven is trying out a new pilot program to screen residents for type 2 diabetes at on e of the city's public housing developments. Mayor Toni Harp visited the complex this week to kick off the new program and talk with some of the residents and health officials. 

Jill Hoy

Jon Imber was at the peak of his career as an accomplished artist and teacher when he was diagnosed with ALS in the fall of 2012. "Imber's Left Hand," a documentary about Jon's life as ALS claimed the use of his dominant right hand, will air on April 5 at the Hartford Jewish Film Festival. 

Tony Bacewicz

Emerson Cheney has survived drug addiction, an abusive relationship, years of cutting and burning himself, and multiple suicide attempts.

Carolyn Rossi has been a registered nurse for 27 years, and she's been fiercely protective of infants in her intensive care unit — babies born too soon, babies born with physical and cognitive abnormalities and, increasingly, babies born dependent on opioids.

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Pre-prohibition research into alcohol use and consumption was wiped out when the country dried out in the 1920s. In response, American "alcohol science" was created in the post-prohibition era to bring alcohol abuse into the medical realm, triggering a cultural explosion between advocates on each side of the wet/dry divide. It was in this arena that Alcoholics Anonymous was born. 

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A major group representing Connecticut doctors said it may support a bill limiting first-time opioid prescriptions if the final legislation allows prescribers some discretion. 

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