Health

Shots - Health News
1:53 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Massachusetts Inches Toward Health Insurance For All

From December 2013 to March 2014, the public and private health insurance groups in Massachusetts reported an overall increase in health insurance enrollment by more than 215,000 people. Enrollment in private plans essentially held steady, as enrollment in the state's public plans expanded.
Center for Health Information and Analysis

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 2:31 pm

When Massachusetts passed its landmark health insurance law under Gov. Mitt Romney in 2006, no one claimed the state would get to zero — as in 0 percent of residents who are uninsured. But numbers out this week suggest Massachusetts is very close.

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Shots - Health News
10:43 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Giving School Nurses Access To Medical Records Improves Care

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 12:17 pm

School nurses today do a lot more than bandage skinned knees. They administer vaccines and medications, help diabetic students monitor their blood sugar, and prepare teachers to handle a student's seizure or asthma attack, among many other things.

"Chronic disease management is what school nurses spend most of their time doing," says Carolyn Duff, president of the National Association of School Nurses. "We do care for students in emergencies, but we spend more time planning to avoid emergencies."

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Shots - Health News
10:17 am
Tue June 10, 2014

From Genes To Fangs: Snake Venom Recipes Remain Mysterious

Saw-scaled vipers may be small, but they pack a nasty venomous punch. This one, Echis carinatus sochureki, was used in a study on snake venom.
Courtesy of Wolfgang Wüster

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 7:46 am

When a saw-scaled viper sinks its fangs into a person, it isn't pretty.

Toxins attack the victim's capillaries. The body launches an immune defense, as it would with an infection. But that takes time — too much time. The venom quickly dissolves the tiny blood vessels, and the body runs out of clotting materials before it can repair them.

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NPR Ed
4:15 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Why NYC Is Afraid Of Free Lunch For All

In New York, three-quarters of all students qualify for free or reduced-price meals, but a third of those simply don't participate.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 6:45 pm

More than 30 million kids a year participate in the National School Lunch Program, getting free or reduced-price meals at school. Hunger experts believe many more qualify but don't use it because a.) their families haven't filled out the necessary paperwork or b.) they don't want to be seen as poor.

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Shots - Health News
4:05 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

A Reason To Smile: Mexican Town Is A Destination For Dental Tourism

Mexico's 2010 census counted fewer than 5,500 residents in Los Algodones, but more than 350 dentists ply their trade here, serving U.S. and Canadian patients seeking affordable procedures.
Ted Robbins NPR

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 9:22 am

Sitting in a dentist's chair hardly rates as a vacation. But every year, tens of thousands of people go to a tiny border town near Yuma, Ariz., that has proclaimed itself the dental capital of Mexico.

Los Algodones is a virtual dental factory. Some 350 dentists work within a few blocks of downtown. Because of the low prices and fast service, most patients come for major work.

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Shots - Health News
3:27 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Taking Statins May Make People Less Physically Active

Hey bro, taking statins does not give you a free ride in the exercise department.
MorelSO iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 7:47 am

People who take statin medications are less active than those not taking the cholesterol-lowering drugs, a study finds.

And that's a problem, because lack of activity increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as other diseases. That's just what the statins are supposed to prevent. So people may be canceling out the good work of the statins if they're putting in more couch time.

Our first thought was that these people were taking it easy because hey, who needs to sweat when those statins are hard at work lowering cholesterol?

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News
3:06 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Audit Reveals Vast Scale Of VA Waitlist Issues

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 5:42 pm

Before former Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki stepped down, he ordered an audit of the VA system, hoping to find how many hospitals were lying about wait times. The audit found that approximately 100,000 veterans are waiting too long for care at the VA.

The Salt
12:31 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Fruit Juice Vs. Soda? Both Beverages Pack In Sugar, Health Risks

Better for you than soda? With 49 grams of fructose per liter, not much.
VoxFX/Flickr

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 3:28 pm

When it comes to choosing between sodas and juices in the beverage aisle, the juice industry has long benefited from a health halo.

We know that juice comes from fruit, while soda is artificial. In particular, the sugars in juice seem more "natural" than high fructose corn syrup — the main sweetener in so many sodas. After all, we've gotten rid of most of the soda we used to offer kids at school, but we still serve them lots of juice.

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Shots - Health News
12:19 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

In Oregon, End Of Life Orders Help People Avoid The ICU

Oregon's experiment with end-of-life care is intended to keep frail elderly people out of the hospital if they don't wish it.
aloha_17 iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 4:41 am

Do you know how or where you want to die? At home? In a hospital? What measures you want doctors to take to prolong your life? In Oregon and more than a dozen other states, adults who are old and frail have been answering these questions and doctors write them up as orders.

Those doctor-backed instructions help protect people from unwanted medical intervention, a study finds.

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Mental Health
12:09 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

When A Killer Comes From Your Family

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 2:45 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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