Health

Shots - Health News
2:24 am
Mon May 12, 2014

That Prescription Might Not Have Been Tested For Your Ailment

Leif Parsons for NPR

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 4:00 pm

It's actually quite common for doctors to write "off label" prescriptions, including using cancer drugs to treat migraine headaches or blood pressure medication for heart failure.

One study found that 1 in 5 prescriptions written in doctor's offices has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat the condition it is being used for. And while some off-label drugs are used with no problems, others may not work or may increase a patient's risk of complications.

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Shots - Health News
12:59 pm
Sun May 11, 2014

Addicted And Pregnant: 'The Most Heart-Wrenching Experience Of My Life'

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 5:59 am

I bought my first and only pregnancy test when I was 26.

At the time, I had been doing a lot of meth. I was fortunate if I remembered to eat one meal a day. Refilling my birth-control prescription had become just another missed detail in a life that had ceased to have much meaning for me.

I was an addict, and I was staring at two very bright pink lines on a stick.

I showed the test to my boyfriend. "What are we going to do?" I asked. He replied, "Have a baby, I guess."

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All Tech Considered
4:40 am
Sun May 11, 2014

To Know Thyself, Collect Data On Your Dog

Whistle is a wearable device for your dog that tracks the pup's activity.
Whistle

If you walk your dog after dinner each night, does that help you sleep better? Maybe you've noticed that this seems to be the case, but access to hard data would help confirm it.

As technology advances and more people dig into the metrics of how they live, the market is exploding with wearable devices that enable deeper self-monitoring. There's even a fancy name for this: the quantifiable self, basically using technology to gather data on your life.

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Shots - Health News
11:51 am
Sat May 10, 2014

When A Cholesterol Test Becomes A Vice Instead Of A Virtue

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 4:04 pm

If you ask me to boil down the modern doctor-patient relationship to its most basic elements, cholesterol pretty much sums it up.

No single concept has permeated American medical culture to the extent of our anxiety about cholesterol.

It doesn't matter if you're old or young, male or female, rich or poor, educated or not. Whether you love American-style high-tech medical care or forswear it for an Eastern-oriented herbal approach, patients from all perspectives come to me and fret about their cholesterol.

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Shots - Health News
4:20 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Europeans Are Getting Fatter, Just Like Americans

Fried cod awaits its destiny as fish and chips in London.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Ireland is predicted to become the fattest country in Europe by 2030, according to a study released by the World Health Organization and the UK Health Forum.

As many as 90 percent of Irish men and 84 percent of Irish women are projected to be classified as overweight or obese by then. Blame goes to the usual culprits: unhealthy diets high in sugar and fats, and a lack of exercise.

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Shots - Health News
4:06 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Keep Or Kill Last Lab Stocks Of Smallpox? Time To Decide, Says WHO

U.S. Marine Sgt. Robert Scoggin gets a vaccination against smallpox in 2003 at Camp Pendleton in California — one of the final steps before deployment overseas.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 7:45 pm

The World Health Organization is revisiting a question that's been the subject of intense debate for decades: whether to destroy the only known samples of the smallpox virus.

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Health
3:19 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

To End Addiction Epidemic, States Focus On Stopping Doctor Shoppers

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 7:45 pm

Nearly every state has a prescription drug monitoring program that's meant to end abuse of opioids and other powerful pain medicines. But critics say most of these programs have a big loophole: they're voluntary, and many doctors don't use them. States that have made participation in PDMPs mandatory say they've started to cut down on practices that allow pain meds to be diverted into the black market. But those states are the exception.

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Shots - Health News
1:41 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Health Centers Hurt In States That Skipped Medicaid Expansion

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 7:18 am

More than 1 million patients who use federally funded community health centers will remain uninsured because they live in 24 states that chose not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, according to a study released Friday by researchers at George Washington University.

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Health
11:39 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Midwifery: A Profession Of Passion, For Men Too

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
7:34 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Hoarding Can Start Early, But Signs Are Hard To See In Teens

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 3:53 pm

Hoarding disorder is generally diagnosed in older adults, after their inability to discard things and their anxiety over possessions leave them unable to function. But it may take root much earlier in life, though psychiatrists say they're just starting to figure that out.

Hoarding symptoms may look different in teenagers than they do in adults, researchers reported at the American Psychiatric Association's annual meeting this week in New York.

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