Health

Health
10:43 am
Tue May 20, 2014

E-Cigarette Users May End Up Paying More For Insurance

A customer holds the electronic cigarette he purchased at a store in Miami.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

People may think that e-cigarettes are a safer alternative to tobacco, but insurers might not agree.

Tobacco use is one of just four things that insurers that sell health plans on the individual market can take into account when determining someone's premium: age, geographic location, and family size are the other three. People who use tobacco can be charged up to 50 percent more than nonsmokers.

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Health
9:39 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Following Abuses, Medicare Tightens Reins On Its Drug Program

Medicare has new power to police doctors whose prescribing patterns are out of whack.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 9:42 am

The federal government has granted itself potent new authority to expel physicians from Medicare if they are found to prescribe drugs in abusive ways, following through on a proposal issued earlier this year.

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Health
11:06 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Less Sleep For Little Kids Linked To More Belly Fat Later On

Research suggests that young children who don't get enough sleep are more likely to be obese by the time they hit age 7.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 9:46 am

Ask anyone who's dealt with a crabby toddler at the end of the day: Little kids need a lot of sleep. The National Sleep Foundation says that 1- to 3-year-olds, for example, generally need 12 to 14 hours of shut-eye a day.

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Health
4:25 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Report: Climate Change Making Allergies Worse

While the flowers and grass of springtime are a welcome change to most after the long winter we've had, for those with seasonal allergies, the suffering continues. (AJ Delos Santos/Flickr)

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 2:35 pm

For millions of Americans, the joy of spring and the return of grass, trees and flowers is overshadowed by one thing: allergies.

In much of the country, it’s been a brutally long, cold winter, which can make for a particularly bad allergy season. Most of the worst cities in the country for allergies are in the South.

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Health
4:11 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Telepsychiatry Brings Emergency Mental Health Care To Rural Areas

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 8:59 am

North Carolina is facing a very big mental health care challenge — 28 counties across the state do not have a single psychiatrist. That's despite the fact that in recent years, emergency rooms in the state have seen more patients with mental health, developmental disability or substance abuse problems.

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Health
11:51 am
Tue April 29, 2014

To Survive A Tornado, First Run To Shelter, Then Grab A Helmet

Tornadoes killed at least 17 people on Sunday and Monday. But some managed to stay safe in underground shelters like the one at right in Vilonia, Ark.
Karen E. Segrave AP

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 2:44 pm

Deadly tornadoes have wreaked havoc in the South, leveling homes and claiming at least 28 lives in the past three days. And meteorologists say the threat of more tornadoes won't ease up till Wednesday.

Getting to a safe place is the best thing that people can do to protect themselves and their families. That can mean a specially constructed concrete safe room, a basement, or just a ditch if you're caught outdoors.

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Health
12:43 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Got Gas? It Could Mean You've Got Healthy Gut Microbes

Sulfur-rich foods, such as cabbage, bok choy and kale, can be popular with gut bacteria. And we all know how much the critters enjoy beans.
Meg Vogel/NPR

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 11:02 am

Not long ago, we heard about a catchy idea for a cookbook: "Fart-free food for everybody."

In theory, these recipes would be helpful for some people — and those in their vicinity.

But being a bit gassy may actually be a small price to pay for a lot of benefits to our health.

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Health
2:07 am
Fri April 25, 2014

With Medical Debt Rising, Some Doctors Push For Payment Upfront

Bridgeit Vaughn (left), of the billing office at Mid State Orthopaedic, meets with Gayle Jackson-Pryce to discuss the costs of Jackson-Pryce's upcoming shoulder surgery.
Jenny Gold for NPR

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 6:52 am

Mid State Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Center is hard to miss. The practice's new 30,000-square-foot building is marked with an enormous sign along one of the main roads in Alexandria, a central Louisiana city of about 48,000 people.

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Health
3:53 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Rural Hospitals Weigh Independence Against Need For Computer Help

Dr. Billy Oley (left) talks with Dr. William George in the Beartooth Billings Clinic in Red Lodge, Mont. The hospital became part of the Billings Clinic system in exchange for help with its digital medical records.
Eric Whitney for NPR

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 6:17 pm

One of the biggest challenges American hospitals face right now is moving to electronic medical records from old-fashioned paper files.

The switch is costing tens of billions of dollars, eating up tons of staff time, and it's especially tough for the country's 2,000 rural and small-town hospitals.

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Health
3:36 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Education May Help Insulate The Brain Against Traumatic Injury

Proust and algebra may not sound like brain protection, but higher levels of education correlate with cognitive reserve.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 6:24 am

A little education goes a long way toward ensuring you'll recover from a serious traumatic brain injury. In fact, people with lots of education are seven times more likely than high school dropouts to have no measurable disability a year later.

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