Health

Health
11:28 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Forget 10,000 Steps. For Happy Knees, 6,000 Will Do It

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 7:07 am

Exercise is the easiest way to avoid or reduce the pain of knee arthritis, but most adults aren't getting enough. Six thousand steps a day will do it, researchers say, which is considerably less than the 10,000 steps a day often touted by wellness programs.

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Health
3:08 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Switching To Newer Insulin For Type 2 Diabetes Comes At A Cost

Glargine is one of the synthetic analog forms of insulin that have largely replaced human insulin.
Adiran Black/Flickr

Many people with diabetes have switched to newer forms of insulin called analogs, because they can make the disease easier to manage. But that switch can be expensive, a study finds.

Researchers at the Yale University School of Medicine looked at insurance claim data to see how people with Type 2 diabetes were using insulin, and how much it cost.

From 2000 to 2010, the number of people with Type 2 diabetes who filled at least one prescription for insulin rose from 10 to 15 percent.

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Health
2:35 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Doctors Don't Know What Women Want To Know About Birth Control

Numbers represent the percent of patients and doctors who ranked each issue in their top three concerns to discuss during consultations.
Maanvi Singh/NPR

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 9:33 am

Women have choices in contraception, from pills and injections to intrauterine devices and the NuvaRing. But when women discuss birth control with their doctors, they may not be getting all the information they want, a survey finds.

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Health
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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Health
2:18 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

R U Ready To Quit Smoking? Texting Can Help

Want a cig? Researcher Lorien Abroms displays a sample Text2Quit message.
William Atkins George Washington University

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 7:22 am

Smokers who want to quit have all sorts of tools at their disposal: call lines, nicotine patches, medication, friends, doctors. And now, texts.

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Health
11:58 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Are Pre-Existing Condition Bans For Health Insurance Still With Us?

Cigna's letter to Julie Rovner saying she had no proof of past coverage, so limitations based on pre-existing conditions could apply. (Highlights added.)
Julie Rovner for NPR

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 12:50 pm

"Welcome to Cigna," said the letter, dated May 16, on behalf of my new employer, the Kaiser Family Foundation. The letter also said the insurer was placing me on a one-year waiting period for any pre-existing conditions.

Seriously? Wasn't the health law supposed to end that?

"We have reviewed the evidence of prior creditable coverage provided by you and/or your prior carrier and have determined that you have 0 days of creditable coverage," the letter said.

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Health
3:21 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Study Questions Need For Employer Health Care Requirement

The employer mandate requires that businesses with 50 or more employees provide health insurance to their workers. A new study by the Urban Institute says the mandate should be eliminated.
Mutlu Kurtbas iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 5:17 pm

When the Affordable Care Act was unveiled, business groups railed against the provision that requires companies with 50 or more employees to provide health insurance for their full-time workers.

The Obama administration responded by pushing back the deadline for the coverage, so it hasn't yet taken effect. Now support for this so-called employer mandate is eroding in some surprising quarters.

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Health
12:13 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

American Teens Are Becoming Even Wimpier Than Before

Pickup basketball may be losing out to computer games.
johnrf2/iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 1:50 pm

If you think that teenagers are becoming weaklings, you're right.

Less than half of youths ages 12 to 15 are even close to being aerobically fit, according to data released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That's down from 52 percent of youths in 1999 to 2000, the last time this survey was conducted. It measures "adequate" levels of cardiorespiratory fitness, which children need not only for sports but for good health.

And that was true regardless of a child's race and family income.

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Health
2:28 am
Wed May 28, 2014

How To Shop For Long-Term Care Insurance

The first lesson of long-term care insurance: Shopping before health problems set in improves your chances of being accepted while tempering lifetime premium payments.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 11:57 am

One of the toughest money decisions Americans face as they age is whether to buy long-term care insurance. Many people don't realize that Medicare usually doesn't cover long-term care, yet lengthy assisted-living or nursing home stays can decimate even the best-laid retirement plan.

Long-term care insurance is a complex product that requires a long-term commitment if you're buying it. So how can you tell if this insurance is right for you?

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Health
3:44 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

First Lady Fights To Keep Healthful School Lunch Law Intact

First lady Michelle Obama has been doing a lot of high-fiving with schoolchildren like these in Dallas to promote healthful lifestyles. Now she's diving more deeply into the politics of school lunch.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 8:53 am

First lady Michelle Obama is by far one of the most popular political figures in America, because she's largely avoided appearing too political — instead devoting much of her attention to encouraging good nutrition and healthful lifestyles for America's children.

But that cause has run head-on into a congressional fight over stalling some of the nutritional gains of the school lunch program, which she helped put in place.

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