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Shots - Health News
10:08 am
Mon July 6, 2015

Industry Payments To Nurses Go Unreported In Federal Database

Following the money trail is pretty easy with doctors, but nurses are another story.
Adrianna Williams Getty Images

A nurse practitioner in Connecticut pleaded guilty in June to taking $83,000 in kickbacks from a drug company in exchange for prescribing its high-priced drug to treat cancer pain. In some cases, she delivered promotional talks attended only by herself and a company sales representative.

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It's All Politics
3:47 am
Mon July 6, 2015

Liberal Minority Won Over Conservatives In Historic Supreme Court Term

An American flag flies over the U.S. Supreme Court June 29, 2015 in Washington, D.C. This past term, the liberal position won in 19 of the 26 closely-divided ideological cases and eight out of 10 of the most important ones.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 6, 2015 9:51 am

It was a historic term, a surprisingly liberal term — and a nasty term.

That's the essence of the tea-leaf reading about the U.S. Supreme Court term that just concluded. Astonishingly — though the court is dominated by conservative justices — the liberal minority, disciplined and united, drove the direction in a startling number of cases, while the conservatives splintered into multiple factions.

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Consumer
3:45 am
Mon July 6, 2015

People With Brain Injuries Heal Faster If They Get Up And Get Moving

Nurses Katherine Malinak and Amy Young lift Louis DeMattio, a stroke patient, out of his hospital bed using a ceiling-mounted lift at the Cleveland Clinic.
Dustin Franz for NPR

Originally published on Mon July 6, 2015 8:00 am

When Kate Klein began working as a nurse in the Cleveland Clinic's Neurointensive Care Unit, one of the first things she noticed was that her patients spent a lot of time in bed. She knew patients with other injuries benefitted from getting up and moving early on, and she wondered why not patients with brain injuries.

"I asked myself that question. I asked my colleagues that question," Klein says. "Why aren't these patients getting out of bed? Is there something unique about patients with neurologic injury?"

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HNF Stories
10:43 am
Sun July 5, 2015

Aetna To Buy Insurance Rival Humana For $37 Billion

Originally published on Fri July 3, 2015 6:31 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Aetna, one of the biggest health insurance companies in the U.S., has announced a $37 billion deal to buy its rival Humana. This is a merger that could impact Medicare patients around the country, as NPR's Hansi Lo Wang reports.

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The Salt
5:17 pm
Sat July 4, 2015

Aphrodisiacs Can Spark Sexual Imagination, But Probably Not Libido

The Birth of Venus, by Sandro Botticelli, depicts the goddess of love floating on a giant scallop shell. The word aphrodisiac derives from her Greek name, Aphrodite.
Sandro Botticelli Wikimedia

Originally published on Sat July 4, 2015 6:33 pm

What do we know about the power of food to rev up sex drive? Not much.

"Really, science has not figured out what determines sexual motivation and sexual attraction. If we knew the answer to that, we'd probably be richer than Pfizer after they invented Viagra," says Dolores Lamb, director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.

She hasn't seen any compelling evidence that any particular food can intensify desire.

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Shots - Health News
7:54 am
Sat July 4, 2015

LA Police Unit Intervenes To Get Mentally Ill Treatment, Not Jail Time

Officer Ted Simola, a member of the LAPD mental evaluation unit, responds to a call in February.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

Originally published on Sun July 5, 2015 8:14 am

The Los Angeles Police Department's mental evaluation unit is the largest mental health policing program of its kind in the nation, with 61 sworn officers and 28 mental health workers from the county.

The unit has become a vital resource for the 10,000-person police force in Los Angeles.

Officer Ted Simola and his colleagues in the unit work with county mental health workers to provide crisis intervention when people with mental illness come into contact with police.

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Shots - Health News
11:00 am
Fri July 3, 2015

When The Fish You Eat Have Eaten Something Toxic

Barracuda are one kind of fish that has been implicated in poisoning with ciguatera toxin.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon July 6, 2015 10:12 am

Some tasty saltwater fish carry a toxin that you may never have heard of.

And a recent study found that more people in Florida may be getting sick from eating fish contaminated with the toxin than previously thought.

By comparing Florida public health records with survey results from thousands of fishermen, scientists from the University of Florida found that ciguatera fish poisoning, as the condition is called, is significantly underreported in the state.

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Health Care
7:33 am
Fri July 3, 2015

Implementation Of Obamacare Remains A Work In Progress

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Health
5:15 pm
Thu July 2, 2015

Doctors Divided On Perks From Pharmaceutical, Medical Device Companies

Originally published on Thu July 2, 2015 6:45 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Code Switch
4:42 pm
Thu July 2, 2015

Coping While Black: A Season Of Traumatic News Takes A Psychological Toll

Raymond Smith of Charleston, S.C., kneels in prayer in front of the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston before a worship service on June 21.
Stephen B. Morton AP

Originally published on Thu July 2, 2015 8:12 pm

Can racism cause post-traumatic stress? That's one big question psychologists are trying to answer, particularly in the aftermath of the shooting at the historically black Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., and the recent incidents involving police where race was a factor.

What's clear is that many black Americans experience what psychologists call "race-based trauma," says Monnica Williams, director of the Center for Mental Health Disparities at the University of Louisville.

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Shots - Health News
3:10 pm
Thu July 2, 2015

Don't Get Your Kids' Genes Sequenced Just To Keep Up

You can now order genetic tests off the Internet and get your child's genome sequenced for less than the cost of a new car. The question is, should you?

Almost certainly not, according to the American Society for Human Genetics, which released a position paper Thursday intended to give parents some help navigating the dizzying world of genetic tests.

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Shots - Health News
12:09 pm
Thu July 2, 2015

Sweeping Or Skydiving? When Counting Calories It's All The Same

Skydiving and vacuuming burn the same number of calories. So what'll it be, thrills or a clean carpet?
Mary McLain NPR

Originally published on Thu July 2, 2015 6:29 pm

Sure, playing in the women's World Cup burns a lot more energy than watching the women's World Cup. But the number of calories expended in sports and daily activities isn't always so obvious.

To figure it out, we dove into this database compiled by Arizona State University. It charts the energy expenditure for hundreds of activities, from mainstream ("bicycling, leisure, 5.5 mph") to obscure ("caulking, chinking log cabin").

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Shots - Health News
10:27 am
Thu July 2, 2015

Your Colonoscopy Is Covered, But The Prep Kit May Not Be

iStockphoto

With summer vacations coming up, one reader this week asked about travel insurance, while others had questions about coverage of preventive services, including costs related to colonoscopies.

We know now that anesthesia for a screening colonoscopy is covered with no cost sharing as a preventive service under the health law. As a plan administrator, I am also struggling to find guidance on how to handle bowel prep kits for colonoscopies. Can you help?

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The Salt
6:13 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

A Dose Of Culinary Medicine Sends Med Students To The Kitchen

University of Chicago medical student Manny Quaidoo adds a pinch of salt to the spinach feta frittata he's learning to cook as part of a culinary medicine class.
Monica Eng WBEZ

Originally published on Wed July 1, 2015 6:40 pm

When it comes to premature death and disease, what we eat ranks as the single most important factor, according to a study in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. Yet few doctors say they feel properly trained to dispense dietary advice. One group, at least, is trying to fill that knowledge gap.

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Shots - Health News
4:58 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Industry Payments To Doctors Are Ingrained, Federal Data Show

Originally published on Mon July 6, 2015 10:14 am

Few days went by last year when New Hampshire nephrologist Ana Stankovic didn't receive a payment from a drug company.

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Health
4:39 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Health Officials Announce Return Of Ebola In Liberia

Originally published on Wed July 1, 2015 6:41 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Shots - Health News
4:10 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

How Your Brain Remembers Where You Parked The Car

The experiment used a fake photo of actor Clint Eastwood and Pisa's leaning tower to test how the brain links person and place.
Courtesy of Matias Ison/Neuron

Originally published on Thu July 2, 2015 6:30 pm

If you run into an old friend at the train station, your brain will probably form a memory of the experience. And that memory will forever link the person you saw with the place where you saw him.

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Shots - Health News
2:11 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Antipsychotics Too Often Prescribed For Aggression In Children

iStockphoto

Powerful antipsychotic medications are being used to treat children and teenagers with ADHD, aggression and behavior problems, a study finds, even though safer treatments are available and should be used first.

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Opinion
8:48 am
Wed July 1, 2015

PolitiFact Florida: Mostly False, Mostly True Claims In Bush Meme

Originally published on Wed July 1, 2015 6:10 pm

As the pool of candidates for the Republican presidential nomination grows, so do the claims about the candidates.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is featured in an infographic -- or meme -- making the rounds on social media titled “Five Things You Need To Know About Jeb Bush.”

The political group Ultraviolet, which advocates for women's rights, is behind this one.

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Shots - Health News
4:42 am
Wed July 1, 2015

Buy A Meth House Unawares And Pay The Health Consequences

Donetta Held unloads needles and pipes confiscated from a contaminated meth home. She owns an environmental decontamination company and says meth tests are their most demanded service.
Barbara Brosher WFIU

Originally published on Wed July 1, 2015 4:45 pm

Jennifer Nugent and her three kids are throwing a big, blue ball around in the small living room of their rental home.

The kids are happy, but Nugent isn't. She planned to raise them in a place with much more room to play.

And she was. That is, until she learned that home was uninhabitable.

Two years ago, she and her husband bought a country home in the small central Indiana town of Mooresville.

"It was blue and it had a lot of potential for us to add on," she says. "We really, really wanted that house."

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Shots - Health News
4:40 am
Wed July 1, 2015

Benefits Of Sports To A Child's Mind And Heart All Part Of The Game

Ten-year-old Jake Herrera and his Los Angeles team run around the diamond as a warmup for baseball practice.
Benjamin B. Morris for NPR

Originally published on Thu July 2, 2015 5:24 pm

Amy Roegler and her husband, Octavio Herrera, live with their young kids, Jake and Alyssa, in Los Angeles. When it comes to pro baseball, they're all Dodgers fans. And Jake loved balls even as a baby, Octavio says.

"We have a picture of him as a 3-month-old with a little Dodger jersey and a glove," Octavio says. "So he was definitely going to be introduced to sports early, and he took to it right away." Today 10-year-old Jake is on his baseball league's All-Star team.

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Consumer
4:39 am
Wed July 1, 2015

A Phys Ed Teacher Battles Tight Budgets And Childhood Obesity

Mindy Przeor founded an after-school and summer running club in Mesa, Ariz.
Jason Millstein for NPR

Originally published on Thu July 2, 2015 2:03 pm

First rule of Brinton Elementary School run club: Keep those legs moving. Second rule of run club: Have fun.

For 13-year-old Kaprice Faraci and her sister, Kassidy, inspiration to keep moving struck one after school afternoon in the third grade. Video games and TV bored the twins. They were outside when they spotted a small pack of children chugging down their street.

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Goats and Soda
5:29 pm
Tue June 30, 2015

Ebola Returns To Liberia With A Mysterious Case Near Monrovia

Health workers wash their hands after taking a blood sample from a child to test for the Ebola virus. On Tuesday, the workers tested people in the village outside Monrovia where a 17-year-old boy died of the disease over the weekend.
Abbas Dulleh AP

Originally published on Tue June 30, 2015 6:46 pm

Almost two months after Liberia was declared Ebola-free, the disease has cropped up again — this time in a rural town outside the capital city.

So far, there's only one new case, but health officials are rushing to stop its spread.

Liberia's deputy health minister, Tolbert Nyenswah, said Tuesday that a 17-year-old boy died of Ebola at his home in Nedowein, a village near the country's international airport.

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Shots - Health News
3:34 pm
Tue June 30, 2015

Caveats About Favored Access Method For Dialysis

What's the best way to connect patients to dialysis machines?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed July 1, 2015 4:45 pm

When it comes to dialysis, one method of accessing the blood to clean it gets championed above the rest. But quite a few specialists say there's not enough evidence to universally support the treatment's superiority or to run down the other options.

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Shots - Health News
12:31 pm
Tue June 30, 2015

Branding Teen Drivers As Newbies Doesn't Prevent Crashes

Marking novice drivers' cars doesn't help reduce crash rates when it comes to learner's permit holders, study finds.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed July 1, 2015 4:44 pm

Nothing says "I'm a new driver" more than a fire-red label stuck to your license plate for all to see. That's what happens in New Jersey to anyone with a learner's permit under age 21. But identifying these newest drivers doesn't necessarily help reduce crash rates, research finds.

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The Two-Way
6:53 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

California Legislature Passes 'Mandatory' Vaccine Bill, Sends It To The Governor

People who oppose vaccinating their children wouldn't be able to cite personal beliefs if the bill became law.
Irfan Khan LA Times via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 29, 2015 8:17 pm

A bill that would make vaccinations a requirement for nearly every schoolchild passed the California Legislature. The bill, SB 277, is now on its way to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown's desk. It's one of the toughest vaccination bills in the country, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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Law
5:41 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

Supreme Court Rules To Keep Texas Abortion Clinics Open

Originally published on Mon June 29, 2015 6:32 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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The Two-Way
4:03 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

Supreme Court Places A Stay On Abortion Law In Texas

Originally published on Mon June 29, 2015 5:28 pm

The Supreme Court has placed a stay on a lower court's ruling that upheld new abortion standards in Texas, to give opponents of a controversial 2013 law time to take their case to the nation's highest court.

The stay is temporary: If the Supreme Court refuses to hear the case, the stay will be lifted and the law will take effect. If the justices agree to hear the case, the stay would remain in effect until a ruling is issued.

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Shots - Health News
3:50 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

Medical School Hopefuls Grapple With Overhauled Entrance Exam

Travis Driscoll, a medical school applicant from Berkeley, Calif., studies for the revamped MCAT.
April Dembosky/KQED

Originally published on Tue June 30, 2015 10:53 am

It's T minus four days until exam day, and Travis Driscoll is practically living at his desk.

"Each day, I'm easily here for five hours," he says. "I haven't done much of anything else but studying for the last two months."

Driscoll is one of 13,000 medical school applicants across the U.S. taking the new Medical College Admissions Test, or MCAT. He's got stacks of science books on his desk to help him prepare and a rainbow of biochemistry charts pasted to the walls: glycolysis, citric acid cycle, electron transport chain, mitosis, meiosis and DNA replication.

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The Salt
3:04 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

Curb Your Appetite: Save Bread For The End Of The Meal

Bite into that bread before your main meal, and you'll spike your blood sugar and amp up your appetite. Waiting until the end of your dinner to nosh on bread can blunt those effects.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed July 1, 2015 3:56 pm

Ah, the bread basket. You sit down for a nice meal out, and there it appears: piping hot, giving off a waft of yeasty divinity.

Who can resist?

There's a reason this age-old tradition prevails. Even in the era of paleo and gluten-free, there are still hordes of us who will gladly nosh on crusty, chewy, soul-warming bread.

But the downside may be more than just some extra calories. Turns out, eating all those carbs before a meal can amp up our appetites and spike our blood sugar.

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