Health | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

Health

A University of Connecticut professor has been studying two treatment therapies for post traumatic stress disorder. The study focuses on the military community which sees a disproportionate number of PTSD cases.

Aging Vigorously

Dec 1, 2011
Roy Rowan

The population of those 90 and over in America has nearly tripled in the last 30 years.

And (surprise!) Connecticut is in the top five states with the largest number of people over 85 years old. A recent census study had to add a whole new category for these “oldest old” folks. So what does it mean that more people will be living well into their 90s?

Today we’ll talk to 91 year old former journalist and author Roy Rowan who says he isnt “aging gracefully” - but aging “vigorously” and “actively.”  

Hospitals To Face Penalties For High Readmissions

Nov 28, 2011
Jordan Valentine Graphic

Patients treated for pneumonia at four Connecticut hospitals have ended up readmitted to the hospital within 30 days at rates significantly higher than the national average—a lapse that the federal government considers costly and potentially harmful, and that could lead to Medicare penalties beginning in 2012.

UConn Docs Offer New Shoes, and Healthy Feet

Nov 24, 2011
Uma Ramiah

Each year, the New England Musculoskeletal Institute at the University of Connecticut  provides free foot health screenings -- and new shoes -- for the homeless.

Dr. Vinayak Sathe is inspecting ... a foot.

"Can you move your ankle up and down? Good. And can you move it sideways? So just swelling right? And how far up does it go, like up to here?"

Flickr Creative Commons, katietower

In 2006, readers of the New York Times were treated to photographs of Canto and Owen

Canto had been following a version of the supposedly life extending calorie-restricting diet. He looked youthful and alert and healthy. Owen had been eating a reasonably healthy, traditional diet. He looked fat and run-down.

Canto and Owen were the same age. They were also monkeys.

Asthma Rate Climbs To 9.4%; Worst In Cities

Nov 21, 2011

Residents in Connecticut’s five largest cities are nearly three times more likely to be hospitalized for asthma – and twice as likely to die from it—as residents in the rest of the state, according to new data from the state Department of Public Health.

The prevalence of state adults reporting asthma has increased from 7.8 percent in 2000 to 9.4 percent in 2009, the most-recent data shows, but it is residents in the five cities—Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, Stamford and Waterbury – who bear the brunt of it.

Dave Neukirch/flickr creative commons

Connecticut Hospice in Branford marks an achievement matched by no other hospice in the nation. Reaction from Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman, and a look at one of the programs that makes Connecticut Hospice THE palliative care center in the country.  

The Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether it's constitutional to make Americans buy health insurance -- and if not, whether the rest of the health care overhaul can take effect.  The court's announcement means some uncertainty for Connecticut and states across the country.

Courtesy of South Park Inn

After a decade of wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan, more young veterans are back from combat with nowhere to live. New numbers just released from the federal VA and HUD find in the last year, 13,000 homeless veterans were between the ages of 18 and 30.

They make up nine percent of homeless veterans nationwide but their numbers are only expected to rise as troop drawdowns continue.  In Connecticut, there are anywhere from 3,000 to 4,000 veterans who are homeless each day.

Chion Wolf

There is one part of the autism spectrum with a specific name: Asperger’s Syndrome.

Asperger’s is a relatively new diagnosis - it was just added to the DSM in 1994.

It’s said to be a “milder” form of autism... Those with Asperger's may face social challenges and sometimes develop unusual behaviors and interests.

However, they typically do not have many of the problems with language or intellectual disability normally associated with autism.

Maximum Healing

Oct 28, 2011
whologwhy/flickr creative commons

Maximum Healing: Optimize Your Natural Ability to Heal

Courtesy of Friends of Fisher House Connecticut

Most people have heard of Ronald McDonald houses that provide a place for sick children and their families to stay while seeking medical treatment. But chances are you haven't heard of a Fisher House. Now there's an effort to build one in West Haven.

Home Care Inspections Lag, Fines Rarely Imposed

Oct 25, 2011
Thomas MacMillan

Nurse Tish Allen hooks Judy Taber to a vacuum system to promote healing of Taber’s latest pressure ulcer. Allen asks how Taber’s pain rates today on a scale of one to 10. “Nine,” replies Tabor, who suffers from a rare spinal disease, ankylosing spondylitis, which has taken away her ability to walk, swallow or turn her head completely.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this treatment is that it’s happening in Taber’s Hamden apartment – not a hospital. Like many Connecticut residents, Taber depends on home care.

Turn on an NFL game this month and you're likely to see linebackers sporting pink cleats and gloves. Buy groceries and you'll have your choice of products -- from yogurt to mushrooms -- in pink packaging. As the Connecticut Mirror and WNPR's Jeff Cohen report, "Pinktober" and breast cancer awareness month have people's attention. Breast cancer is among the most common forms of cancer and kills about 40,000 people a year in the U.S.  But it's not the leading cause of death for men and women -- that's heart disease.

Courtesy of Flickr CC by Ars Electronica

Airdate: October 17, 2011 A recent Pew Center study of U.S military in the post 9-11 era found 37 percent of veterans suffer from post traumatic stress. For those diagnosed with PTSD and who are getting care at a VA facility, one of the treatments used is Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing or EMDR. It's therapy to resolve trauma related disorders.

What's For Lunch?

Oct 10, 2011
Chion Wolf

Pizza...tacos...mystery vegetable.  Oooh, you want tater tots with that?

Yes, the iconic school lunch.  It has strangely changed very little over the years, and accomplishes a difficult feat.  It’s not thought of fondly by either nutritionists or students.

But all that may be changing.  

More than 19 million Americans suffer from depression, but fewer than half seek treatment.  As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, Thursdsay/last week was National Depression Screening Day -- a push to get more people to the doctor's office. David Wheeler is a clinical psychologist at Natchaug Hospital in Mansfield.

The Vegan Lifestyle

Sep 29, 2011
Elaine Vigneault, Flickr Creative Commons

Bill Clinton is a vegan. You'd think that would be a bigger story: one of humankind's most voracious carnivores swiching to the other extreme. For Clinton, it's probably all about heart health, although it may have helped that his daughter Chelsea was already a vegan. Veganism is increasingly popular among some of the bigshot of corporate capitalism. Steve Jobs, Steve Wynn, Mortimer Zuckerman, Russell Simmons.

Doctors may want to think carefully about the language they use when talking with parents about a child’s weight.  A new study by Yale University researchers finds that certain words reinforce negative stigma and may undermine important discussions about health.

Courtesy of Jackson Films

Advocates for sexual assault victims contend there's a backlog of untested rape kits nationwide. 

LGBT Health Care

Sep 19, 2011

There are an estimated 9 million gay, lesbian, and transgender people in the US.  

And statistics are not easy to find - as this population has not been accurately counted in the large national population based-surveys, including the census.

But one thing researchers and advocates do know is that our health care system does a poor job reaching out to serve their very specific needs.

More than 1,000 veterans from all over Connecticut were expected in Rocky Hill Friday for an annual event called Stand Down; it's an outreach event hosted by the state Department of Veteran Affairs to help veterans in need. Stand Down is in its 16th year, an event VA Commissioner Linda Schwartz looks forward to every year. Here, she is welcoming nursing students who volunteered at the event. "Hey, hey!' 'Hi Commish.' 'It's the Yale School of Nursing!"

Photo / Chion Wolf, WNPR

There isn't too much Colin McEnroe Show producer Patrick Skahill won't do for his job, and this month that includes giving up meat, dairy and all manner of animal products for an upcoming show on veganism. Follow along as Patrick heats the tofurky and goes through hard-core donut withdrawl. Add your questions, cheers, and complaints in the comments section. 

September 8, 2011

Here's a tip - if you don't want to be the center of attention at your neice's first birthday, DON'T announce you've gone vegan.

hweiling, creative commons

The numbers don’t do justice to the scope of Alzheimers Disease.

Insurer Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is asking the state for an increase in the rate it charges for its individual health plans.  WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports. According to a filing with the state insurance department, Anthem wants to increase rates by 12.9 percent for some of its policies.  Arielle Levin Becker covers healthcare for the Connecticut Mirror. "Anthem is asking for a 12.9 percent increase and it's across several different products that they offer, several different types of individual  market plans.

The Connecticut Health Investigative Team's senior writer Lisa Chedekel published a report on Massachusetts-based veterans who say they were exposed to Agent Orange in the United States. Read her article here.

In the years since they flew together out of Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts in the post-Vietnam War era, Wes Carter and Paul Bailey have stayed in close touch, swapping information about families, jobs, and their former crewmates in the 74th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron.

This year, the conversation took a strange turn: Bailey, who lives in New Hampshire, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in February. Two months later, Carter, a former Massachusetts resident who now lives in Oregon, got the same diagnosis.

stevendepolo, flickr

Last weeky we did a whole show about sugar.  We talked to author Gary Taubes who wrote an article for New York Times titled “Is Sugar Toxic?” After talking with him awhile, it seems as though he and the scientists he quoted had made a conclusion.  Their answer is “yes.”  

But we had a few listeners who weren't happy with Taubes’ claims. Today we get a response from The Sugar Association.

New Haven Food Truck Makes Its Rounds

Aug 22, 2011
Tim Cipriano

A mobile food truck is roaming the streets of New Haven this summer, handing out free meals to students from low income neighborhoods. The truck is reaching kids who might not otherwise get a healthy meal.  

The Betsy Ross School in New Haven is empty -- kids are out for the summer. But the parking lot outside -- that's buzzing. The New Haven School Food Truck has arrived.

Pages