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Each year, children across the country have a hard time caring for their teeth. A new study says that the problem is made worse because kids can't get in to see a dentist. The report comes from the Pew Children's Dental Campaign and makes two big observations.

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An amendment to the defense budget bill before Congress could help military families who have children with developmental disabilities including autism.

St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center is cutting funding to a Hartford program that targets infant mortality. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, the hospital says the recently passed state budget is to blame. The Maternal Infant Outreach Program is almost 30 years old and is jointly funded by two hospitals and the city of Hartford.

St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center is cutting funding to a Hartford program that targets infant mortality. The hospital says the recently-passed state budget is to blame. The Maternal Infant Outreach Program is almost 30 years old and is jointly funded by two hospitals and the city of Hartford. It serves about 450 pregnant women a year.

Danbury Man Wants to Take Anonymous Out of Recovery

Jun 5, 2013

Flickr Creative Commons, Jamiesrabbits

Flickr Creative Commons, Jamiesrabbits

Gut Check: Befriending Bacteria

Jun 4, 2013
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There are more bacteria in our bodies than there are human cells: about 10 microbes for every cell!

UConn microbiologist Joerg Graf says “If you took a person and removed all the human cells, you would still see the outline of a human body.”

So what are all these bacteria doing? And are they helping or hurting us?

Connecticut Senate Democrats / Creative Commons

Connecticut lawmakers have passed a “first-in-the-nation” law, mandating the labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms or GMOs in food products. It’s headed to the Governor for his signature, but that doesn’t mean it goes into effect anytime soon.

Passage by the state house was the final step in a convoluted series of maneuvers that included a bipartisan agreement reached over the weekend. It requires any food meant for human consumption to have a label that says “Produced with Genetic Engineering.”

Burlington Mom's Products Reach Whole Foods

Jun 3, 2013

When her husband's work relocated their family to Connecticut, Ada Rios' primary job was raising her toddler. Shortly after she began to develop the skin condition eczema. It forced her to rethink her entire beauty regimen. 

Burlington Mom's Products Reach Whole Foods

Jun 3, 2013

When her husband's work relocated their family to Connecticut, Ada Rios' primary job was raising her toddler. Shortly after she began to develop the skin condition eczema. It forced her to rethink her entire beauty regimen. 

The state has a problem.  People who apply for food and medical benefits often face substantial delays before finally getting their approvals.  As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, it's an issue that has now twice ended up in federal court. Advocates for the poor say the solution is in the staffing.  The state Department of Social Services says it's about efficiency, technology, and leadership.

The state has a problem. People who apply for food and medical benefits often face substantial delays before finally getting their approvals. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, it's an issue that has now twice ended up in federal court. Advocates for the poor say the solution is in the staffing.

Love 2.0

May 30, 2013
Camdiluv ♥/flickr creative commons

Tony Bacewicz/C-HIT

Ten-year-old Joey Smith shared a celebratory high-five with Heather Kunkel, a mental health professional who was visiting the boy’s Thomaston home. “Things are great, spectacular even,” he said, as the two chatted at the kitchen table.

It’s a dramatic turnaround for Joey who met Kunkel when she was summoned to Thomaston Center School because he had threatened to harm himself. Now Joey, who has autism, is back at school with a modified curriculum to suit his individual needs and his parents have access to an educational advocate and community resources.

Researchers have released their final results in a huge, decade-long cancer study involving Pratt & Whitney workers.  

Concern over the health and safety of workers at Pratt & Whitney began in the early 2000s. Several workers, all employees at the North Haven plant, were found to have died from a rare form of brain cancer.  

Researchers were brought in to first, find out how many cases of cancer there were among workers; then compare that with rates among the general population.

Researchers have released their final results in a huge, decade-long cancer study involving Pratt & Whitney workers.  

Concern over the health and safety of workers at Pratt & Whitney began in the early 2000s. Several workers, all employees at the North Haven plant, were found to have died from a rare form of brain cancer.  

Researchers were brought in to first, find out how many cases of cancer there were among workers; then compare that with rates among the general population.

creative commons

Pressure is building on the military to change its culture from within after an alarming Pentagon report estimates 26,000 servicemembers were sexually assaulted last year-- President Obama calls these crimes “shameful and disgraceful.”  Another layer to this problem is that very few of these assaults are actually reported. Now federal lawmakers including Connecticut’s Senator Richard Blumenthal are supporting bills to change how the military prosecutes these cases so victims no longer fear retaliation

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Chion Wolf photo / Connecticut Public Radio

“There are a few circumstances in life in which most people respond the same way, such as starvation. The emotional and psychological stance, as we'll as mental calculations, one takes to prevent starvation would all basically be the same.

“If your child dies, it's an assault on your life, and because of that there is a universal response — [and there are] some basic common elements to that response.” — Bruce Clements

Today, Bruce joins us for a live call-in show on coping with the death of a child.

Marco Arment (Flickr Creative Commons)

The University of Connecticut has come out with a new study on violent video games. It looked specifically at whether video games that pit players against human looking characters provokes more violent thoughts in the player than fighting non-human creatures.

When players fight human looking characters, "they're later more verbally aggressive and they have more aggressive thoughts," said Kirstie Farrar, who is an associate professor of communication and lead researcher of the study.

Marco Arment (Flickr Creative Commons)

The University of Connecticut has come out with a new study on violent video games. It looked specifically at whether video games that pit players against human looking characters provokes more violent thoughts in the player than fighting non-human creatures.

When players fight human looking characters, "they're later more verbally aggressive and they have more aggressive thoughts," said Kirstie Farrar, who is an associate professor of communication and lead researcher of the study.

Commercial insurers are very close to revealing the rates they’ll charge for healthcare plans under the new Connecticut healthcare exchange. As WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports, it’s been a long, uncertain road to get here.

Drunk Tank Pink

May 16, 2013
peapodsquadmom/flickr creative commons

Today: The way the thoughts we have and the decisions we make are influenced by forces that aren't always in our control.

jurvetson, Flickr Creative Commons

Hartford's outdoor concert season is about to start.  And while that's fun for a lot of people, some call it a scheduled mass casualty event.  Binge drinking is a serious concern for law enforcement and public health officials. 

Advocates for the poor the state is so understaffed that it isn't processing Medicaid paperwork fast enough.  The result, they say, is that the state misses federal deadlines and leaves thousands of poor patients without medical care. These arguments are now playing out in federal court. 

Labeling GMOs and Toxic Chemicals in Connecticut

May 14, 2013
Masahiro Ihara, creative commons

Vegetables that are genetically modified to resist pests have become a part of our daily diet, whether we like it or not. Several states have been considering legislation that would require the labeling of GMO products, but Connecticut could be the first to pass such a law. Opponents of the bill say there’s no health risk, and a law like this would pass on higher prices to consumers.

Agelessness

May 13, 2013
Peter Løvstrøm/flickr creative commons

What does it mean to be ageless, no matter how young or old you are? Do you have parents or grandparents who want to be independent even in old age? Don't miss our story on the village-to-village network spreading across our region and the country. How to help your family age in place, and how to volunteer from village to village. Bruce Clements also talks about whether being ageless is a goal that makes any sense for anybody at any age.

May is Foster Care Awareness Month, and as WNPR's Ray Hardman reports, advocates are pushing to extend foster care from 18 to 21 years old.

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