Health

A woman gets a flu shot
Mary Mathis / NPR

Flu vaccination prevents millions of flu-related illnesses and deaths annually, but vaccination rates are low for many reasons.

During the 2018-2019 flu season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that about 45% of U.S. adults received the flu vaccine. While this is an increase of 8% from 2017-2018, it falls way below the national goal of 70% of American adults receiving a flu shot.

Julia Reihs / KUT

There are vast differences when it comes to life expectancies between neighborhoods in Austin, according to new research from the Episcopal Health Foundation.

Jessica Lo Surdo and Ross Marklein do stem sell research for the FDA
U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Austin is a “hot spot” for clinics marketing stem-cell treatments directly to consumers. In 2017, 100 of the 716 clinics in the U.S. that promoted the regenerative properties of stem cells to treat everything from dental problems to neurological diseases were in Texas. But there is limited research to prove the safety and efficacy of some of those treatments, and new research suggests there are unqualified people administering them.

Photo courtesy Obesity Action Coalition

From Texas Standard:

A group of U.S. health organizations, including the McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, recently released the first-ever obesity-focused curriculum for American medical education.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with cardiologist Garth Graham, a former deputy assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services and president of the Aetna Foundation. Graham is a leading expert on the social determinants of health.

Graham talks about health care disparities, cardiovascular disease, nutrition and public health.

Andi Lichterfelde/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The U.S. population is aging, and many older adults have, or will have, some form of dementia. Right now, the health care workforce is not prepared to meet their needs, says sociologist Christopher Johnson. But Johnson is particularly poised to help fix the problem, as professor at the country's first master's of science program in dementia and aging studies, at Texas State University in San Marcos.

The marketing is enticing: Get stronger muscles and healthier bodies with minimal effort by adding protein powder to your morning shake or juice drink. Or grab a protein bar at lunch or for a quick snack. Today, you can find protein supplements everywhere — online or at the pharmacy, grocery store or health food store. They come in powders, pills and bars.

Photo courtesy of the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.

From Texas Standard:

You've heard of probiotics. They're the live microorganisms that live in your gut and in foods such as yogurt and dietary supplements. In recent years, they've been touted as beneficial to health, especially to ease digestive disorders. But it turns out probiotics – these so-called "good bacteria" – may not actually be good for all people in all cases. As part of our "Spotlight on Health" project, we're highlighting this new finding published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Chuck Yarling

From Texas Standard:

West Nile virus made big headlines in Texas in 2012. But the truth is, it probably infects thousands of people here each year, even though the actual number of confirmed cases tends to be quite low. That’s because an estimated 80 percent of those infected don’t have any symptoms and never see a doctor. Others will become sick with flu-like symptoms and recover. But for a small number of people each year, West Nile causes permanent disability, paralysis and death.

In 2012, 68-year-old Chuck Yarling was an avid runner, biker and swimmer who’d competed in more than 100 triathlons. In fact, he’d competed in one just weeks before he fainted in his apartment on an August afternoon. He awoke days later in a rehabilitation hospital a different man.

Charlie Hinderliter wasn't opposed to the flu shot. He didn't have a problem with vaccinations. He was one of about 53 percent of Americans who just don't get one.

"I figured [the flu] was something that's dangerous to the elderly and the young, not somebody who is healthy and in their 30s," says Hinderliter, who is 39 and the director of government affairs at the St. Louis Realtors association.

"Turns out, I was wrong," he says.

sergio santos/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

When a prospective nurse joins the field, they expect to endure a lot of less-than-pleasant experiences as part of the job: bodily fluids, people in pain and grieving families are among them. The probability of violence and abuse isn’t likely to be on their radar - but it should be.

That’s because hospitals experience one of the highest rates of violence of any workplace, second only to law enforcement. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, health care providers are four times as likely to need time off for a violence-related injury. And they’re most likely to experience physical and verbal abuse at the hands of those they are trying to help: their patients.

Martin Do Nascimento/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Texas has seen an abundance of red tides within the last few decades and it can be just as ominous as it sounds. Red tide is a harmful algae bloom caused by plant cells that multiply out of control, killing fish in the area and causing potential respiratory infections on land. Researchers are working on a system that would send out red tide warnings to vulnerable populations.

Martin Do Nascimento/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Texas has seen an abundance of red tides within the last few decades and it can be just as ominous as it sounds. Red tide is a harmful algae bloom caused by plant cells that multiply out of control, killing fish in the area and causing potential respiratory infections on land. Researchers are working on a system that would send out red tide warnings to vulnerable populations.

Was it hard to concentrate during that long meeting? Does the crossword seem a little tougher? You could be mildly dehydrated.

A growing body of evidence finds that being just a little dehydrated is tied to a range of subtle effects — from mood changes to muddled thinking.

Alex Proimos/Flickr

From Texas Standard: 

Texas has almost a dozen medical schools, but it also has a rural healthcare worker shortage. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is set to vote tomorrow on whether to approve another medical school.

Huntsville-based Sam Houston State University thinks it can address Texas’ critical shortage of doctors in rural parts of the state. It’s seeking accreditation this week for its proposed college of osteopathic medicine. Dr. Stephan McKernan is the associate dean for clinical affairs at the proposed school. He says the goal is to teach students from underserved, rural areas.

Bramadi Arya / Wikimedia Commons

From Texas Standard:

In July of 2013, 49-year-old Candace Stark donated blood in honor of her mother who had leukemia. Seven weeks later – she received a letter from the Blood Centers of Central Texas diagnosing her with Chagas disease.

"It came with a letter that stated I needed to see a healthcare provider and that I couldn’t donate blood any longer," Stark says.

DNA, Diabetes And Family Destiny

Jul 3, 2018
Kristen Cabrera

From Texas Standard:

Diabetes runs is Kristen Cabrera’s family. Her dad, plus seven aunts and uncles have the illness. She drove home to Texas’ Rio Grande Valley and gathered them together to talk about it.

Ever since I can remember my father has had diabetes. Pricking his finger, checking his blood sugar is part of his morning routine.

I was raised in the Rio Grande Valley – about five hours south of Austin. It’s an area on the Texas-Mexico border that is almost 90 percent Hispanic.

All seven of my dad’s sisters and brothers were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I met with four of them.

Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

From Texas Standard.

One of the burdens of a serious health condition, like cancer or a chronic immune disease, is the heavy medication necessary for treatment. The cost of one day’s medicine can be surprisingly expensive, and that doesn’t take into account the physical toll and side effects that the drugs can have on one’s body.

Spencer Selvidge / KUT News

From Texas Standard.

Whenever there’s a medical emergency the very first thing on one’s mind – especially if they’re insured – isn’t typically how much the bill could be. It’s to get help as quickly as possible, then deal with the cost later.

El Paso
Jaime Loya/Flickr

Texas is among a small group of states with cases of Valley fever, a lung infection caused by breathing in a fungus called Coccidioides. The illness has been around for a long time, but hasn't really gotten much attention – until recently.

Marco Verch/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly four of every ten adults in the U.S. are obese. Among children, one in ten pre-schoolers are obese. Obesity and related illnesses are said to disproportionately affect poor and minority communities. One theory is that lack of access to healthy food makes it difficult for these families to maintain healthy weight. So-called food deserts, where few stores offer fresh produce or other healthy items, are commonly believed to keep people with low income from eating better. But new research says there could be another reason.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard.

It’s been a costly and deadly flu season in Texas and across the country. State health records released earlier this month indicate nearly 3,000 adult Texans have died from either the flu or pneumonia. Many of those who died were over the age of 65. Five pediatric deaths have also been reported.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard.

It’s Valentine’s Day and so we put together a story for you about hearts – not candy hearts or even those filled with chocolate, but human hearts. These days, we know quite a bit about them. It’s been 50 years since the first successful transplant. But, in a way, hearts are also still full of mystery – and I’m not trying to get romantic on you. A doctor in Dallas is trying to solve those mysteries of the heart by studying the organs that no one wants anymore.

Lifetime. Education/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

Since October 2017, over 2300 Texans have died from the flu. Of those death, over half have been among the elderly. Called the worst flu season in over a decade, it has sparked many conversations about how we can better protect ourselves and our loved-ones from the annual virus. Part of that protection, and part of limiting risk exposure, comes from how we talk about the flu.

Dion Hinchcliffe/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

We’re three days into 2018 – how are your New Year’s resolutions going? If you stumble along the way, you’re not alone; some research shows that up to 80 percent of people who make a resolution will have given up on it by February.

From Texas Standard.

The most wonderful time of the year is gone, and it’s been replaced by what some might say is one of the worst times of the year – flu season. This year it’s particularly bad in Texas.

Dr. Robert Legare Atmar, professor and interim chief of infectious diseases at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, says a severe flu epidemic in Australia last winter (that’s summertime in the U.S.) and a few relatively mild flu seasons here indicate the U.S. is due for a lot of flu cases.

ELVERT BARNES PROTEST PHOTOGRAPHY / FLICKR

In honor of comedian and human rights activist Dick Gregory, In Black America concludes an encore presentation of an interview and keynote address marking the 50th anniversary of the Sweatt v. Painter decision, which successfully challenged the "separate but equal" system of segregation.

The program originally aired in May 2000.

Gregory died on Aug. 19, 2017. He was 84.

Elvert Barnes Protest Photography / Flickr

In honor of comedian and human rights activist Dick Gregory, In Black America presents an encore presentation of an interview and keynote address marking the 50th anniversary of the Sweatt v. Painter decision, which successfully challenged the "separate but equal" system of segregation.

The program originally aired in May 2000.

Gregory died on Aug. 19, 2017. He was 84.

Classique Photo

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with singer/songwriter Will Downing.

Downing talks about his longevity in the music business, the serious health issues he experiences and his new CD "Soul Survivor."

holykaw.alltop.com

A traumatic event in life is like a scratch on a record. Every time the record player, or your mind, runs over the scratch, it skips. 

This skipping record thought pattern is called rumination. Until we’re able to fill the scratch, it will keep skipping. So how do we fill the scratch, move on and heal?

On this episode of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about the various ways we live with and explain grief, and they offer some strategies that might help it make sense.

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