Health

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.

Alex Proimos/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Pain is one of those things that is hard to wrap your head around - it's hard to measure, it varies according to your age and health condition. And pain and what we know about pain – particularly chronic pain – also varies by race.

It's one of the biggest medical mysteries of our time: How did HIV come to the U.S.?

By genetically sequencing samples from people infected early on, scientists say they have figured out when and where the virus that took hold here first arrived. In the process, they have exonerated the man accused of triggering the epidemic in North America.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

As parents of newborns have been following pediatric recommendations of putting their babies to sleep on their backs to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, there has been a steep rise in babies with misshapen skulls. Now, doctors have increased prescribing orthotic headgear to correct the condition among infants.


WOCinTech Chat/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

In 2001, Jonas Koffler was working for a tech startup in Austin. He was 26 years old, ambitious, and climbing the company ladder by working over 70 hours a week. He'd work around the clock, taking cat naps rather than logging a full night's sleep.

He was happy to do it, too. His hard work, it seemed, was getting results. And then – suddenly – everything stopped. One moment he was giving a presentation; the next, he was in a hospital. He'd had a stroke. The doctors told him that the stress and overexertion from his work may have helped cause it.

 


KUT News

State lawmakers are discussing today what to do about a plan to cut Medicaid reimbursement rates for groups that provide therapy to young children with developmental issues.

Stefano Corso/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Editor's note: This story uses first names only because of an ongoing case with Child Protective Services.

Since at least the 1970s, researchers in Texas have been calling substance use a "family affair." A study by the Texas Research Institute's Drug Abuse Clinic compared two groups of families similar to each other in every aspect – from socio-economic status to ethnic background. The only difference was that one group had at least one family member who was an addict. The study found fathers dealing with drugs were critical and arrogant, mothers were disenfranchised and children were bitter and resentful.

That was in the '70s, but the story is not so different today.


SimonQ/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Concerns are growing over something that's being called the "kill pill" – drugs laced with fentanyl, one of the most powerful prescription painkillers in the world.

Pills laced with fentanyl were linked to Prince's death earlier this year. According to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, incidents of law-enforcement officers finding drugs containing fentanyl have jumped 426 percent from 2013-2014, the latest figures available.

 


ICCNS/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Marla Torrado and Felipa Puente are taking a tour of a Texaco station in the Dove Springs community of Austin. The predominantly low-income neighborhood is a far cry from downtown’s flagship Whole Foods Market and the city’s most Instagrammed restaurants. Dove Springs is situated in the southeast part of the city. To social scientists it’s a well-known food desert. There are few restaurants – mostly fast food – and just one large grocery store on the neighborhood’s edge, that’s difficult to reach without a car.

But residents like Torrado and Puente are leading a movement to bring healthy food to every corner – or corner store. The store owner is showing them some of the healthier food items that need restocking: bags of brown rice, dried beans, and whole grain cereal.

Torrado is the local food retail organizer for the Healthy Corner Store Initiative. Go Austin Vamos Austin, or GAVA, is spearheading the effort – it’s a grassroots coalition of nonprofits and community members.

 


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Within a two-year period between 2010 and 2012, the rate of pregnant women dying in Texas doubled – and it’s not entirely clear why.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

For years, residents of Del Valle have been asking city leaders to bring a grocery store to their neighborhood. But it hasn’t happened. So why is it so hard to do?

Can Bats Conquer Zika?

Jul 12, 2016
Flickr/mzmo (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

You've probably heard bats by the hundreds, flying out of a cave or from under a bridge. But have you heard a bat solo, squeaking to be fed?

"She can chew and talk all at the same time," Dianne Odegard says, talking to the female bat she's feeding. "It’s the middle of the day, you’re not that hungry."


Pexels (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

When it comes to kids and their well-being, Texas isn't doing a very good job. In fact, the state ranks very close to the bottom of the list – at 43.

That ranking comes from the latest "Kids Count" study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Texas-based Center for Public Policy Priorities, which looked at areas like education rankings and the number of children without health insurance.

 


Intropin/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0)

From Texas Standard:

This morning, while most of us were sleeping, something happened in the state that might mean the difference between life and death for you or someone you love.

Much has been said and written about the opioid epidemic in the U.S. Of the 25 cities with the highest rate of opioid abuse, four are in Texas –Texarkana, Amarillo, Odessa and Longview. And over the past 15 years, opioid overdoses have risen 80 percent.

A drug called naloxone can help prevent many, if not most, deaths from overdoses in the event of an emergency, but the drug is highly regulated and available only with a doctor’s prescription.

 


Beth Cortez-Neavel/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, most low-income, black and Hispanic people were segregated to the east side of what is now IH-35 in Austin. Now, the same people who’ve lived in the area for decades are being pushed out. Old houses are torn down to make way for new ones and property taxes are rising rapidly.


Pixabay (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

These days clean water from the tap is often a privilege that is taken for granted. We're accustomed to running to the sink whenever we're thirsty. But as the brown tap water in Flint and Crystal City show, we cannot always trust that clean water will be available.

But water contamination isn't always something that is easy to sniff out because of its color or smell. For some, especially those living in rural agricultural areas, water may have substances that put pregnant women in danger without their knowledge.


Joy Diaz/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard: 

I'm the child of an addict. However, it is a life I only know anecdotally. My father was cured before I was born. But the man in front of me is in the thick of it.

"It is a horrible life – look at me – I'm homeless, I squeegee windows at the red light. I spend between $80 to $150 a day (on heroin)," the man tells me.

He says he’s ashamed, and that's why he won't tell me his name. He says he's in his 30s but his parched skin and sunken cheeks make him look decades older.

 


Image via Flickr/Donnie Ray Jones (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Every two weeks in Bexar County, a baby dies.

That number is the highest in the state. The majority of deaths are attributed to unsafe sleep patterns or "co-sleeping," when the baby sleeps with parents or a sibling. Babies can suffocate or be smothered while sleeping with bigger people.

A San Antonio hospital is taking a cue from Finland and offering "baby boxes" to new mothers. But what are they and how do they help keep babies safe?

 


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