Health: Interesting Stories from National Public Radio

Oncologists Break Old Rules With Precision Cancer Treatments
NPR’s Robert Siegel talks to physician and author Siddhartha Mukherjee about how the fight against cancer has changed so dramatically in this era of precisely targeted treatments.

Susannah Mushatt Jones, The World’s Oldest Person, Has Died In New York
Jones, who was 116, reportedly had a penchant for bacon and lingerie. Now, there is believed to be only one person still alive who was born before 1900.

What’s Killing The World’s Teenagers? Road Accidents, Suicide, Floods
Teenagers are an overlooked group when it comes to global health. A new report offers often surprising insights into the threats to their health and well-being.

More Low-Income Kids Now Have Health Coverage
The expansion of Medicaid and continued enrollment in the Children’s Health Insurance Program have boosted the proportion of eligible kids with health coverage to 91 percent, a study finds.

Breakfast Blowback: Maybe Skipping The Morning Meal Isn’t So Bad
Dogma has long held that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But emerging science suggests what you eat matters more than when you eat it.

White House Request For Emergency Zika Funding Hits Roadblock In Congress
The Obama administration requested $1.9 billion in emergency funding to prepare against the Zika virus. Congressional Republicans say the administration doesn’t need all that money now and insist the White House is asking for a blank check.

Fact Checking Hillary Clinton’s Medicare Buy-In Proposal
Hillary Clinton this week floated the idea of allowing people over 50 to buy in to Medicare. NPR looks at how that would affect health care costs for everyone else.

Researchers Offer Jet Lag Advice In Return For Data About Your Sleep
Users of an app developed by the University of Michigan to help with jet lag entered information on their time zone and sleep patterns that helped academics with their work. But is the approach valid?

Selling Health Insurance Across State Lines Sounds Good, But Is It?
Kaiser Health News’ Julie Rovner explores why increasing competition in health insurance by allowing sales of policies across state lines might not be such a hot idea after all.

DIY Blood Tests? There’s A Downside To Ordering Your Own
It’s legal to order diagnostic blood tests without consulting a doctor in many states. But critics say healthy patients can go down a rabbit hole of invasive assays and unnecessary treatments.

Look, Ma! No Mitochondria
Scientists have found the first eukaryotic organism that functions fine without mitochondria, the “powerhouses” that make energy for the cells of yeast, humans and most other animals.

Presidential Candidates Confront Obstacles To Opioid Addiction Treatment
Presidential candidates have been confronted by voters over the crisis of opioid abuse and heroin addiction. One major problem is accessing treatment when someone who needs it is ready to receive it.

Public Health Professor: Because Of Zika, Rio Olympics ‘Must Not Proceed’
If half a million tourists come to Rio, there is a risk one could catch Zika, return home and seed a new outbreak, says public health professor Amir Attaran.

How The Zika Virus Damages The Brain
Experiments on mice have given scientists an understanding of how the virus causes severe brain malformations.

When Time Behind Bars Cuts Addiction Treatment Short
Most inmates lose access to medication-assisted treatment for addiction once they’re incarcerated. Among prisons and jails that do offer such treatment, it’s often restricted to pregnant women.

State Insurance Mandates For Autism Treatment Fall Short
Most states require insurers to pay for autism treatments. But that hasn’t done much to get therapy to children who need it, a study finds. It’s important to get treatment as early as possible.

Meet The Tiny Critters Thriving In Your Carpet, Kitchen And Bed
Dust mites, gall wasps and book lice don’t bite, but they might make you wheeze. Scientists found about 100 types of arthropods wiggling or munching skin flakes in typical homes. Take a look.

Fighting Zika Is About Protecting Pregnant Women, Fauci Says
Officials ask for $1.9 billion to fight Zika but no funds have been allocated yet. Renee Montagne talks to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Why The FDA Is Re-Evaluating The Nutty Definition Of ‘Healthy’ Food
Under current rules, foods containing more than 3 grams of fat per serving can’t call themselves “healthy” on labels. But that excludes many foods, like Kind bars, that contain healthful nuts.

Researchers Hope This Invention Could Wave Away Medical Data Hacks
As health care increasingly moves from hospitals and doctors’ offices to the home, patient medical data becomes more vulnerable to hackers. Dartmouth College researchers hope their product will help.

Peggy Girshman Gets The Last Word On Health Journalism
Veteran NPR editor Peggy Girshman, who died in March, wrote her own eulogy, which included personal health advice and tips for better journalism. The eulogy was read at a memorial service Saturday.

What Kenya Can Teach The U.S. About Menstrual Pads
Most states in the U.S. tax menstrual pads. Kenya got rid of its tax in 2004. And that’s not the only

NIH Announces Leadership Shake-Up At Renowned Research Hospital
Following a string of safety lapses, the National Institutes of Health is making changes at its Clinical Center, the world’s largest research hospital.

Does Putting On A Few Pounds Help You Cheat Death?
We’re told that it’s important to keep body mass index below 25. But a study finds that for the lowest risk of death, the magic number has inched up to 27 — in the “overweight” category.

49 States Combat Opioid Epidemic With Prescription Database
Bram Sable-Smith of member station KBIA reports Missouri doesn’t have a database. David Greene talks to Danna Droz of the National Assoc. of Boards of Pharmacy about differences in state databases.

Top Medical Journals Give Women Researchers Short Shrift
Women scientists get first-author credit on medical studies much less often than their male coauthors. That has career implications and could even be skewing the study of women’s health.

GAO Audit: Feds Failed To Rein In Medicare Advantage Overbilling
Privately run Medicare Advantage plans have overcharged the federal government by billions of dollars, yet Medicare hasn’t been effective in recouping the excessive payments, an audit found.

Working Past Retirement Benefits Your Health, Study Says
Researchers from Oregon State University find that when healthy adults work one year past the typical retirement age of 65, they increase their odds of living longer.

What Feds’ Push To Share Health Data Means For Patients
ProPublica’s Charles Ornstein spoke with Niall Brennan about making health data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services more widely available outside the government.

Notorious F.D.A.? Feds Turn To Hip-Hop To Tamp Down Teen Smoking
For its latest anti-tobacco campaign, the the Food and Drug Administration wants to harness hip-hop swagger to reach minority teens — who disproportionately suffer the consequences of smoking.

What Is ‘Natural’ Food? A Riddle Wrapped In Notions Of Good And Evil
Time is almost up for consumers to tell the FDA what “natural” food means. It’s an ancient philosophical question with no easy answers.

Professional ‘Guinea Pigs’ Can Make A Living Testing Drugs
One man died and five others were injured in a clinical trial in France this year. Trials like those depend on healthy people willing to take experimental medications in return for cash.

On Mother’s Day, Mourning The Mom My Baby Will Never Know
I watched my mother disappear bit by bit as cancer destroyed her brain. I don’t know if she heard me when I said I was pregnant. But I still feel her love. I think our baby will, too.

#NPRreads: Take Flight With These 3 Stories This Weekend
Correspondents, editors and producers from our newsroom share the pieces that have kept them reading, using the #NPRreads hashtag. Each weekend, we highlight some of the best stories.

Major League Baseball Cancels Series In Puerto Rico Due To Zika Concerns
The Pirates-Marlins series was meant to honor Hall of Fame player Roberto Clemente, who hails from the island. But players say they were worried about contracting Zika.

Syrian Regime Targets Health Workers, Hospitals In Aleppo
“In Aleppo, We Are Running Out of Coffins” was the title of an op-ed from Syrian doctor Osama Abo El Ezz. NPR’s Lynn Neary speaks with him about attacks on hospitals in Syria.

Special Needs Teacher Comes To The Rescue On Flight
When a teenager with special needs refused to get back into his seat on a recent flight, the crew asked if there were any teachers on board and Sophie Murphy answered the call.

When Pregnant Women Get Flu Shots, Babies Are Healthier
Babies are much less likely to get the flu in their first months of life if mom got a flu shot while she was pregnant, a study finds. Yet most expectant mothers don’t get immunized.

How To Teach Children That Failure Is The Secret To Success
When children view their abilities as something they can change over time, they’re more apt to deal well with challenges, researchers say. And what parents say can help or hurt.

How A Cancer Drug Has Saved People From Going Blind
Ten years ago, there wasn’t much doctors could do to keep people with age-related macular degeneration from going blind. A colon cancer drug changed all that. But not everyone has been saved.

We Found Joy: An Addict Struggles To Get Treatment
A year ago, NPR’s Kelly McEvers went to rural Indiana and talked with drug addicts at the center of an opioid and HIV epidemic. She returned and found Joy, a nurse who lost everything.

Risk Of Opioid Overdose Climbs At Middle Age
Most of the millions taking prescription painkillers are older than 45, research shows, and there’s been a recent increase in drug overdose deaths among people over 55. Drug mixing is partly to blame.

CDC Announces Listeria Outbreak In Frozen Produce
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a listeria outbreak earlier this week that has sickened eight people. Frozen fruits and vegetables are believed to be the cause. Now, there’s a massive recall of frozen products. To minimize risk, experts say to microwave or cook frozen produce to kill potential pathogens.

FDA Issues First Regulations On Electronic Cigarettes
The Food and Drug Administration has issued sweeping regulations that for the first time assert federal authority over electronic cigarettes, which have become increasingly popular, especially among young people.

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