health

Rejecting The Mainstream
10:28 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Portland Voters Keep Fluoride Out Of Drinking Water

Dentist Jay Levy, organizer Kim Kaminski, and volunteers with Clean Water Portland, which opposed adding fluoride to Portland water.
Oregon Public Broadcasting Photo/April Baer

Voters in Portland, Oregon have decide not to add fluoride to their municipal drinking water. Seattle and most other large cities in the US added the chemical decades ago to prevent cavities in children.

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Mental Health Crisis
10:02 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Pierce County Judge Says Boarding The Mentally Ill In ERs Violates State And Federal Law

A Pierce County Superior Court judge said Monday that temporarily boarding the mentally ill in hospital emergency rooms without treatment violates state and federal law. County and state attorneys have asked for the ruling to be put on hold while they appeal.

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Eating Disorders
11:25 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Pro-Eating Disorder Propaganda Proliferates On The Internet

Flickr Photo/David D

  Experts are increasingly concerned about pro-eating disorder content, which is proliferating on the Internet, including Twitter hashtags like #thinspiration and #pro-ana.

KUOW’s Ross Reynolds talks with Dr. Jillian Lampert, senior director at The Emily Program, about the role of the Internet and other factors that contribute to the problem of eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating.

Financial Side Effects
5:15 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Seattle Study Shows Cancer Can Lead To Bankruptcy

Cancer patients are at greater risk of going into bankruptcy.
Credit Fried Dough / Flickr

Medical debt is one of the leading causes of bankruptcy, according to a study published online today in the journal Health Affairs. There are plenty of anecdotes of people who have used up their savings, borrowed from friends or filed for bankruptcy following a serious illness like cancer. Now researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle have documented exactly how great the risk of bankruptcy is for cancer patients.

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Women's Health
9:55 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Who Should Get A Genetic Test For Breast Cancer?

Correction 5/15/2013: A previous version on this story stated that Jolie had a one in 87 chance of getting breast cancer when in fact she had an 87 percent chance.

Now, the public knows about Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy. She wrote in the New York Times that, thanks to genetic testing, she believed there was an 87 percent chance she’d get breast cancer, so she went for it.

Tuesday, Dr. Julie Gralow, director of breast medical oncology at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance spoke with KUOW's Sara Lerner.  Dr. Gralow says, “The majority of breast cancer in the United States is not gene-mutation cancer.”

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Employment Discrimination
9:49 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Washington Exemption For Faith-Based Employers Challenged

The State Supreme Court today heard arguments in a case that could decide whether faith-based employers in Washington have some exemption from the state’s anti-discrimination law.

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Health Care
4:09 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

How You Should Plan For The Costs Of Dementia

"As my wife held her mother's hand yesterday, it struck me how much Alzheimer's disease is like the season of autumn." - John (photographer)
Flickr Photo/mtsofan

Dementia care expenses totaled $109 billion in 2010, more than either cancer or heart disease. The research, conducted by the RAND Corporation, predicts dementia costs and the number of people with dementia will more than double by 2040.

Ross sits down with Dr. Jim Leverenz, investigator at the University of Washington’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, to talk about how families can plan.

Genital Herpes
12:14 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Seattle Scientists Identify Cells That Could Lead To Herpes Vaccine

Scanning electron micrograph of a red blood cell (left), a platelet, and a T lymphocyte (T cell).
NCI-Frederick Photo

Scientists at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have found a class of cells they think suppresses herpes. This could explain why some people have no symptoms or lesions when the virus is reactivated. It also changes the way scientists understand how the virus works.

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Suicide Rates
12:01 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Why Are More People Committing Suicide In The US?

A new report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that suicide deaths have surpassed car deaths in the United States. According to the same report, suicide rates rose 15% from 1999 to 2010, with an even more dramatic rise among the 35-64 age group. Washington state has seen similar increases. Ross Reynolds speaks with Dr. Thomas Simon, a researcher at the CDC’s Injury Center in Atlanta about why the suicide rate is growing.

Weight Discrimination
11:44 am
Thu May 2, 2013

How Common Is Weight Discrimination In Washington State?

Flickr/Alex E. Proimos

A new study from Johns Hopkins University finds that overweight patients are treated with less warmth than thinner patients by doctors. That kind of discrimination is not limited to the doctor’s office. Many overweight people say they face discrimination, mistreatment and bias in their daily lives.

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Connecting Violence To Health
7:46 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Seattle To Launch Gun Violence Study

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 32,000 people die from gun violence each year. The Seattle study will look at gun violence from a public health standpoint.
Credit Minnesota Historical Society / Flickr

The City of Seattle is about to embark on a new study that hasn’t been done in other American cities—to look at gun violence from a public health standpoint.

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Public Health
3:06 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

HIV Tests No Longer Just For High Risk Groups

A health worker drops blood from a sample on an HIV test strip in San Salvador, June 25, 2010.
AP Photo/Luis Romero

Every person between the ages of 15 and 65, regardless of risk factors, should get routinely tested for HIV. That’s the recommendation from the US Preventative Services Task Force, an independent panel of doctors and researchers.

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Labor Representation
12:18 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

SEIU: Fastest Growing Union Holds Strong In Washington

Nationwide, the percentage of workers who are in unions has dropped to around 11 percent according to January report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  That’s lowest rate in nearly a century. But the Service Employees International Union has been bucking the trend in recent decades – it’s the fastest growing union in the United States.

Since 1996, 1.2 million workers have joined SEIU nationally. Today, SEIU national represents 2.1 million.   Here in Washington state the SEUI has six locals with more than 100,000 members, up from about 40,000 in 2001. 

The union represents nurses, child care workers, public school employees and janitors.   Plus, Local 775 is the biggest, with around 43,000 members who are long-term care workers, home health aides, and nursing home aides.  

Ross Reynolds talks with David Rolfpresident of the Seattle-based Local 775 of the Service Employees International Union for health-care workers. 

Addiction
12:14 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Stories Of Sobriety

Flickr Photo/Joe Houghton

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence reports that in the US over 23 million people over the age of 12 are addicted to alcohol or other drugs. Not only that, a recent Columbia University study found that only 1 in 10 of these people actually seeks treatment for drug addiction. And most of the time, the treatment doesn’t work.

Ross Reynolds sits down with Dr. Jim Walsh, the medical director of Addiction Recovery Services at Swedish Medical Center’s Ballard campus to talk about what does work.

Science and Nature
10:00 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Placenta And Autism Risk, Vegan Before Six, And Greendays

Abnormal placental folds signal possible autism risk at birth.
Patrick Lynch, Yale University, 2013

Placenta Offers Insight Into Autism Risk
New autism research shows that babies born with a high genetic risk for the disorder were more likely to have abnormal folds and creases in their placentas.  However, Dr. Harvey Kliman says that it is much too early to say that an examination of the placenta could be used as a definitive test for autism at birth.

VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 At Night
Could you eat vegan? If you could, research strongly suggests you’d be healthier, weigh less and perhaps even have a sharper brain. But could you find the discipline? Mark Bittman has a plan for you. The New York Times food columnist has written "VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 To Lose Weight and Restore Your Health …. For Good."

What Plant, Where And When?
We are in the midst of plant-sale season. So how do you choose the perennial in spring that will survive the summer and look great next year? The Greendays gardening panel has some simple rules to follow for picking the right plant and taking care of it.

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