Health

Check Out Life Spans Around The World — And Likely Years Of Ill Health

A new study looks at how long people live in 188 countries — and how they fare. Regardless of whether you're in a rich or poor nation, you'll probably face health issues for one-eighth of your life.

All Things Considered

To Cure What Ails You, Bibliotherapists Prescribe Literature

There are all kinds of therapies to cure what ails you. But a new and intriguing approach is bibliotherapy, which dispenses a prescription of literature specifically tailored to a patient's unique circumstances. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with pioneering bibliotherapist Susan Elderkin.

All Things Considered

Experimental Drug Provides New Approach To Fighting Alzheimer's

A new experimental drug is designed to slow down Alzheimer's by protecting brain cells from toxins associated with the disease. That's a different approach from other Alzheimer's drugs, which have tried to eliminate those toxins.

Morning Edition

How Likely Is It, Really, That Your Athletic Kid Will Turn Pro?

More than a quarter of parents in a recent poll say they hope their teens who play high school sports will become professional athletes. But sky-high parental expectations can have a dark side.

All Things Considered

Colorado's Long-Lasting Birth Control Program For Teens May Not Last Long

Focusing on long-acting contraception, such as IUDs and hormonal implants, proved to be a big success in reducing unplanned pregnancies and abortions. But political backing has been hard to come by.

Legionnaires' Outbreak Contained At Calif. Prison; New Cases In Illinois

Outbreaks reported across the country this summer are not related; it doesn't spread among people. Instead, it's spread in warm water, like that in building cooling towers.

Most Health Savings Account Owners Stick With Conservative Options

People who have had health savings accounts open longer are more likely to invest their contributions. But only about 5 percent of all account holders do so.

White House Takes Aim At Medicare And Medicaid Billing Errors

Improper payments by Medicare and Medicaid are wasting billions of dollars a year, the White House budget director said. He called for urgent corrective action in a letter that is now public.

Illinois House Leaders Override Governor's Veto On Heroin Addiction Bill

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner partially vetoed the Heroin Crisis Act, which would have cleared the way for Medicaid to fund addiction treatments.

All Things Considered

Spreading The Word: Obamacare Is For Native Americans, Too

Many Native Americans rely entirely on free care from the financially strapped Indian Health Service. Advocates say signing up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act can broaden their choices.

Week In Review: Deflategate Deflated, DCF Report, And Irish Nanny Goes Home

September 4, 2015
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady leaves Federal court, Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, in New York. Last-minute settlement talks between lawyers for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady have failed, leaving a judge to decide the fate of "Deflategate." (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Our Week In Review panelists, Shira Springer and Dante Ramos, go behind the headlines.

26 Years Old, And 7 Years Sober

September 4, 2015
Ben Yeager is pictured with his mother, Anne Yeager, at his 2014 graduation from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. (Courtesy of Ben Yeager)

By the time Ben Yeager realized his drinking “phase” was really a habit, it was almost too late. He shares his story.

Getting Some Perspective On Bike Safety In Boston

September 4, 2015
A bicyclist rides past the Boston intersection of Mass. Ave. and Beacon Street, where Anita Kurmann, 38, was hit and killed in a crash on August 7, 2015. Mourners have placed flowers at the scene. (Hadley Green for WBUR)

Is city cycling safe? It is an important question, but equally important is reason.

Plymouth Nuclear Plant’s Safety Rating Downgraded After Shutdowns, Valve Problems

September 3, 2015
The Pilgrim Station nuclear power plant in Plymouth, Mass. opened in 1972. (Robert E. Klein/AP)

The 43-year old Pilgrim plant is now one of three plants in the country ranked in the second-lowest category.

Get Over Your Feelings: One Psychiatrist’s Message For A Better Life

September 2, 2015
The Bennetts' new book offers practical advice for everyday problems. (Courtesy Simon & Schuster)

As he says, “Stop asking why you’ve got weaknesses and start preventing them from turning you into a jerk.”

Massachusetts Health Care Spending Rises

September 2, 2015
Per capita Total Health Care Expenditures in Massachusetts grew slightly faster than projected  national per capita expenditure growth, state inflation, and the general Massachusetts economy. (Massachusetts Center for Health Policy Analysis)

Despite a benchmark that health care spending should not rise more than the state’s GDP (3.6 percent), costs jumped 4.8 percent last year — double the previous year’s growth.

Why Head Lice Are Becoming More Drug-Resistant

September 2, 2015
Chante Ballou, right, a licensed vocational nurse with The Texas Lice Squad, looks for lice on a client Friday, Oct. 26, 2007, Missouri City. Ballou uses a product called Nit Free to loosen up the glue like substance that sticks the nits to the hair and a lice comb to extract them. The process takes about three hours and has to be so tedious that she can't leave one nit or lice behind or else the search is lost. Penny Warren, The Texas Lice Squad president, says parents should check weekly for lice because you can't prevent infestation but you can control it. (Nick de la Torre/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Some of these small parasites have been mutating and are now resistant to many over-the-counter medications.

After Nanny’s Charges Dropped, Debate Over Shaken Baby Syndrome Goes On

September 2, 2015
Aisling Brady McCarthy leaves court proceedings at Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn in July. (Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe/Pool)

The dropped charges for Aisling Brady McCarthy are just the second time since 2006 that the state medical examiner has amended the manner of death. The other time also involved the death of a child.

Remembering Oliver Sacks: How His Case Histories Became Bestselling Books

September 1, 2015
Oliver Sacks gave a TED Talk in 2009 on hallucinations. (Bill Holsinger-Robinson/Flickr}

Sacks wrote about his late-stage terminal cancer in an op-ed in The New York Times last February.

Diagnosing Shaken Baby Syndrome

September 1, 2015
Aisling Brady McCarthy listens during a status hearing at Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn, Mass., Tuesday, May 19, 2015. (Charles Krupa/AP)

The surprising decision by prosecutors to drop criminal charges against an Irish nanny accused of shaking a baby to death more than two years ago in Cambridge is raising some questions about the diagnosis itself.

Solitary Confinement Rules To Be Changed In California

September 1, 2015
A lock is seen on a small port where items are passed to inmates without having to open the cell door in the Secure Housing Unit at the Pelican Bay State Prison near Crescent City, Calif., Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011. (Rich Pedroncelli/AP)

Lawyers representing thousands of inmates who have been held in small, windowless rooms say they’ve reached a settlement.

A Push To Make Flying Safer For People With Peanut Allergies

September 1, 2015
Peanuts on a napkin (Daniella Segura/Flickr)

A coalition of allergy organizations wants airlines to be required to carry EpiPens to treat someone who goes into anaphylactic shock.

Living With ALS In The Ice Bucket Age

September 1, 2015
In this screen grab from a video posted on the Oakland A's Facebook page, Corey Reich (left) and catcher Stephen Vogt participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on August 19, 2015.

Corey Reich was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2007 when he was 21. Now 29, he continues to do well.

Listening Back To Our Conversation With Oliver Sacks

September 1, 2015
Oliver Sacks (Elena Seibert)

Oliver Sacks, celebrated neurologist and best-selling author, has died at 82. We’ll listen back to our remarkable 2013 interview with Oliver Sacks on life and aging.

Oliver Sacks Couldn't Cure Me, But He Gave Me So Much More

September 1, 2015
Molly Birnbaum: He gave me something far more important than answers -- he gave me time, unhurried, generous amounts of time. Oliver Sacks is pictured here at the 2009 Brooklyn Book Festival. The neurologist and writer died Sunday, August 30, 2015. He was 82. (Luigi Novi/ Wikimedia Commons)

He gave me something far more important than answers — he gave me time, unhurried, generous amounts of time.

Healey Strikes Deal To Offset Cost Of Narcan For Mass. Towns

August 31, 2015
Naloxone nasal spray (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

The pharmaceutical company that makes the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone will pay more than $300,000 into a new state trust fund to help make the medication more affordable.

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