Health

Pixabay - Creative Commons

When Josh Sabey’s sister was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, his family wanted to provide her with the best care possible. But after spending thousands of dollars and seeing no improvement for years, they started to investigate what was going wrong. 

Naloxone kit
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

Raleigh Police officers will now carry a drug called Naloxone that reverses opioid overdoses.

child drinks soda
Staff Sgt. Matt McGovern / U.S. Air Force - Commons

Researchers have long been aware of a link between exposure to violence and obesity in adolescents. Now a new study is untangling some of the reasons that connection exists.

The study used smart phones to monitor adolescents in California and North Carolina. It tracked their exposure to violence and subsequent activity levels, fatigue, and consumption of fast food and soda.

Laura Pellicer

For close to two decades, Richard Joyner fought to get away from the farms of Pitt County, North Carolina. He grew up in a family of sharecroppers and repeatedly witnessed racial and economic injustices. His family was never properly compensated for their labor, and his father was treated poorly by white land owners.

Later in his life, Joyner became the pastor for the small 300-person community of Conetoe, North Carolina. Within one year, 30 of his congregants died from health-related illnesses. He decided to return to farming to grow healthy food for his community.

Governor Roy Cooper's administration is proposing an overhauled Medicaid program that would combine behavioral health and primary health care.  

North Carolina is now tracking babies born with alcohol or drug dependencies.
Tulane Publications / Flickr, Creative Commons

Local social services agencies in North Carolina are now collecting information about babies born with a dependence on drugs or alcohol. The new Substance Affected Infants plan complies with a federal mandate.

youth football players
Stuart Seeger / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/pPWtH

Biomedical researchers at Wake Forest School of Medicine have found that youth football players sustain more hits to the head as they get older. Those hits get a lot harder, too.

Flickr Creative Commons

The number of teen athletes who have knee surgery to reconstruct a torn anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is on the rise, and girls have seen the sharpest increase. Researchers from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill say the results are concerning and point to the need for better injury prevention among high school and youth athletic teams.

foster care children
Credit U.S. Navy / Wikimedia Commons

The opioid crisis continues to ravage the United States. Children of family members caught up in the epidemic face a particular set of pressures. One of the markers of that extra pressure is the steady rise in foster care rates around the country. In North Carolina the number of children in the foster care system has risen 28 percent in the past five years and is now at a 10-year high. 

Steak on a grill.
Mo Riza / Flickr - Creative Commons

When patients began showing up at hospitals with allergic reactions they believed were caused by meat, doctors were quick to dismiss their theories. But patients living in the South who were exposed to a cancer drug containing alpha-gal, a carbohydrate found in beef, pork and lamb, had similar responses. 

foster care children
Credit U.S. Navy / Wikimedia Commons

More than 11,000 children in North Carolina are now in foster homes. The Children's Home Society of North Carolina says the number has been steadily rising since 2012, and is at its highest rate in the last 10 years. 

Men drinking beer.
Max Pixel / Max Pixel - Creative Commons

Women live longer than men in many countries around the world. In the United States, women outlive men by an average of five years. Scientists have long attributed this divide to genetics and biology, but a physician at Duke University is posing an alternative theory: toxic masculinity. 

Mike Mozart / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/Lw32Nj

The city of Greensboro will receive a $2.9 million grant from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development to help get rid of lead paint in low-income homes.

Courtesy The Children's Home Society of North Carolina

A sexual education program from the Children's Home Society of North Carolina is targeting adolescent boys to prevent teen pregnancy. The Wise Guys program teaches boys between the ages of 12 to 18 about abstinence, contraception and healthy relationships.

Courtesy WakeMed Mother's Milk Bank

The WakeMed mother's milk bank in Cary is seeking donations of breast milk to help feed thousands of premature infants across the East Coast.

Two of about 140 protesters who rallied in front of Senator Thom Tillis' office in downtown Raleigh.
Jess Clark / WUNC

More than one hundred protesters rallied outside Senator Thom Tillis' Raleigh office Tuesday afternoon calling for the Republican senator to reject his party's bill to replace Obamacare.

The U.S. Senate is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 27, 2017, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. faces challenges within his own party this week in advancing the Republican health care bill.
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Senate Republicans on Thursday unveiled their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare. The long-awaited plan marks a big step toward achieving one of the Republican Party's major goals.

IV fluids
Mads Bodker / Flickr - Creative Commons

North Carolina has been battling a growing opioid addiction epidemic. New Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data from North Carolina hospitals show the rise in intravenous drug use is also causing a sharp increase in the rate of heart infections. 

Worker at a vaccine manufacturing facility.
Sanofi Pasteur / Patrick Boulen / Flickr - Creative Commons

When German measles, or rubella, broke out in the U.S. in the 1960s, women were terrified about the disabling effects the disease could have on their unborn babies. Clinicians eventually developed a vaccine but would not administer it to pregnant women, believing it was too risky – a decision that led to thousands of abortions and a huge amount of stress and fear. 

A supermarket display of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and other junk food.
Sandra Cohen-Rose and Colin Rose / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/rm97z

Duke University researchers have completed a two-year health intervention that resulted in improvements in weight, cholesterol and blood pressure to more than 1,100 Methodist clergy in North Carolina.

A plate of Soul Food
Laylah Amatullah Barrayn / Byron Hurt

Soul food has been a culinary tradition for centuries. While it remains an important source of community for many African-Americans, the way certain soul foods are prepared can increase chances of cancer and other health issues. In his documentary “Soul Food Junkies” (2012), filmmaker Byron Hurt examines his family’s history with soul food and the impact of the cuisine’s traditions.


FNV has worked to promote healthy eating habits, including with banners at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Millennials like to think that they eat healthier than their parents. But new research shows they still aren't eating the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables.

Image of Lisa Hightown-Weidman and her family
Courtesy of Lisa Hightow-Weidman

Lisa Hightow-Weidman grew up with her nose always in a book. She majored in English in college and had aspirations of becoming a writer.

A strain of canine influenza is infecting dogs across North Carolina.
Ezio Melotti / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/9BdWfK

As many as a few dozen dogs in North Carolina have been infected with a new strain of canine influenza.  

New UNC research ties pharmaceutical industry payments to higher prescription rates.
Flickr

Physicians who receive compensation from pharmaceutical companies for speaking engagements, food or travel were more likely to prescribe cancer-fighting drugs from those companies, according to new research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

chart of 2016-17 flu deaths
Courtesy of the NC Department of Health and Human Services

Flu season is over, and this year's was deadlier than usual. North Carolina health officials recorded more deaths to flu complications this season than in any year since they began tracking them in 2009.

man using syringe
Urban Seed Education via flickr, Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/7Akc6y

New cases of hepatitis B and C have risen significantly in North Carolina in recent years. In response, state health officials are warning those at a higher risk for the infection to get tested. 

Courtesy Jane Williams

In her practice as a psychologist, Jane Williams counseled people dealing with grief. She came across many patients who experienced a spontaneous thought that brought them comfort and peace. Williams collected some of their stories in a new book, "Mysterious Moments: Thoughts That Transform Grief." (Library Partners Press/2017).


San Diego Personal Injury Attorney / Flickr/ Creative Commons

 Earlier this week, President Trump unveiled his budget proposal for 2018. The plan cuts more than $600 billion from Medicaid in the next decade, which would affect  nearly two million enrollees in North Carolina. The budget also includes deep cuts to health research and higher education.


Doctors at Duke Hospital.
Duke Medecine

Medicine is becoming more and more precise. Healthcare professionals have growing access to big data, computational power and genetic sequencing and testing. Advances such as genetic screenings that rule out ineffective chemotherapy treatments are already being used clinically. Many other diseases, from high cholesterol to depression, are also on the list to potentially benefit from getting more precise interventions.

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