Health

Duke researchers say bullying can lead to anxiety, depression and thoughts of suicide up to 20 years later.
John Steven Fernandez via Flickr / flickr.com

A study from Duke University says adults who were bullied as children are much more likely to have anxiety or depression. 

http://equual-access.blogspot.com

In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act opened up a host of protections for people with disabilities. Amongst its gains, it banned workplace discrimination and forced government and commercial spaces to become more accessible.

State officials say they plan to reform the health department ahead of their budget proposal to the General Assembly.  Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos told lawmakers yesterday her priorities are to overhaul the state's Medicaid program and improve her office's computer system.  Wos said in committee testimony aired on WRAL.com that she's cleaning up a department whose employees have filled out incomprehensible reports and wasted money through poor communication.

Gov. Pat McCrory
Governor's Office

A state House committee has moved along a bill that would block any state-funded expansion of Medicaid.  The Health and Human services Committee voted to follow Governor Pat McCrory's lead saying that Medicaid should not grow to cover about half-a million uninsured residents.  States can expand Medicaid to help cover the uninsured under the Affordable Care Act..but they can also opt out of that expansion.   Governor McCrory said the program's budget is tight in a speech at the Emerging Issues Forum at N-C State yesterday.

flu shot
samantha celera, via Flickr, Creative Commons

According to new research out of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, some people who suffer from the flu emit far greater amounts of the virus than others.  A small pilot study found 5 out of 61 patients who tested positive for flu released 32 times more of the virus in air samples taken during routine care. 

GO INTERACTIVE WELLNESS, Flickr, Creative Commons

Treatment for mental illness that is safe, healthy, and not too expensive can be hard to find. But new research from  Duke University suggests that yoga might be effective in treating certain psychiatric symptoms.

The Latino immigrant population faces a host of unique problems when it comes to mental health treatment. Migration trauma and separation issues are just a few of their struggles. The population in North Carolina is underserved, which is why a group of mental health professionals formed the group El Futuro. The group serves the mental health needs of the state’s Latino population, and it is hosting a conference this Friday on the topic. Host Frank Stasio talks about Latino mental health with Luke Smith, executive director of El Futuro; and Karla Siu, clinical manager at El Futuro.

Doctors in North Carolina roll out a long-term plan today to reverse the rise of the state's obesity rate.  The proposal recommends thousands of behavioral and policy changes for the next seven years.  The recommendations range from limiting time in front of the television to adding funds for hiring health coordinators at every school district.  Doctor Carolyn Dunn is a professor at N.C. State and lead writer of the plan.  She says the strategy to reduce obesity is shifting from broad reform to one policy change at a time.

Research supported by Duke University scientists linking marijuana use to a drop in I-Q is being questioned. 

Last August researchers at Duke published a study that followed habitual users of marijuana in New Zealand before they turned 18. Subjects of that study showed an average drop of eight I-Q points when their aptitude was measured. 

New research from Duke University may help make an effective vaccine for HIV-AIDS. Four years ago a potential vaccine showed some protection for about a third of recipients, but was not an overall success. Barton Haynes is a senior author on the latest study and the director of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute. He says the research looks at how that original vaccine achieved limited success.

A research team out of Duke has developed a way to use sickle cells to treat cancerous tumors. Sickle cells are typically associated with a potentially lethal genetic blood disease. Lead author Mark Dewhirst is a radiation oncologist and director of Duke's Tumor Micro-circulation Lab. He says when the crescent-shaped sickle cells are injected into mice, they tend to stick like Velcro to the vessel walls - thereby blocking the blood vessels that surround the tumor.

North Carolina's new Secretary of Health and Human Services says she's committed to helping residents of group homes find a place to live at the end of the month. About 14 hundred people with mental illnesses or developmental disabilities are no longer eligible for Medicaid reimbursements for personal care services.

The outgoing Governor, Bev Perdue, allocated one million dollars from a rental assistance fund to keep remaining group home residents in place until the end of January. But everyone's aware that money will run out, says Secretary Aldona Vos.

North Carolina could be doing a better job of preventing tooth decay in children. A new Pew Center report gives the state an "F" for taking care of kids teeth. Doctor Bill Maas is a public health dentist and a policy advisor for the Pew Children's Dental Campaign. He says painting a clear plastic sealant coating on the permanent molars of second graders is an efficient way to prevent cavities.

A connection between childhood obesity and daily salt intake has been discovered.

Researchers in Australia tracked more than 4-thousand children and found that kids who consume the most salt are more likely to drink sugary beverages. That puts them at risk of high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. Dr. Joseph Skelton is director of the Brenner FIT program at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. He believes most excess salt is coming from fast food, and snack foods:

A public-private partnership is doing a good job of taking care of people suffering from mental illness. --- That, according to a new report from The North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research.

Three-way contracts were instituted more than four years ago as part of a new initiative from the Division of Mental Health. The contracts allow the state to buy beds in local hospitals to provide care for people who are in crisis. Mebane Rash is an Attorney with state Center for Public Policy Research.

There may be new hope for people threatened by Alzheimer's. A Duke University study released today outlines better ways to diagnose the disease early when treatments are more effective. A combination of three imaging and bio-markers were used on patients to see which one provided the most useful information to help in diagnosis. Doctor Jeffrey Petrella is an associate professor of radiology at Duke University Medical Center and a lead author of the study.

Not enough college students are getting vaccinated for the flu, according to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center study. The research asked 4,000 college students in North Carolina whether or not they had received a flu shot. Dr. Tim Peters was an author of the study and is a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases.

Tim Peters: "We found that about 20-percent of them had been vaccinated. And that number is quite a bit lower than we would like."

Duke Medicine is leading a collaboration with the Durham public schools and local agencies to develop better-integrated mental health care for children. Helen Egger is a child psychiatrist at Duke and leads the initiative. She says too often kids with psychiatric disorders are shuffled between schools, hospitals, and law enforcement- each addressing the problems on their own terms. Egger wants to develop school-based models that can fill in the gaps between services.

State health officials report the first two deaths from flu in North Carolina this season.

It is said to be one of the earliest reports of flu deaths the state has seen. Both victims were in the Triad. One was said to be a high-risk case because of age. The other was generally healthy. Zack More is a state epidemiologist. He says both cases show the flu cannot be taken lightly.

State health officials want to know if low use of a prescription drug database is leading to more deaths in North Carolina.

A majority of state pharmacists and doctors are not checking a drug registry that every pharmacy must report to. Some lawmakers say that can enable some people to abuse highly addictive drugs. Last year, more than one thousand North Carolinians died of pharmaceutical overdoses. William Bronson runs the database for the state Department of Health and Human Services. He says it may not be fair to blame pharmacists for not monitoring their patients' drugs.

Children's advocates say poverty continues to be a problem when it comes to kids' health. The non-profit Action for Children North Carolina is out with its annual Child Health Report Card. The state scored a D in child poverty, with more than 25% of children under 18 living in poverty. Action for Children's Laila Bell says that affects the health statistics.

State health officials want to help North Carolinians keep the pounds off this holiday season. The annual Maintain, Don't Gain Holiday Challenge launches today. Participants receive email tips, and can download food and activity logs to track their progress. Daniella Uslan is with the Physical Activity and Nutrition Branch of the state Division of Public Health.

About 2,000 people with severe mental illness are facing eviction from group homes at the end of the year. That was the message from group home residents and staff and mental health advocates who rallied at the state Capitol yesterday. A change in Medicaid rules means residential facilities for the mentally disabled will lose some federal funding at the end of the year. State lawmakers passed a bill earlier this year providing replacement funds for adult care homes...but group homes were left out.

North Carolina has until Friday to decide whether to build its own health exchange or let the federal government run one for the state. It's a requirement of the Affordable Care Act, which seeks to provide health care insurance to everyone. Al Delia is the Acting Secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Services. He says whatever path the state chooses, there's a whole series of decisions about infrastructure that need to be made.

The North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force has released new details about the state's death rate among children.

Task force executive director Elizabeth Hudgins says deaths of kids from birth to age 17 have hit a new low.

Elizabeth Hudgins: "Now there's about 57 deaths per 100-thousand children."

Post traumatic stress disorder may be linked to a smaller brain area regulating fear and anxiety response. That's the finding of a new study from researchers at Duke. Psychiatry professor Raj Morey works at Duke and the Durham VA. He's the lead author of the study.

GSK Recycling Inhalers

Oct 25, 2012
GSK
GSK

Drug maker GlaxoSmithKline is beginning a program to recycle spent respiratory inhalers. The company is signing up pharmacies in the Raleigh-Durham area and 30 other cities to collect the breathing aids. The company tested the program in a few of the selected cities and collected about 27-hundred inhalers. GSK's vice presider for respiratory business Jorge Bartolome says the "Complete the Cycle" program will break down the inhalers for multiple uses.

Several Durham County groups are partnering to fight a high rate of diabetes in adults. The Durham Diabetes Coalition brings together health groups, churches and government to teach people about the dangers of the disease. County statistics show that 12 percent of Durham County adults live with diabetes. The statewide average is nine percent. Health educator Chasity Newkirk says the challenge is getting people screened, especially African Americans.

Duke University doctors say clinical trials on how drugs affect children are few and far between. Gurnal Scott reports.

Doctors looked at research conducted from 2005 to 2010 -- about 60-thousand trials. They found that adult medical trials far outnumber ones on kids under 18.

"By about 10 to one," says one of the study's writers, Alex Kemper, a pediatrics professor at Duke. "For those of us who provide care to children, we know that clinical trials are the best way to know how to treat conditions.

UNC Health Care is growing its network of hospitals with the addition of High Point Regional.

Pages