Health

Warraich's writing is anchored in his first-hand experience with patients.
Courtesy Haider Warraich

Heart disease kills more people than any other disease in the world. But as cardiologist Haider Warraich illuminates in his new book, it gets less funding and less attention than numerous other diseases, including cancer.

water
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Wake County officials are urging private well owners in the eastern half of the county to test their water.

UNC Hospital
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Officials with UNC Health Care on Monday announced several initiatives they say will restore confidence in its pediatric heart surgery program, including pausing the most complex cases until an advisory board of external medical experts reviews the program and makes recommendations.

Skin of a person after 3 days of measles infection.
Dr. Heinz F. Eichenwald / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Health officials warn that people who visited a coffee shop in Durham, North Carolina, last week may have been exposed to measles.

Fayetteville Police Department Captain Lars Paul shows a naloxone injectable kit and a naloxone nose spray Fayetteville police use to reverse opioid overdose.
Raul Rubiera / For WUNC

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein are among featured speakers at a two-day in-state gathering of experts in the fight against opioid addiction and abuse.

photo of a newborn in the hospital
pixabay

UNC Children’s Hospital is under investigation after a New York Times report revealed high death rates among pediatric heart patients. The numbers were so worrisome that the hospital’s pediatric cardiologists were reluctant to refer patients to their own surgeons.

Polling by NPR finds that while rural Americans are mostly satisfied with life, there is a strong undercurrent of financial insecurity that can create very serious problems for many people living in rural communities.

The findings come from two surveys NPR has done with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health on day-to-day life and health in rural America.

Hospital room
PROFotos GOVBA / Flickr Creative Commons

For the past 40 years, healthcare service providers wanting to open new facilities have had to get a Certificate of Need from the state Department of Health and Human Services. The regulations, known as CON laws, cover 12 different types of medical services, making North Carolina’s laws some of the most restrictive in the nation. 

A vote on what would be the country's most restrictive abortion ban was postponed in the Alabama Senate on Thursday after chaos erupted over the stripping of an amendment to allow exceptions in the case of rape or incest.

In the wake of the shooting at the K-12 STEM School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, parents all over the country are struggling with difficult conversations about safety at school. One student was killed and eight were injured. Hundreds more lived through the terrifying experience of a shooting at their school.

The reality is that school shootings are traumatic events. And they can have long-lasting consequences.

family sitting around the dinner table
pixabay

For years health experts have been touting the benefits of sitting down at the dinner table for a family meal. The tradition of a big Sunday dinner after church is not uncommon in the South, but not many people meditate on all of the labor that goes into making a home cooked meal possible.

Chuck Burton / AP Photo

All the counseling, therapy and medication did little to ease 9-year-old Sobie Cummings' crippling anxiety and feelings of isolation. A psychiatrist suggested that a service dog might help.

Sam Javanrouh / Flikr Creative Commons

Although the majority of Americans support paid family leave, only 12 percent of North Carolina workers benefit from it. Employees are able to take unpaid family leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, but many workers simply cannot afford to go without pay while they take care of a new baby or sick relative. 

Measles is on the rise again, all around the globe.

Though the number of people affected in the U.S. is still relatively low compared with the countries hardest hit, there are a record number of U.S. measles cases — more than 700, so far, in 2019, according to the CDC — the highest since the disease was eliminated in the U.S. back in 2000.

Jacob Fields, right, plays walks with his son Roan, left, in a wooded area adjacent to Murdoch Developmental Center in Butner, N.C. on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

For families with special needs children, putting kids into institutional care is often a desperate act of last resort. Many parents and caregivers prefer to keep their children at home where they can give them as much love and attention as possible, but they need help to do so. Families of children with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities are eligible for assistance from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services through a portion of Medicaid called the Innovations Waiver.

child doctor
Alex Prolmos / Flickr / Creative Commons

North Carolina House Republicans touted a bill on Tuesday that would expand health coverage to more uninsured adults who make too much to qualify for Medicaid. 

Wendell Potter
Courtesy of Wendell Potter

Wendell Potter spent two decades in senior positions at major health insurance companies before he became a whistleblower. A crisis of conscience sprung up while he was publicly praising policies that he knew were contributing to the rising number of uninsured and underinsured people in the U.S.

Medicaid expansion states show larger declines in the uninsured, 2013-2017
Kaiser Family Foundation

Some North Carolina House Republicans are expected to pitch again their idea to expand Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of uninsured people through the 2010 federal health care law.

Closing arguments are done and the criminal trial of pharmaceutical executive John Kapoor is now in the hands of the jury. Deliberations begin on Monday.

The federal government has accused Kapoor and his four co-defendants of bribing doctors and deceiving insurance companies. In bringing criminal charges against corporate executives, the federal government is widely seen as trying to demonstrate that it is acting aggressively against drug companies and the role they allegedly played in the opioid epidemic.

Driven by greed

 

Numerous studies on childbirth in the US present a grim fact  -- racial disparities persist in the delivery room. Rates of maternal and infant mortality during childbirth are disproportionately higher among African American women in Buncombe County, and nationwide.  

That stark reality is what prompted a group of women in Asheville to organize and start a doula service for women of color and for women without the financial means.

A silhouette of a young pregnant woman.
Sarah Zucca / flickr.com/photos/livetocreate_photography/12040481414

The Food and Drug Administration recently approved the first drug specifically designed to treat postpartum depression. Marketed as Zulresso, it is administered intravenously and reports results within 48 hours.

The drone pilot makes the first ever delivery to Matternet CEO Andreas Raptopoulos in front of WakeMed Health and Hospitals on March 26, 2019.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

A pioneering use of drones to fly blood samples across a North Carolina hospital campus launched Tuesday in the latest move to expand their roles in business and health care.

Editor's note: If you like this article, you should check out Life Kit, NPR's family of podcasts for navigating your life — everything from finances to diet and exercise to raising kids. Our new sleep guide is out Monday. Sign up for the newsletter, or email us at lifekit@npr.org.

Photo: Firefighter turnout gear
Vince Alongi / Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/vincealongi/2155757629/in/photostream/

In North Carolina, firefighters are taking steps to address high cancer rates among their ranks.

 

Firefighters are more likely to be diagnosed with and die of cancer than the general public, according to a 2015 study from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Several communities in rural North Carolina struggle with water infrastructure maintenance.
Courtesy of Flickr user mycieau

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers is rolling out a bill that would require school districts and child care facilities to conduct routine testing of their water fountains for possible contaminants. 

The proposal comes after Mecklenburg and Guilford Counties recently did voluntary tests of their water, and found elevated levels of lead in taps at dozens of schools.

Men are dying after opioid overdoses at nearly three times the rate of women in the United States. Overdose deaths are increasing faster among black and Latino Americans than among whites. And there's an especially steep rise in the number of young adults ages 25 to 34 whose death certificates include some version of the drug fentanyl.

2019 Health Outcomes Ranking.
Robert Wood Johnsong Foundation / University of Wisconsin Public Health Institute

A lack of affordable housing drives down health and keeps North Carolinians in poverty, according to the latest annual County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

Jonathan Drew / AP Photo

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina is being sued again over its treatment of transgender people, as state employees argue that their health plan violated federal law by dropping coverage of medically necessary procedures.

A former North Carolina Supreme Court chief justice and other retired state government workers and teachers aren't exempted from paying health insurance premiums because they had a deal with the state to keep their benefits unchanged, an appeals court ruled Tuesday.

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services headquarters at Dorothea Dix in Raleigh.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

The consortium of hospitals that was denied a contract to manage Medicaid beneficiaries has appealed its rejection. The appeal will be considered by North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen.

Pages