Health and Welfare

12:52pm

Tue December 11, 2012
Health and Welfare

Loud Basketball Games Can Result in Hearing Loss

Ray Hull (Wichita State Univ. photo)

December is the cruelest month, basketball fans -- in more ways than one. Witness this news out of Kansas.  Yes, Kansas: Loud basketball games can often generate deafening noise that result in real hearing loss. So says Wichita State University audiologist Ray Hull, who found that gymnasiums and arenas are built like reverberating echo chambers that can wreak havoc on ears by amplifying noise to dangerous levels.

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1:13pm

Mon December 10, 2012
Health and Welfare

Report Shows Racing Drugs Render American Horses Unsafe to Eat

Credit Creative Commons

It's the most unsettling sentence in print this week, on the front page of Sunday's New York Times. "The meat of American racehorses may be too toxic to eat safely because the horses have been injected repeatedly with drugs." That's the warning European food safety officials have sent to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico (there aren't any in the U.S.) that specialize in processing horses for consumption abroad. 

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1:06pm

Mon December 10, 2012
Health and Welfare

CDC Says Kentucky Doesn't Spend Enough on Tobacco Prevention

Kentucky is not even remotely up to snuff on state tobacco-prevention programming. According to a new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control, the state spends only $2.2 million on such programs. That amount is only 4.5 percent of what the CDC recommends that state, which has the highest incidence of tobacco use in the nation, spend. If the state spent what the nation's most prestigious health institution recommended, state spending to improve Kentucky's collective lungs should be in the $57 million range.

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1:54pm

Sun December 9, 2012
Health and Welfare

Court Rules Health Boards Can Pass Smoking Bans

In Kentucky's first appellate-court ruling on the issue, the state Court of Appeals today upheld the Bullitt County Board of Health's smoking ban, which is virtually the same as others enacted by several other county health boards. However, the panel's 2-1 vote and the strength of the dissent suggests that the ruling will be appealed to the state Supreme Court.

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12:40pm

Fri December 7, 2012
Health and Welfare

Heroin Use on the Rise in Eastern Kentucky

It was only few months ago that Northern Kentucky law enforcement officers and substance abuse clinics began expressing grave concern that heroin was fast becoming the go-to drug in their region. Today, there are signs that the drug is already moving swiftly east, into the already drug-ravaged mountains of Eastern Kentucky. The reason for the uptick in heroin use? Because pain pills aren't as available anymore.

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12:33pm

Fri December 7, 2012
Health and Welfare

Hiding Tobacco Displays Could Curb Teen Smoking

For Kentucky which has the dubious distinction of having the nation's highest rate of teen smokers, an study published this week in Pediatrics reports that teenagers may be less likely to buy cigarettes at convenience stores if they aren't sold in plain sight. Genevra Pittman of Reuters Health explains that requiring stores to hide tobacco product displays is one option some states are considering to curb teen smoking after the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 was passed, according to Annice Kim, the study's lead author. No state has yet banned the displays. (Associated Press photo)

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12:29pm

Fri December 7, 2012
Health and Welfare

Flu Season Hits Early and Hard

Prepare for a bad flu season. According to the Centers for Disease Control, this flu season seems to be ahead of schedule if you use the last decade as any judge of when the season should begin, which is usually around Christmas. Suspected cases have already showed up in Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas, with two infant deaths already having been reported. (Getty Images)

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12:45pm

Wed December 5, 2012
Health and Welfare

Mistletoe Extract Used for Colorectal Cancer Treatment in Europe

Kentucky has one of the highest rates of colorectal cancers in the nation, with about 50 of every 100,000 Kentuckians being diagnosed with the disease each year. The state also ranks among the worst in colorectal cancer deaths, with 18-20 deaths per 100,000 annually. So perhaps Kentuckians should care more about some research that was announced as seasonal fare: using mistletoe extract in chemotherapy. (Wikipedia image)

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4:18pm

Tue December 4, 2012
Health and Welfare

Group Organizes Meetings for Medicaid Recipients

Credit Wikipedia Commons

As Kentucky moves to a new Medicaid arraignment in the Louisville region, the publisher of the Louisville-based Medical News is organizing community meetings to help Medicaid recipients avoid confusion about the changes.

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2:17pm

Sun December 2, 2012
Health and Welfare

Study Says Raising Cigarette Tax Would Curb Smoking

The more you raise cigarette taxes, the less people smoke. That presumption was confirmed this week in a study by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. This has some resonance in Kentucky, where just last week the state’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform told Gov. Beshear the state should raise taxes on tobacco, to $1 per pack from 60 cents. Other forms of tobacco would get a corresponding tax hike, reports Beth Musgrave of the Lexington Herald-Leader.

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2:15pm

Sun December 2, 2012
Health and Welfare

Kentucky Hospitals Fall Short in Patient Safety

In an analysis of the nation's hospitals and their safety records, many of Kentucky's health care facilities have some shortcomings. A study by the Leapfrog Group finds that the vast majority of the state's hospitals score a B or C in overall patient safety, a term defined here by analysis of data on accidents, errors and infections as kept by the Centers for Disease Control, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Agency for Healthcare Research.

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1:14pm

Fri November 30, 2012
Health and Welfare

Kentucky Obesity Rate Greater than World Rate

Take no solace from The Economist, which proclaims in its yearly analysis-and-prognostication issue that this is the year world leaders will take on worldwide obesity because, writes Charlotte Howard, "they will realize something must be done."

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4:23pm

Thu November 29, 2012
Health and Welfare

Task Force Recommends Changes to Protect Young Athletes

Beth Musgrave of the Lexington Herald-Leader reports that the state Task Force on Interscholastic Athletics at the Middle School Level announced its preliminary recommendations this week to address concerns about young athletes' health and safety. It seems that middle school sports in Kentucky have never had the advantage of being governed by a unified code of rules and policies like their counterpart in high school sports.

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12:52pm

Tue November 27, 2012
Health and Welfare

Report Shows Increase in Bounce-House Injuries

A new report out today in the journal Pediatrics warns that, on average, 31 children a day are transported to U.S. emergency departments for treatment of bounce-house injuries, including fractured bones and muscle damage. "If this was an infectious disease, we'd call it an epidemic and it would be on the front pages all over the country," said study co-author Dr. Gary A. Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. (Associated Press photo)

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12:50pm

Tue November 27, 2012
Health and Welfare

Study Predicts Expanding Medicaid will Increase Costs in Kentucky

Expanding Medicaid to people making up to 138 percent of the poverty level under federal health reform and its heavy subsidies would cost Kentucky about 5 percent more for Medicaid over the next 10 years than doing nothing, the Kaiser Family Foundation said in a state-by-state analysis today.

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10:36am

Wed November 21, 2012

10:28am

Wed November 21, 2012

3:59pm

Tue November 20, 2012
Health and Welfare

Consequences of Meth Displayed in New Campaign

The lobby for makers of over-the-counter drugs, which has fought laws to tighten controls on sale of cold medicine that is used to make methamphetamine, is starting a public-education campaign to discourage evasion of the system that tracks purchases of pseudoephedrine. The targeted states are Kentucky and Alabama, which could be key to preventing passage of laws like the one in Mississippi, which requires a prescription for pseudoephedrine.

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3:07pm

Tue November 20, 2012
Health and Welfare

UK Surgeons Perform First Heart-Lung Transplant in 15 Years

University of Kentucky surgeons performed Kentucky's first combined heart-lung transplant in 15 years this summer, UK announced today. Dawn Nelson, 29, of Louisville, received two lungs and a heart from the same donor in one procedure at the Albert B. Chandler Medical Center on July 7. Combined heart-lung transplants are rare; only 27 were performed nationwide in 2011. They are generally performed on younger patients who have a fatal disease and cannot be treated with medication or other interventions.

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12:51pm

Tue November 20, 2012
Health and Welfare

Funding for Critical Access Hospitals Could be Cut

Critical access hospitals, which in most states are rural facilities with fewer than 25 beds, may be under attack in the lame-duck session of Congress, former national rural-health director Wayne Myers writes for the Daily Yonder. President Obama's "budget proposes to revoke CAH status and special payments for any such hospital within 10 miles of another hospital, and to cut the extra 1 percent payment for all of the critical access hospitals," Myers writes. (Census Bureau map of CAH locations)

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4:04pm

Mon November 19, 2012
Health and Welfare

The Threat of Fire on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is often the biggest, most complex home cooked meal of the year, which means there are a lot of mistakes. It can also be a busy day for firefighters.   The National Fire Protection Association says Thanksgiving is the leading day for home cooking fires.  In 2010, cooking played a role in 156 thousand house fires, resulting in 420 deaths.  Richmond Assistant Fire Chief Wayne Long says turkey fryers, when used by inexperienced cooks, can create a fire hazard.

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10:49am

Mon November 19, 2012
Health and Welfare

Diabetes Rate Increasing in Kentucky

We're not just getting fatter, Kentucky, we're becoming chronically ill because of it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of diagnosed diabetes in Kentucky has increased dramatically in the last decade and a half.

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11:39am

Sun November 18, 2012
Health and Welfare

Teen Smoking Rate Drops in Kentucky

Like most states, Kentucky showed a drop in reported cigarette smoking among 12- to 17-year-olds from 2002 to 2010, according to a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Nationwide, teenagers' reported "current use" of cigarettes dropped from 12.6 percent to 8.7 percent. In Kentucky, that decline was even more significant, plummeting from 17.6 percent in 2002 to 11 percent in 2010. The 2002 rate was third in the nation; the latest one is sixth. The surveys defined "current use" as smoking in the past month. (Click on map for larger version)

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5:17pm

Thu November 15, 2012

4:54pm

Thu November 15, 2012
Health and Welfare

Changing Dynamics of Homelessness

In Lexington, a series of events mark National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.  Volunteers walk, sleep and eat like homeless residents.  There’s a Memorial March, a prayer service, and a concert.  It’s all part of an effort to put a face on central Kentucky’s homeless population.  In most minds, the image of homelessness might be a shabbily dressed man loitering along inner city streets.  That image remains true in cities all across the country.  But, it’s not the sole scenario.  Just a few years ago, Ellis Boatley was homeless.  He found himself taking shelter under a bridge in Lexington.  But, today he says no shelter can be found there.

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3:54pm

Wed November 14, 2012
Health and Welfare

East Kentucky Earthquake Impact

Last weekend’s light earthquake, which was centered in far southeast Kentucky, got a lot of people’s attention.  Among them are the region’s geologists and emergency managers.  The four-point-three magnitude quake serves as a reminder of how a much bigger earthquake could one day strike the Commonwealth.

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12:52pm

Wed November 14, 2012

12:46pm

Wed November 14, 2012

1:04pm

Tue November 13, 2012

12:59pm

Tue November 13, 2012

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