Health

Capital Gains/©Dave Trumpie

Michigan is getting poor marks in a new national health survey.

For 24 years, the United Health Foundation has looked at the healthy or unhealthy habits of Americans.  

According to the American Health Rankings out today, nationally fewer people are smoking and more people are exercising. The national obesity rate held steady, which is the first time since 1998 that the survey didn’t record an increase.

Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

For most of her life, Kelly Rothe believed she was going to die of breast cancer.  

"It's all we knew. When everyone in your life gets sick, you just assume it's going to happen to you," she says. 

Rothe was just six years old when her mom was diagnosed. 

kakisky / MorgueFile

Here's something you can tell that neighbor whose power lawn mower shatters your Saturday morning quiet: You're making me sick!

Researchers at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and the Network for Public Health Law say Americans live in a dangerously noisy society.

U-M assistant professor of environmental science Rick Neitzel says noise does much more than cause hearing loss. He says  noise can contribute to heart disease, hypertension, sleep disturbances and learning problems in children.

From the report "Access to mental health Care in Michigan" / Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation

Michigan's mental health care providers are already stretched far beyond capacity, according to an Ann Arbor research agency.

A report released Thursday by the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation says the state's mental health system "is broken."

And if it's bad now, care providers will be overwhelmed when the Affordable Care Act takes effect next month.

shopsafetyproducts.ca

The Michigan Credit Union League wants to get automatic defibrillators into every credit union in the state.

Jon Looman is the CEO of Community West Credit Union.   He had a heart attack and collapsed while teaching an indoor cycling class last year.

He says he survived thanks to an AED, and plans to order one for every one of his credit union's branches.

“They save lives, plain and simple. They just save lives,” says Looman, “And even better than that, they improve the quality of life after a heart attack if you act right away with one.”

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

New research from the University of Michigan may show a way to help older people recover their independence after suffering a serious injury.

It’s estimated that 40% of trauma patients will be 65 and older during the next four decades.

Getting geriatric patients back on their feet and independent is especially difficult.

U of M researchers interviewed older patients a year after being seriously injured in an accident.

Ed Uthman / Creative Commons

Maybe don't read this story right after plowing through a pecan pie, ok? 

Because a group of scientists are finding that what young women eat during puberty could determine how breast cancer cells develop in their bodies for the rest of their lives.

The culprit: high-fat diets.

It's not just about weight: high fat diets may hurt skinny and heavy women alike 

Michigan researchers say eating lots of fat as a teen can speed up breast cancer cell development, especially for cancers usually associated with young adult women. 

Rina Miller / Michigan Radio

As  Americans gather to celebrate the holidays, many will be joined by family members of the furry persuasion.

Most dogs like to position themselves near the dinner table, ready to Hoover up any morsels that fall to the floor, eyes beseeching  diners as they lift  each forkful of feast. 

Cats may be more assertive and attempt to tiptoe among your fine glassware and serving platters.

But as we humans are well aware, just because something is delicious doesn't mean it's good for us.

That goes for pets, too.

Safety is gradually improving, but toy-shoppers should still be watchful this holiday season.

That’s the main message from this year’s annual ‘Trouble in Toyland’ toy safety report from the Public Interest Research Group in Michigan (PIRGIM).

The group says the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, passed in 2008, has improved toy safety.

But it warns that some toys can and do fall through the regulatory cracks. The group found toys that exceed federal standards for lead, cadmium, phthalates, and other toxins that can impair child development.

And PIRGIM suggests some of those laws could be tightened up, too.

Spokesman Eric Mosher points to a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pencil case. It contains much more of the toxic element cadmium—about 600 parts per million--than federal law allows.

C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health, 2013

Overall, 44% of parents say they'd allow their child to take part in medical research if the child had the disease being studied.

Yet only 5% say their child has participated in a medical study.  

That's according to a recent National Poll on Children's Health conducted by C.S. Mott Children's Hospital at the University of Michigan.

Michigan Kids Count

A new study finds economics play a significant role in Michigan’s infant mortality rate.

The Michigan Health Equity Status Report used data from 2010.   The report is a joint effort between the Practices to Reduce Infant Mortality through Equity Project (PRIME), and the MDCH Health Disparities Reduction and Minority Health Section.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michiganders at risk of losing their health insurance because of Obamacare may be getting a reprieve.

It’s estimated that more than 200,000 policies in Michigan could be at risk of being canceled because the policies don’t meet the minimum standards of the Affordable Care Act.

After a public outcry, President Obama asked the states and insurance companies to keep those policies in effect for another year. 

healthcare.gov / YouTube

It’s been more than a month since the Affordable Care Act’s insurance marketplace has open, and to say the rollout has been problematic would be an understatement.

With the glitch-ridden healthcare.gov website, and the natural confusion that comes with breaking new ground, it’s no wonder that many insurance-seekers don’t even know where to begin to find health insurance under the ACA.

Enter Don Hazaert, the director of Michigan Consumers for Healthcare. MCH is one of four navigator agencies in Michigan for Obamacare.

But what does a navigator do? What can’t they do? And where do Michiganders stand with their healthcare?

Hazaert met with us in the studio, to discuss how those looking for coverage for Michigan actually do it.

For more information, visit enrollmichigan.com or any of the websites below:

consumersforhealthcare.org

communitybridgesihc.com

accesscommunity.org

aihfs.org

Listen to the full interview above.

Flickr user fimoculous / Flickr

If you find yourself craving an icy-cold cola or some ginger ale, maybe a Frappuccino coffee, should you be able to crack open a can or a bottle when you want? Even if you know it’s not good for you?

The University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers say maybe not. So, starting today, you will no longer be able to indulge that sweet tooth of yours. They will become one of the first in Michigan to stop selling all sugar-sweetened beverages, with the goal of giving us a not-too-subtle nudge over to healthier drinks.

Theresa Han-Markey has been a registered dietician for over 20 years. She is the Bionutrition Manager at the Michigan Critical Research Unit and she’s the Internship Director for Dietetics at U of M. She joined us today to give us a closer look at this sugar crackdown.

Listen to the full interview above.

Flickr user Vox Efx / Flickr

French women don't get fat, so said French writer

Mireille Guiliano in her infamous cookbook.

But that didn’t stop French authorities from introducing a new tax on soda in order to combat obesity and diabetes.

While obesity has more than doubled in France over the past 15 years and continues to rise, the country still has far fewer obese people than the U.S.

David Chazan prepared this report from Paris as the law was enacted last year.

Listen to the full interview above.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

There has been much attention and concern about binge drinking among college-age students.

But what about high school students?

That's what the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research wanted to learn about.

As part of its annual Monitoring the Future Study, researchers collected data from more than 16,000 high school seniors. They were surveyed between 2005-and-2011.

And what they learned should be a true warning to parents of high schoolers.

Developmental psychologist Megan Patrick was the lead author of this study, and she joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

University of Michigan Health System / University of Michigan

There’s little doubt that music can influence our emotions in powerful ways. From pumping us up, to soothing and comforting — music can take us there.

And that’s what Ann Arbor-based singer-musician and social worker Betsy Beckerman hopes to do. She’s a bedside musician, offering her guitar and voice to patients of all ages at the University of Michigan Hospital. 

Beckerman’s work is part of the Gifts of Art program at the University’s Health System, and it’s one of the best examples in the nation of what’s known as “arts in healthcare.”

Betsy Beckerman joins us in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan officials hope to know by Christmas whether the Obama administration has accepted the state’s plan for extending Medicaid coverage to thousands of working poor people.

The state formally submitted its proposal to the federal government today.

The state wants waivers from the usual Medicaid rules so it can charge co-pays, set up health care savings accounts, and use financial incentives to encourage patients to adopt healthy behaviors.

Center for Disease Contorl / http://www.cdc.gov/hai/outbreaks/meningitis-facilities-map.html

The FBI wants victims of last year's fungal meningitis outbreak to report their case by Nov. 30. This call for information is part of an ongoing investigation into a contaminated set of steroid injections distributed by the New England Compounding Center that caused 264 infections in Michigan, resulting in 19 deaths. There were also three deaths of Michigan residents who were treated in Indiana.

kakisky / Morgue File

Michigan is getting $14.4 million for a program that does home visits for pregnant women and new mothers. A key goal is to reduce infant mortality. 

The Michigan Department of Community Health will use the money for prevention-focused home visits in at-risk communities. 

Michigan's infant mortality rate is above the national average.  Fourteen out of every 1,000 African American babies in Michigan die before they reach their first birthday. That is three times more than white babies.

Miki Yoshihito / Flickr

We can talk all we want about safety regulations, about child safety seats, which designs work best and why we should have children safely restrained in a traveling vehicle.

But all of that talk is trumped by the sometimes harsh realities of what doctors see in an emergency room. It's the physicians who see what happens when parents are careless about following safety laws, or when the laws themselves are not enough to protect children.

In 2012, more than 2,500 children under age 11 were hurt, and 16 youngsters died in car crashes. And that toll hasn't changed since 2005, despite advances in automotive design and child safety seats.

Why is this happening?

Dr. Michelle Macy, with the University of Michigan CS Mott Children's Hospital, joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

NRDC

Michigan may not have a big problem with wild fires, but a new report claims Michigan does have a major problem with wildfire smoke.

The Natural Resources Defense Council is out with a report ranking Michigan seventh on a list of states with the most days with wildfire smoke in the air.

Photobucket

Nineteen occupations in Michigan may no longer be regulated under a recommendation from the state's Office of Regulatory Reinvention, which is part of the state's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).

In the health field, the occupations include respiratory therapists, dieticians and nutritionists, acupuncturists, ocularists (someone who makes and fits prosthetic eyes) and speech pathologists.

Sono Tamaki / Flickr

Michigan has a high infant mortality rate -- especially among African American babies. The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has launched a website that will provide resources and information about infant mortality.

Seven out of every 1000 babies born in Michigan won't see their first birthday. The African American infant mortality rate is twice as high. 

Foster Farms website

Michigan is among 18 states affected by an outbreak of salmonella.

Two of the nearly 300 confirmed cases of salmonella are in Michigan.

The outbreak has been traced to a California chicken producer, Foster Farms.

photo by Anna Strumillo Phuket - Thailand / www.fotopedia.com

The state and federal healthcare exchanges are, of course, a big chapter in the overhaul of the American healthcare model - a model that's very different from many other countries around the world.

The BBC's Alice Castle has lived in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. She's had the experience of being pregnant in both countries.

Click the audio above to listen to her unique perspective on the American healthcare system.

Morgue File

The number of Michigan deaths from drug overdose has tripled since 1999. The majority of these deaths were caused by prescription drugs.

Michigan has the 18th highest drug overdose mortality rate in the country, according to a national report on Prescription Drug Abuse by the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) in Washington, D.C. 

nasirkhan / MorgueFile

Beginning next April, all babies born in Michigan will be screened for Critical Congenital Heart Disease -- or CCHD.

The Michigan Department of Community Health says Michigan will join 31 other states that include pulse oximetry screening to their newborn screening tests.

The painless test measures the amount of oxygen in a newborn's blood.

MDCH spokeswoman Angela Minicuci says congenital heart disease is one of the most common birth defects and impacts about nine out of every 1,000 newborns.

Michigan State University

It's called "Kinship Care."

It means relatives stepping in to raise a child, and it happens for many reasons.

Whether it's parents being deployed to combat in the Middle East, physical or mental illness, or incarceration, all over the country, grandparents or other relatives are being called on to raise a child. Today, more than 4.9 million children are living in grandparent-headed households.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s new online healthcare exchange went live today, meaning Michiganders would now have the opportunity to check out healthcare plans and subsidies available to them under the Affordable Care Act.

But the launch didn’t go without a couple of hiccups.

As the exchanges went live on the web, consumers encountered error messages, saying the high traffic to the exchanges would mean delays with actually looking at the plans.

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