Health

Here’s one marijuana trend you should actually be worried about

Here’s one marijuana trend you should actually be worried about

The latest federal survey data shows that while teen marijuana use continues to decline in the era of legal pot, adult use is rising. The percent of people over the age of 18 who smoke it in a given year has risen from 10.4 percent in 2002 to 14.1 percent in 2016. In other words, 46 million people got high last year. In and of itself, the increase in adult marijuana use isn’t particularly alarming...
‘Meds-to-beds’ programs aim to prevent re-hospitalization

‘Meds-to-beds’ programs aim to prevent re-hospitalization

As Larry Greer neared the end of a week-long stay at the Washington Hospital Center, he grew anxious. Greer, 57, had suffered a severe leg burn in a hot bath at home in May. Greer has diabetic neuropathy, which reduces feeling in his legs, and he didn’t realize how hot the water was. He received a skin graft at the hospital, where daily doses of oxycodone helped ease the pain. Greer, a D.C....
Keep your family nourished during a disaster

Keep your family nourished during a disaster

I still have vivid memories of helping friends who experienced heartbreaking floods in our community several years ago. One especially exhausting day of trying to salvage what we could from water-soaked lives was interrupted with the precious sight of Red Cross volunteers driving through the neighborhood offering sandwiches and beverages. It was a meal I will never forget. We never know when we&rsquo...
Former CDC chief launches $225 million global health initiative

Former CDC chief launches $225 million global health initiative

Tom Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is starting a new initiative to tackle some of global health’s thorniest issues: cardiovascular disease and epidemics. Frieden, a former New York City health commissioner who spent seven years leading the CDC during the Obama administration, said he chose those two issues based on his “unique vantage point...
Is diet soda really bad for you? Maybe not

Is diet soda really bad for you? Maybe not

Just how bad is diet soda for you? It may be more complicated than you think. There may be hope for zero-calorie tipplers yet. A spate of recent studies has diet soda lovers fretting over their bubbly beverages. Studies have shown that sucking down diet pop means you may be avoiding sugar and calories but overdosing on chemicals that can be dangerous to your health. “Just get rid of it,&rdquo...
Rep. Beto O’Rourke outlines four-step plan to Medicare for all

Rep. Beto O’Rourke outlines four-step plan to Medicare for all

With a last-ditch GOP effort to repeal and replace Obamacare apparently on the ropes, U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke on Friday outlined a four-step plan that would lead to Medicare coverage for all Americans at an appearance before an audience of more than 400 students at the University of Texas. Step one, said O’Rourke, an El Paso Democrat seeking the Senate seat held by Republican...
Texas weighs impact of latest GOP plan to repeal Obamacare

Texas weighs impact of latest GOP plan to repeal Obamacare

The latest iteration of Republican efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act appears at first blush to be a potential boon to Texas by making it eligible for an estimated $34 billion in additional federal health care funds through 2026 if the plan wins approval — more than any other state. But some health care advocates say they are skeptical of the prize. “In the short term, it looks...
Stronger Austin to help underserved neighborhoods be healthier

Stronger Austin to help underserved neighborhoods be healthier

Austin often gets put on “fittest cities” lists, but that’s not true for all of Austin, says Baker Harrell, lead of the Stronger Austin initiative and founder and CEO of It’s Time Texas, a nonprofit organization aimed at making Texas a healthier place to live. “The underserved neighborhoods are among the least healthy communities in...
Best parties as Austin’s social season gains momentum

Best parties as Austin’s social season gains momentum

Nobody said it would be socially quiet this time of year in Austin. Sept. 21-24:  “Belonging: Part 1” from Blue Lapis Light. Seaholm District Plaza. Sept. 21-28:  Tribeza Style Week. Stateside Theater and Fair Market. Sept. 22-23:  Rhythm Runway Show and Jewel Ball for Women’s Symphony League. Various locations. Sept. 21: ...
Aaron Hernandez had 'severe' stage 3 CTE, researchers say

Aaron Hernandez had 'severe' stage 3 CTE, researchers say

Former pro-football player and convicted killer Aaron Hernandez has “the most severe case” of CTE Boston University researchers have ever seen, Attorney Jose Baez said at a news conference Thursday afternoon.  In light of the results of an inquest into the former Patriot’s brain, Baez has filed a federal lawsuit against the NFL and the New England Patriots. Baez said...
Intensive care reunion

Intensive care reunion

Dr. Yvonne Wong, left, a neonatologist at St. David’s Women’s Center of Texas, was reunited Saturday with Amanda Reed and her 3-month-old daughter Ruby Reed. The hospital hosted its eighth annual Neonatal Intensive Care Unit reunion for babies born and cared for in the unit. St. David’s Women’s Center is projected to have 7,000 births this year, and among the babies born this...
Commentary: Sanders’ drug plan puts Texas patients, companies in peril

Commentary: Sanders’ drug plan puts Texas patients, companies in peril

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and some of his fellow lawmakers are attempting to pass a bill that would make it legal to import prescription drugs. They claim doing so would expand the free market – an interesting claim from a band of lawmakers led by a self-declared socialist. The bill is a veiled attempt to import price controls into the United States, which would undermine the free market, hurt...
Starbucks thief plans to sue man who stopped him, police say 

Starbucks thief plans to sue man who stopped him, police say 

A California man who allegedly tried to hold up a Starbucks barista at gunpoint, now plans to sue the customer who tried to stop him. Authorities said Ryan Flores, 30, attempted to rob a Starbucks in Fresno in July, but 58-year-old Cregg Jerri picked up a chair and hit Flores in the back with it. The two got into a violent scuffle, and both sustained injuries. Now the Flores family says...
Jimmy Kimmel: Senator ‘lied right to my face’ about healthcare

Jimmy Kimmel: Senator ‘lied right to my face’ about healthcare

Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel had harsh words for a lawmaker who told him that he’d put all health care bills under what the senator called the “Jimmy Kimmel Test,” then announced his support that many believe goes against that pledge. >> Read more trending news  Kimmel , during Monday night’s show, said that Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) “lied...

Improper behavior claims against Lakeway doctor unproven, judge rules

The Texas Medical Board failed to prove allegations that a Lakeway doctor behaved inappropriately toward female patients, an administrative law judge ruled Friday. Early last year, the board banned neurologist Robert Wayne Van Boven from seeing female patients because of incidents that the board alleges happened when he was an employee of Lakeway Regional Medical Center — now called Baylor Scott...
Commissioners approve Central Health budget, but the debate continues

Commissioners approve Central Health budget, but the debate continues

The Travis County Commissioners Court on Tuesday approved Central Health’s $238 million budget, which will add about $12.50 to the typical homeowner’s property tax bill. The Travis County health care district’s budget includes a 4.5 percent increase in tax revenue, with the tax rate at 10.74 cents per $100 of property value. For the owner of the average home valued at $305,173, the...
Travis County hesitantly approves Central Health’s $238 million budget

Travis County hesitantly approves Central Health’s $238 million budget

3:30 p.m. update: After an hour of discussion that grew heated at points, commissioners voted to postpone by two weeks a vote on changes to the Travis County order regarding Central Health’s financial policy. The changes are meant to increase the agency’s transparency by stipulating things like regular third-party audits. This postponement was in part to give Central Health’s board...
Parents, tell your teens synthetic marijuana is no joke

Parents, tell your teens synthetic marijuana is no joke

We’ve done a lot of stories about K2, aka synthetic marijuana, and a rash of overdoses and death, especially among the homeless population in Austin. That seems like something that happens to other people, not our teens, right? Austin police seized 400 packets of the synthetic drug K2 last year. The drugs come in fun, colorful packets, but you don’t really...
Runners on edge after second attack on popular Austin trails

Runners on edge after second attack on popular Austin trails

Austin runners are on edge after a woman was reportedly attacked by a man while running around Lady Bird Lake last week. An Austin police statement and messages circulating through running forums online said the incident happened around 5:45 a.m. Friday as the woman ran along the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail near East Avenue and Cummings Street. Another jogger heard the woman scream and...
Commentary: How Texas can stop the ‘death spiral’ of health insurance

Commentary: How Texas can stop the ‘death spiral’ of health insurance

When Congressional Republicans developed a plan to repeal Obamacare, they did so with the promise of offering states flexibility. The legislation eliminated the expansion of Medicaid, too, and sought to turn that program into one that allow states to supposedly use money more effectively. But the legislation would have removed about $800 billion of health care funding before telling the states to...
Commentary: Travis County commissioners can protect taxpayers and poor

Commentary: Travis County commissioners can protect taxpayers and poor

Travis County taxpayers generously voted in 2012 to raise Central Health Hospital District’s tax rate to fund additional medical care for our poor residents. This additional care included a medical school consistent with Central Health’s only mission by law to provide health care for the poor. During the 2012 election, Central Health and Austin’s political leaders assured voters...
‘Grey’s Anatomy’ star Kate Walsh faced real-life medical battle with brain tumor

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ star Kate Walsh faced real-life medical battle with brain tumor

“Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice” star Kate Walsh is very familiar with playing a doctor on TV, but nothing could have prepared her for the moment she learned she had a brain tumor. Walsh opened up about the diagnosis in a new interview with Cosmopolitan, explaining that she was diagnosed with a benign meningioma the size of a lemon in 2015. She had the...
American Academy of Pediatrics reports: Kids are addicted to opioids, too

American Academy of Pediatrics reports: Kids are addicted to opioids, too

Last week I made a decision that could have altered the course of my child’s life. As my 13-year-old was waking up in the hospital recovery room from an outpatient procedure, I was offered the choice of giving her Tylenol or oxycodone for the pain. Really? Tylenol or oxycodone? The choice was obvious to me. Tylenol. I’ll risk the possible liver damage if she overused...
Skip the tattoos and piercings, kids

Skip the tattoos and piercings, kids

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers this advice to its pediatricians: Warn teens about the dangers of tattoos, piercings and scarification (that’s creating scars in a design). A report out Monday does acknowledge that most of the time these things can be done safely and the stigma that used to come with them is fading. Still the academy wants its doctors to make...
5 things to know about mold in your home after a flood

5 things to know about mold in your home after a flood

Mold is more than just an irritating airborne allergen for Central Texas — it’s a lurking danger for residents all over the state who are recovering from Hurricane Harvey’s floodwaters. Here are five things to know about mold, courtesy of the Texas Department of State Health Services: 1. Mold is awful: Spores can not only cause allergy symptoms, but also headaches, bronchitis...
Hats off to James Armstrong Celebration and Building Healthy Futures

Hats off to James Armstrong Celebration and Building Healthy Futures

Clarity. Efficiency. Effectiveness. The  Building Healthy Futures luncheon that benefits  AIDS Services of Austin glorifies these virtues. Mary Herr Tally and Scott Ballard at ASA’s Building Healthy Futures luncheon. Michael Barnes/American-Statesman Start with the simple cards that share the lunch menu at the  JW Marriott and...
Home visits help new parents raise healthy children

Home visits help new parents raise healthy children

EL CENTRO, Calif. — Seated at a kitchen table in a cramped apartment, Rosendo Gil asked the young parents sitting across from him what they should do if their daughter caught a cold. Blas Lopez, 29, and his fiancee, Lluvia Padilla, 28, quickly answered: Check her temperature and call the doctor if she has a fever they can’t control. “I’m very proud of both of you knowing what...
Should you monitor your sleep with a fitness tracker?

Should you monitor your sleep with a fitness tracker?

Dear Mayo Clinic: I wear a fitness device that tracks my sleep. It shows that most of my sleep is light sleep and that I rarely am in deep sleep. Is this kind of sleep tracker reliable? If so, is there a way I can get better sleep? I sleep about six or seven hours each night. A: When it comes to identifying the difference between light sleep and deep sleep, research has shown that fitness trackers...
Giving more smiles to more folks

Giving more smiles to more folks

WISE, Va. - Larry Bays has seen his share of hard times, but on this day he was blessed. The 71-year-old goat farmer from Gate City, Virginia, had come to the annual free medical clinic held recently here in coal country so his wife, Joyce, could have her asthma and arthritis checked. When her doctor realized that she had no teeth, he sent the couple over to a trailer operated by the Mission of Mercy...

Virtual reality game gathers data for dementia researchers

Navigating an ice-walled lake or scouring a swamp for a hidden monster may sound like a fun premise for a virtual-reality video game. But there’s a serious purpose behind the new game Sea Hero Quest VR: helping neuroscientists design a new test for dementia. London-based game design firm Glitchers worked with researchers from British and Swiss universities, as well as dementia and Alzheimer&rsquo...
Dell Children’s adds Dell Medical School experts to its childhood obesity program

Dell Children’s adds Dell Medical School experts to its childhood obesity program

YMCA of Austin’s MEND program includes an hour of exercise while kids’ parents talk about how to support healthier choices. Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas has had a program that focused on nutrition and exercise for kids who are at risk for obesity or already obese. Now it is teaming up with experts at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas to...
Central Health budget brings $12.50 hike to typical homeowner’s bill

Central Health budget brings $12.50 hike to typical homeowner’s bill

The Central Health Board of Managers on Wednesday night approved its fiscal year 2018 budget that, pending final approval from the Travis County Commissioners Court, will bring a $12.50 increase to the typical homeowner’s property tax bill. The agency’s $238 million budget includes a 4.5 percent increase in tax revenue, with the tax rate at 10.74 cents per $100 of property value. For the...
Why Larry King is talking about his secret lung cancer surgery 

Why Larry King is talking about his secret lung cancer surgery 

Larry King secretly underwent surgery after he was diagnosed with stage 1 lung cancer following his annual physical exam. “I didn’t have any pain, but when they took a chest x-ray the doctor said, ‘There’s a little cloud here…,’” King told People. The 83-year-old was first diagnosed in July after a CAT scan and PET scan. “They said I was lucky...
Commentary: Struggling to cope after Harvey? There’s help for that too

Commentary: Struggling to cope after Harvey? There’s help for that too

As Hurricane Harvey hit Texas a couple weeks ago, I visited the Delco Center to spend time with evacuees who were facing an unknown but excruciating loss. I talked with a young woman who was there with her children and mother — but she didn’t know where her dad was. He’d stayed behind. When we visited, she hadn’t heard from him and was frightened about what might have happened...
After parent complaints, Seton sends more nurses into Austin schools

After parent complaints, Seton sends more nurses into Austin schools

After pushback from parents and nurses who voiced concern over student safety, Seton Healthcare Family announced Wednesday it will pay up to $1.8 million to increase the number of nurses the Austin school district has on its campuses. The district contracts with Seton for student health services, this year paying $7.1 million, which includes mental health services. Seton this year reduced the number...
Women with an apple shape at increased risk of developing cancer, study finds

Women with an apple shape at increased risk of developing cancer, study finds

There are several categories to describe body types, but there is one that can increase your risk of cancer if you’re a woman, according to a new study. It’s the apple-shape. Researchers from Denmark conducted an experiment, which was recently presented at the European Society of Medical Oncology conference in Madrid, to determine how excessive fat in different parts of the body can...
Commentary: Texas Legislature leaves women’s health services in pieces

Commentary: Texas Legislature leaves women’s health services in pieces

This is the story of a veto. Though there were 50 bills rejected by Gov. Greg Abbott following the 85th legislative session — each with its own narrative — this tale is about Senate Bill 790, which would have extended for two more years the work of the Women’s Health Advisory Committee, a group of providers who advised the state regarding the organizational and funding structures...
A&M gets $20 million grant to develop implanted health sensors

A&M gets $20 million grant to develop implanted health sensors

Texas A&M University researchers will lead a $20 million federally funded program to develop under-the-skin sensors and hand-held devices for tracking health conditions, especially for people who, for geographical or income reasons, lack ready access to medical care. The five-year National Science Foundation grant, announced Tuesday, is of a special type that is likely to be renewed for an additional...
Deadly Legionnaires’ disease traced back to Graceland hotel, kills one guest 

Deadly Legionnaires’ disease traced back to Graceland hotel, kills one guest 

The family of a Kentucky woman who died from Legionnaires’ disease has filed a lawsuit against The Guest House at Graceland. Several cases of the disease were linked back to the resort hotel near Graceland over the summer.  Victim Linda Gaile Godsey, 62, died of Legionnaires’ on June 21. Godsey died eight days before Shelby County Health Department officials confirmed there was an...
Paying homage to the Big Give and Texas 4000 Tribute Gala

Paying homage to the Big Give and Texas 4000 Tribute Gala

Just about every Austin nonprofit of a certain size fields a young leaders group or stages a giving event geared for young backers. Few feel as authentic or as lively as the  Big Give from I Live Here I Give Here. New neon at the Big Give. Michael Barnes/American-Statesman Credit Executive Director  Celeste Flores, but also her excellent...

Trans fat is (almost) out of your food. Here’s what’s going on

Partially hydrogenated oils, the main source of artificial trans fat and an invisible mainstay of the American food industry for decades, are finally being pushed out in favor of healthier alternatives. The change was a long time coming. Research showing the dangers of trans fat, which raises the risk of heart disease and stroke, solidified with a major study published in 1990 and got stronger with...
Austin police to deploy fleet of Ford SUVs after carbon monoxide woes

Austin police to deploy fleet of Ford SUVs after carbon monoxide woes

Austin police will soon take steps to put their sidelined and troubled Ford police Interceptor sport utility vehicles back on the street after manufacturer repairs that officials think will stop the flow of poisonous carbon monoxide into the vehicles. Interim Police Chief Brian Manley said Thursday that the city is set to receive its first shipment of 10 repaired cars from a Ford facility in...

Dell Medical School gets $2.3 million grant for colon cancer testing

The University of Texas Dell Medical School has received a $2.3 million grant to screen more people in Travis County for colorectal cancer. In the United States, colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and the third-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women, according to the American Cancer Society. It’s also the third-most common cancer diagnosis...
Dell Seton expands the type of burns it can treat

Dell Seton expands the type of burns it can treat

If you were badly burned, would you have to go to San Antonio or Dallas? Before August, if more than 10 percent of your body was covered in burns, you would. Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas has launched a new burn program. The program can treat people with burns of up to 30 percent of their bodies. It also can treat burns that involve the face, hands feet, joints and genitalia...
Austin police to deploy fleet of Ford SUVs after carbon monoxide woes

Austin police to deploy fleet of Ford SUVs after carbon monoxide woes

Austin police will soon take steps to put their sidelined and troubled Ford police interceptor sport utility vehicles back on the street after manufacturer repairs that officials think will stop the flow of poisonous carbon monoxide gas into the cars. Interim Police Chief Brian Manley told the American-Statesman and KVUE-TV on Thursday that the city is set to receive its first shipment of 10...
Man drags overdosing friend from apartment, tells girlfriend ‘don’t call police’

Man drags overdosing friend from apartment, tells girlfriend ‘don’t call police’

Pennsylvania authorities are investigating a disturbing drug-related case in metro Pittsburgh. Police said a man, identified as Thomas Hegner, showed a total disregard for human life when he dragged his unconscious friend, who was overdosing on drugs, out of his apartment in suburban Ambridge. The overdose, which happened inside Hegner’s residence late last week, was caught on apartment surveillance...
City food inspectors knocked for too-frequent breaks

City food inspectors knocked for too-frequent breaks

The city of Austin office charged with inspecting restaurants and other places that serve food to the public has itself failed an inspection by the city’s internal auditor. An August audit said a handful of food inspectors tailed by auditors took breaks to recline in their cars, shop or work out, and sometimes leave work early, and that overall the Austin Public Health department’s oversight...
‘Silent killer’ behind death of young boy, not the flu, heartbroken family says

‘Silent killer’ behind death of young boy, not the flu, heartbroken family says

An Alaskan family is mourning the death of a 10-year-old boy after he fell victim to a carbon monoxide leak that originated in the refrigerator in their cabin. When carbon monoxide, often referred to as a “silent killer,” leaked into their cabin on Aug. 20, Sarah and Matt Klebs thought that they, their 8-year-old daughter and their 10-year-old son were suffering from the flu...
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