NPR Health

Are These Condom Ads Too Sexy For TV?

11 hours ago

The average American reads at an 8th-grade level, but the patient information that doctors and hospitals provide often presumes that people have much more advanced reading skills.

So some researchers decided to see what happens when 9-year-olds write the patient guides.

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The number of teens abusing drugs is lower than it's been since the 1990s, according to a national survey.

"In particular, we see a tremendous decline in the portion of young people using cigarettes," Dr. Lloyd Johnson, a study researcher at the University of Michigan, said at a press conference on Thursday. "The changes we're seeing are very large and very important."

Heading North: American Doctors Report Back From Canada

Dec 14, 2017

For Peter Cram, an American internist who spent most of his career practicing in Iowa City, Iowa, moving to Toronto in 2014 was an easy decision.

He says he is among a handful of American doctors who went north to practice in Canada's single-payer system. Now he doesn't worry about whether his patients can afford treatment. "Everyone gets a basic level of care," he says, which lets him focus on their medical needs instead of their finances.

This post was updated Dec. 14 at 9:30 a.m. to note that Maryland extended enrollment until Dec. 22.

Gene Kern, 63, retired early from Fujifilm, where he sold professional videotape. "When the product became obsolete, so did I," he says, "and that's why I retired."

There's new — and shocking — evidence about the toll that health care costs are taking on the world's most vulnerable.

The liver is a fascinating thing.

If you want to read a thought-provoking story about the liver, you might like to learn about the challenges of building a fairer system for allocating access to liver transplants.

Or the history of efforts to grow "liverettes" in petri dishes.

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Friday is the last day to enroll in a health insurance plan through the federal government's insurance exchange, HealthCare.gov.

And in a little office park in Northern Virginia, Brima Bob Deen is dealing with the rush.

Couples therapist Esther Perel is an expert in cheating. She's spent the past six years of her career focusing on couples who are dealing with infidelity — and she's heard a lot of stories.

"It's never been easier to cheat — and it's never been more difficult to keep a secret," she says. "The majority of affairs would normally have died a natural death. Today they are discovered primarily through the phone or through social media or though the computer."

Why Do So Many People Hate Obamacare So Much?

Dec 13, 2017

The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, has roiled America since the day it was signed into law in 2010. From the start, the public was almost evenly divided between those who supported it and those who opposed it.

They still are. The November monthly tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 50 percent of those polled had a favorable view of the health law, while 46 percent viewed it unfavorably.

When a pregnant woman finds out that she's likely to give birth to a baby with Down syndrome, she's often given the option to terminate the pregnancy. But families affected by the genetic disorder, which causes developmental delays, are conflicted over whether such abortions should be legal.

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Many older adults want to stay in their own homes as long as they can, and often they need some help to make that possible. Not everyone has family to count on. So for tens of thousands of older Americans, the solution has been something called the village.

Editor's Note: This story was originally published in September and has been republished with updates about the U.N. investigation of extreme poverty in Alabama and other U.S. locations.

The United Nations is investigating extreme poverty in the U.S.

Updated at 5:22 p.m. ET Dec. 14

How do Native Americans experience discrimination in daily life?

This week marks five years since the mass shooting deaths of 20 young children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

One of those killed was 6-year-old Avielle Richman, who was shot in her first-grade classroom. Her parents, Jeremy Richman and Jennifer Hensel, plan to spend this year's anniversary day quietly, at home with the two children they had after Avielle's death.

Open enrollment on the federal health law's marketplace — HealthCare.gov — ends Friday, and most people who want a plan for next year need to meet the deadline.

But some consumers who miss the cutoff could be surprised to learn they have the opportunity to enroll later.

"While a lot of people will be eligible ... I am still worried that a lot of consumers won't know it," says Shelby Gonzales, a senior policy analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

The life expectancy of Native Americans in some states is 20 years shorter than the national average.

There are many reasons why.

It's a beautiful morning in Pittsburgh, but Ariel Haughton is stressed out. She's worried her young children's health insurance coverage will soon lapse.

"So, we're like a low-middle-class family, right?" she says. "I'm studying. My husband's working, and our insurance right now is 12 percent of our income — just for my husband and I. And it's not very good insurance either."

The policy that covers the couple requires high fees to even see a doctor, and it has a high deductible for further treatment.

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Two pills to wipe out hookworm could cost you 4 cents. Or $400.

It just depends where you live.

The 4 cents is in Tanzania. That'll cover the two pills it takes to knock out the intestinal parasite. But in the United States, where hookworm has re-emerged, the price for two 200 mg tablets of albendazole can cost as much as $400.

It's a typical hectic morning at Michele Comisky's house in Vienna, Va., when she gets a knock on her front door.

"Hi, how are you?" Comisky says as she greets Keisha Herbin Smith, a research assistant at Georgetown University. "Come on in."

Comisky, 39, leads Herbin Smith into her kitchen.

Discrimination in the form of sexual harassment has been in the headlines for weeks now, but new poll results being released by NPR show that other forms of discrimination against women are also pervasive in American society. The poll is a collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

For example, a majority (56 percent) of women believe that where they live, women are paid less than men for equal work. And roughly a third (31 percent) say they've been discriminated against when applying for jobs because they are women.

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