chronic disease

Lisa Gillespie/Side Effects Public Media

Dennis Pond doesn’t tell his psychiatrist about his thoughts of suicide.  But he has them. He often feels useless, in large part because his diabetes has caused terrible pain and numbness in his feet, and that affects his ability to drive, to help out around the house, to even go out in the yard.

How Disease Rates Vary By State — And What States Can Do About It

Dec 13, 2016
Chris Bentley/via Flickr

By many measures, Hawaii is one of the healthiest states in the union. Yet only Mississippi has a higher rate of flu or pneumonia deaths than the Aloha State.

West Virginia, which is usually among the bottom dwellers in state health rankings, is in the middle of the pack when it comes to deaths related to Alzheimer’s disease.

Dribs and drabs of research from a few countries around the world have raised concern that diabetes is growing as a cause of death and disability. But the first coordinated global look at the disease, published in The Lancet this week, has fully sounded the alarm.

Doctors Often Fail To Treat Depression Like A Chronic Illness

Mar 7, 2016

Depression prompts people to make about 8 million doctors' appointments a year, and more than half are with primary care physicians. A study suggests those doctors often fall short in treating depression because of insurance issues, time constraints and other factors.

Quest For Blood Pressure Cuff Highlights Inequality

Feb 17, 2016

The doctor told Sharlene Adams to get a blood pressure cuff, so Adams set out to buy one.

For Adams, who lives in West Baltimore, that meant four bus rides, a stop for a doctor’s signature, two visits to a downtown pharmacy for other medical supplies, a detour to borrow money for a copay, a delay when a bus broke down, and, at last, a purchase at a pharmacy on the east side of town.

At A Kansas City Library, Residents Check Out Their Health

Jan 20, 2016
Fitness instructor Nicki Jones leads an exercise class at Lucile H. Bluford Library in Kansas City.
Calvin Jones / WHYY

 On Tuesday evenings, the hush of the Lucile H. Bluford Library on Kansas City's east side is transformed by the boom of Hip Hop and R&B. The center's small conference room is filled with about 40 people—mostly middle-aged women, and a few men, all wearing spandex and sneakers. Fitness instructor Nicki Jones stands at the front of the room, braids pulled back and wearing a sports blazer. She shouts over the music to lead the crowd through a set of squats, bicep curls and lunges.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) spends more than $800 million on obesity research every year. That is a fraction compared to the total cost of obesity to taxpayers and those affected with obesity.

According to NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins, that fraction is doing a lot to help find systematic solutions to counteract high obesity rates, but there is still much to be done.

Prescription drug use is rising across the United States. More people are taking medications and they're taking more of them.

A study published Tuesday by researchers at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health shows that 59 percent of adults used a prescription drug in a 30-day period. That's up from just 50 percent when the survey was last conducted a decade earlier.

Community Health Workers Reach Some Patients That Doctors Can't

Oct 29, 2015

Month after month, Natalia Pedroza showed up at the doctor's office with uncontrolled diabetes and high blood pressure. Her medications never seemed to work, and she kept returning to the emergency room in crisis.

Walfred Lopez, a Los Angeles County community health worker, was determined to figure out why.

Tons of money has been poured into digital health technologies, from electronic health records to a smartphone case capable of taking an electrocardiogram. But not everyone may benefit, and e-health interventions may widen, not shrink, health disparities.

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