Health

Health news from 90.5 WESA.

UPMC to Partner with Singapore Transplant Center

Dec 15, 2011

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has announced an interim agreement with The Asian Centre for Liver Diseases & Transplantation (ACLDT) in Singapore. This is the first step in what's expected to be a broader collaboration in the future. Under the agreement, UPMC will help ACLDT with its business and technology planning and with clinical consultations.

Penn State Works on Egg Safety

Dec 12, 2011

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded Pennsylvania State University a $542,607 grant to improve food safety.

The USDA handed out $10.4 million in grants to 17 universities for research and education.

Penn State researchers will be working with Iowa State University to develop an updated and optimized Egg Quality Assurance Program that will reduce Salmonella Enteritidis contamination of egg shells.

Department of Aging Urges Seniors to Get Flu Shots

Dec 12, 2011

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging is reminding people that there's still time to receive their annual flu shot to ward off illness. During last year's flu season, about 20,000 influenza cases were reported to the state Department of Health. Twenty-one percent of those who became ill were 65 or older.

Juanita Pless is the PrimeTime Health state coordinator for the Department of Aging. PrimeTime Health coordinates funding from the department to operate flu clinics. She said that even though the flu shot ad campaign has ended, the message has not.

Losing Face

Dec 12, 2011

We all see the world differently. But for people with face-blindness, they see it differently with an added major difference — they can't recognize who you are.

Pittsburgh Observes World AIDS Day

Dec 1, 2011

Pittsburgh residents and city employees are wearing red clothing and ribbons in commemoration of the city's third annual World AIDS Day effort, (PITTSBURGH) RED. More than 30 organizations are partnering to conduct awareness events and distribute 20,000 educational cards to the public and employees about AIDS/HIV.

Study: Eating Fish Cuts Risk of Alzheimer's

Nov 30, 2011

In 1989, a group of elderly individuals agreed to have their diets assessed. Their consumption of baked or broiled fish was tracked on a weekly basis for a year, and ten years later they underwent brain MRIs. Those scans revealed that the amount of grey matter in the brain had increased. Years later, scientists looked at the development of Alzheimer's in the subjects' brains. University of Pittsburgh researcher Dr. Cyrus Raji says that results were extracted from 15 years' worth of data.

EPA Expected to OK Air Quality Plan

Nov 29, 2011

The Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) says that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to conditionally approve the department's air quality improvement plan for the Liberty-Clairton area. The plan will decrease the area's fine particulate matter from 16 micrograms per cubic meter annually to the national standard of 15.

The Health Effects of Hydraulic Fracturing

Nov 23, 2011

In the past few years, protesters who have opposed Marcellus Shale activities have focused on the detrimental effects that they believe drilling for natural gas could have on the water, and air, and ultimately everyone's health.

But those concerns have been mostly anecdotal, leaning on stories that people have told about the effects that the gas drilling process has had on their neighbors, livestock, pets, and family members — tales that without scientific evidence, that gas drilling companies readily refute.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

Nov 21, 2011

The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council will release a report tomorrow examining numbers for diabetes-related hospitalizations based on age, race, gender, and geographic regions in the state. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 18.8 million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes. Another 7 million are believed to have the disease but haven't been diagnosed.

This month, the Pennsylvania Department of Health has been urging people to take control of their health and get screened for diabetes as part of National Diabetes Awareness Month.

For the seventh straight year, local organizations will receive more than $1 million for use towards breast cancer education, screenings, and treatment initiatives. The Pittsburgh Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure said that the $1.8 million in grants is the largest amount handed out at one time in the history of the affiliate.

Kathy Purcell, executive director of the local chapter, said a large proportion of the money will go to the Mammogram Voucher Program (MVP). Through the MVP, Adagio Health provides women in need with free mammograms and follow-up services.

When fully implemented, the Affordable Care Act will save Pennsylvania households earning less than $100,000 a year an average of $2,370. That's according to "The Bottom Line: How the Affordable Care Act Helps Pennsylvania Families," a report from Families USA, a non-profit, non-partisan health consumer group.

All provisions of the Affordable Care Act will be fully implemented in 2014. Numbers in the report are for 2019, giving the law a few years to become established.

UPMC will invest nearly $300 million into a new research facility that will focus on cancer and aging along with personalized medicine.

"Right now we take care of diseases that are really syndromes," said Chief Medical and Scientific Officer Steven Shapiro. "Patients have different susceptibility of those diseases, different courses of those diseases, different drugs that one person may respond better to. This is a way of finding the appropriate variation for an individual, to tailor treatment toward that individual."

“Let’s Move” Campaign Comes to Pittsburgh

Oct 10, 2011

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is joining the campaign launched by First Lady Michelle Obama in February 2010 to encourage healthy eating and increase physical activity by children.

As part of the "Let's Move" campaign, the conservatory is hosting a regional symposium at its facilities to share ideas and actions that help prevent obesity.

Phipps director Richard Piacentini says a conservatory has more to do with children's health than one might think.

Concussion Guidelines Likely to Become State Law

Oct 6, 2011

Legislation establishing a protocol for managing possible concussions in Pennsylvania's student athletes passed the State House unanimously yesterday afternoon and is expected to pass in the Senate soon after it re-convenes October 17th. Among other provisions, it specifies when an athlete must be removed from play and what steps must be taken before he or she is allowed to return.

Knowing Vaccine Logistics Can Save Lives

Oct 3, 2011

New research from the University of Pittsburgh has found that simply adding a new vaccine to an existing supply chain can actually do more harm than good. "If your goal is to get new vaccines out to people with a goal of trying to prevent substantial diseases, you can actually inhibit the flow of other vaccines," said Bruce Lee, M.D, assistant professor of medicine, epidemiology and biomedical informatics at the University of Pittsburgh. "If you don't have enough planning you can inadvertently do more harm than good."

ACHD: Watch for Suicide Symptoms

Sep 9, 2011

The Allegheny County Health Department is marking World Suicide Prevention Day Saturday by reminding residents just how big of a problem suicide can be.

"Between 2005 and 2008, the Health Department's Child Death Review Team examined 19 suicides countywide involving adolescents 14 to 19 years old or about five a year," said Review Team member Jennifer Fiddner. Suicides account for about 3% of sudden deaths in that age group according to Fiddner

Diesel Emissions In Pittsburgh To Be Monitored

Sep 8, 2011

Starting in January battery-operated monitors will be strapped to telephone and light poles in downtown Pittsburgh to measure diesel pollution. The Allegheny County Board of Health has approved spending $860,000 for the three year study to be conducted by the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. Jim Thompson, the county Health Department's Air Program Manager, said the goal is to determine when and where diesel emissions are the highest. "Our efforts have been somewhat scattered," said Thompson.

Three Children Infected With Rare Flu Strain

Sep 6, 2011

Cases of a novel flu virus have been identified in three children with ties to the Washington County Fair according to the Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Agriculture. The first child to become ill has fully recovered while the other two are still healing. The state has not released any information about the three.

The infant mortality rate rose by 7% in Pennsylvania since 2000 but the death rate among children ages 1 to 14 fell by 10%. Those are 2 of the 10 indicators examined in the 2011 KIDS COUNT Data Book that tracks the well-being of children in each state and nationally.

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