disease

Common Blood Tests Can Help Predict Chronic Disease Risk

Mar 17, 2017

A score based on common blood tests may someday help people gauge their risk of developing a chronic disease like diabetes or dementia within three years of taking the test.

Federal health officials may be about to get greatly enhanced powers to quarantine people, as part of an ongoing effort to stop outbreaks of dangerous contagious diseases.

The new powers are outlined in a set of regulations the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published late last month to update the agency's quarantine authority for the first time since the 1940s.

When Allison Fite was 16, she couldn't stop falling asleep in class. Doctors told her it was from a severe sinus infection, but it never really went away. For the next decade she struggled with infection after infection, taking antibiotics and decongestants. "Having these sinus problems and not being able to breathe was debilitating," she says.

Fite, now 27, couldn't figure out why this kept happening. Neither could any of her doctors. They told her she had allergies, but "then the tests would come back and they'd be like, 'Huh. You don't have allergies,' " she says.

A decades-long decline in the death rate of middle-aged white Americans has reversed in recent years, according to a surprising new analysis released Monday.

The cause of the reversal remains unclear. Researchers speculate it might be the result of the bad economy fueling a rise in suicides, plus overdoses from prescription painkillers and illegal drugs like heroin, and alcohol abuse.

As health insurance open season heats up for businesses, many employees will discover that participating in their company's wellness program includes rolling up their sleeves for blood tests.

Across the country, half of large employers offering health benefits have wellness programs that ask workers to submit to medical tests, often dubbed "biometrics," that can involve a trip to a doctor's office, lab or workplace health fair.

He's been at it for 45 years. Wake up before 2 a.m. Turn on the fryer. And have the glazed doughnuts and peanut-topped coffeecakes ready by 6 a.m.

Yup, Michael Doucleff Sr. is a baker and small-business owner in Alton, Ill.

At at age 70, he doesn't show many signs of slowing down. He's still working more than 40 hours a week, still carrying 50-pound bags of flour upstairs from the basement.

alz.org

There are 60,000 Kentuckians with Alzheimer's disease and 270,000 caregivers in the Commonwealth. It's a good number of caregivers, says Kimberly Fondaw, Alzheimer's Ambassador for the First District in western Kentucky, but there needs to be more education to the public and funding for research before it bankrupts the system. This year alone, we've paid out $153 billion dollars in Medicare and Medicaid to those with Alzheimer's and the numbers are growing, she says. Tracy Ross speaks with Fondaw on Sounds Good about upcoming awareness events in Hopkinsville and Paducah. 

Todd Shoemake Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Kentucky’s tobacco farmers have had a relatively cool and wet summer, and that could be the culprit for higher crop disease rates.  

University of Kentucky Plant Pathologist Emily Pfeufer says farmers are reporting higher cases of black shank and bacteria-based diseases like angular leaf and target spot. 

Ebola, MERS and polio are just a few infectious diseases that made international headlines in 2014.

Not all infections diseases should wear on the minds of most Kentuckians. But Dr.  Kraig Humbaugh, director of Kentucky’s division of epidemiology and health planning, said response plans for each potential outbreak is tailored to the disease.

Ebola may have slid off the nation's worry list, but that doesn't mean the United States is ready to handle an outbreak of Ebola or another infectious disease, an analysis says. That includes naturally occurring outbreaks like dengue fever, tuberculosis and measles, as well as the use of bioterrorism agents like anthrax.

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