disease

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.

In the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, families face new questions as they adjust. What does the diagnosis mean? What kinds of plans need to be made? What resources are available to help? There are workshops for caregivers for loved ones in early stages of Alzheimer’s disease next week and Helene French, Community Outreach Coordinator, Alzheimer's Association, in Evansville brings us more information about them on Sounds Good. Click here for more information about the event.

Man-made Cave to Offer Bats Haven from Disease

Sep 14, 2012
Daniel Potter/ WPLN

New tenants wanted: must be quiet during the day, must enjoy bugs. It might not sound like your kind of real estate, but then, you’re not a bat.

A new man-made cave near Clarksville is being built to give thousands of bats a safe haven from a devastating infection called white-nose syndrome; the experimental project may house bats’ best hope against the disease.