healthcare

Federal funding for Planned Parenthood will clearly be a flashpoint when Congress returns this week from its summer break.

But the fate of many other health programs, from the National Institutes of Health to efforts to reduce teen pregnancy, hang in the balance as well, as lawmakers decide whether and how to fund the government after the current fiscal year expires Sept. 30.

About 25 to 30 percent of people prescribed statins dump them within a year. I flunked Lipitor after a few wretched months.

Statins are prescribed to lower cholesterol in people who show risk factors for cardiovascular disease or diabetes, or who already have them. Side effects can include muscle weakness, diabetes onset and, rarely, permanent muscle damage. These risks are higher in women, with age, and with certain heart and blood pressure drugs.

Most women 40 and older believe they should have mammograms every year to screen for breast cancer, the latest NPR-Truven Health Analytics health poll finds.

Remember so-called death panels?

When Congress debated the Affordable Care Act in 2009, the legislation included a provision that would have allowed Medicare to reimburse doctors when they meet with patients to talk about end-of-life care.

But then Sarah Palin loudly argued that such payments would lead to care being withheld from the elderly and disabled.

Her assertions greatly distressed Dr. Pamelyn Close, a palliative care specialist in Los Angeles.

murrayhospital.org

The American Cancer Society predicts nearly 235,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed this year. The key word is "invasive" says Murray Calloway County Hospital Wellness Works Coordinator Melissa Ross, because this form of breast cancer can be prevented with routine mammograms. She speaks with Kate Lochte on Sounds Good about their new breast cancer prevention awareness campaign at the hospital.

County Health Rankings / CountyHealthRankings.org

A new study finds several counties in our region among the healthiest in Kentucky, but the commonwealth compares poorly to national averages.

jfcherry / Flickr (Creative Commons License)

A new website may help patients determine the cost of their next medical procedure. The non-profit Health Care Cost Institute recently launched guroo.com, an online price transparency tool that uses cost information from some of the country’s biggest insurers.

Americans, by and large, don't seem all that worried about what happens to the information in their medical records.

A NPR-Truven Health Analytics Health Poll found that data privacy didn't appear to bother most respondents. Privacy worries ran highest for information held by health insurers, but even then only 16 percent of people expressed concern.

Kentucky's premature birth rate is slowly declining, but it still falls above the national average, according to a report released Thursday.

The report, called the March of Dimes Premature Birth Rate Report Card, gave Kentucky a "C" grade. 

The state's premature birth rate was 12.6 percent in 2013; in 2012 it was 12.7 percent.

The national rate in 2013 was 11.5 percent.

If you've had a kidney stone and want to spare yourself the agony of a repeat episode, here's some simple advice: Drink more water.

In a guideline published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the American College of Physicians recommends increasing fluid intake and spreading throughout the day.

It may take eight to 10 glasses of water over the course of a day to comply. The recommendation calls for achieving at least 2 liters of urine a day.

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