health

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported more than 900 cases of measles in the United States this year, including two in Florida. Meanwhile the number of cases of Hepatitis A in the state continues to rise.

There's nothing magical about the number 10,000.

In fact, the idea of walking at least 10,000 steps a day for health goes back decades to a marketing campaign launched in Japan to promote a pedometer. And, in subsequent years, it was adopted in the U.S. as a goal to promote good health. It's often the default setting on fitness trackers, but what's it really based on?

"The original basis of the number was not scientifically determined," says researcher I-Min Lee of Brigham and Women's Hospital.

When Sterling Witt was a teenager in Missouri, he was diagnosed with scoliosis. Before long, the curvature of his spine started causing chronic pain.

It was "this low-grade kind of menacing pain that ran through my spine and mostly my lower back and my upper right shoulder blade and then even into my neck a little bit," Witt says.

The pain was bad. But the feeling of helplessness it produced in him was even worse.

"I felt like I was being attacked by this invisible enemy," Witt says. "It was nothing that I asked for, and I didn't even know how to battle it."

Over the past 70 years, ultra-processed foods have come to dominate the U.S. diet. These are foods made from cheap industrial ingredients and engineered to be super-tasty and generally high in fat, sugar and salt.

Music Therapy In NICUs Can Help Babies Get Home Sooner

May 2, 2019
DAVE BARFIELD / TALLAHASSEE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL

Research shows that music therapy in neonatal intensive care units helps infants get released from the hospital early. Experts in Florida helped pioneer the practice, and now it's expanding. 

For centuries, lullabies have helped soothe babies to sleep. But it's only in the last couple decades that research showed, for premature babies, these slow, simple tunes could be life-changing.

Even Doctors Can’t Navigate Our ‘Broken Health Care System’

May 2, 2019

Dr. Hasan Shanawani was overcome by frustration. So, last week he picked up his cellphone and began sharing on Twitter his family’s enraging experiences with the U.S. health care system. 

DAYLINA MILLER / WUSF

A controversial bill (HB 19) that would allow for the importation of pharmaceutical drugs from Canada into Florida now sits on Gov. Ron DeSantis' desk.

META VIERS / Miami Herald

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, on average Americans spend $1,200 a year on prescription drugs, which is more than any other developed country in the world.

‘Telehealth’ Plan Teed Up For Approval

Apr 29, 2019

After years of failing to reach agreement, Florida lawmakers could be poised to pass legislation to establish a framework for “telehealth.” 

Updated at 6:23 p.m. ET

Hundreds of students and faculty at two universities in Los Angeles have been asked to stay home unless they can prove that they've been vaccinated against measles.

The LA campuses of the University of California and California State University imposed the quarantine after they became aware of people infected with measles who had potentially exposed hundreds. At UCLA, a student exposed at least 500 people earlier this month; at Cal State, someone with measles went to a library and encountered hundreds.

Florida Atlantic University

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., impacting an estimated 5.8 million Americans who currently live with the disease. Many of them are 65 and older and live in places with limited access to health care and education, which heightens the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. 

It's an unfortunate fact of life — as we age, we tend to become more forgetful.

Aging brains struggle especially with working memory. Called the workbench of the mind, working memory allows us to store useful bits of information for a few seconds and use that information across different brain areas to help solve problems, plan or make decisions.

Researchers are trying to understand why this ability fades as we age and whether we can slow, or reverse, that decline.

It wasn't hard for Shara Watkins to get pregnant. It was hard for her to stay pregnant.

In 2016, she was devastated by two miscarriages. With the help of several medications, she successfully carried a child last year.

Shara and her husband, Robert, were elated when she reached her second trimester, the phase when the highest risk of miscarriage subsides.

Unfortunately the San Mateo, Calif., couple's struggles continued.

DAYLINA MILLER/WUSF

Floridians spend a lot on prescription drugs -- more than $30 billion last year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Now at least some Florida lawmakers say they have a way to save consumers money on drugs: get them for less from Canada.

In his first weeks in office, Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed the idea of the state importing drugs from Canada. State lawmakers quickly took up the idea. They say that could save Floridians up to 80 percent on what they currently pay for drugs.

Olivia Expresses Optimism On Health Regulation Issues

Apr 4, 2019

They can work it out. That was House Speaker Jose Oliva’s sentiment Wednesday when asked about the differences between the House and Senate versions of certificate of need legislation. 

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