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From Texas Standard:

Pain is one of those things that is hard to wrap your head around - it's hard to measure, it varies according to your age and health condition. And pain and what we know about pain – particularly chronic pain – also varies by race.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

In Dallas, there’s a program designed to send kids home from school each week loaded up with fresh fruits and veggies.

Brighter Bites, the nonprofit behind students' heaping bags of produce, also makes sure that parents know what to do with that food.

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In Texas, the number of adults with diabetes is expected to quadruple over the next 30 years. Currently, about one in 12 adult Texans – about 2 million people – have been diagnosed with diabetes, with more than 700,000 in North Texas alone.

Stephanie Kuo/KERA

Doctor-patient interactions are typically routine, with doctors understanding little of their patients’ lives beyond the exam room. But medical schools are ushering in a culture shift in medicine – one that’s focused on more than just a patient’s symptoms.

In a study that is sure to rile male doctors, Harvard researchers have found that female doctors who care for elderly hospitalized patients get better results. Patients cared for by women were less likely to die or return to the hospital after discharge.

Previous research has shown that female doctors are more likely to follow recommendations about prevention counseling and to order preventive tests like Pap smears and mammograms.

STEPHANIE KUO/KERA

In Texas, the Zika virus hasn’t had quite the impact as it has had in Florida or parts of Latin and South America. But the state has been vigilant in fighting the virus – with efforts like public awareness campaigns and mosquito repellent distribution to low-income mothers through Medicaid.

Children’s Health

For decades, Children’s Medical Center in Dallas has partnered with academic institutions, working within their own system to come up with ways to care for sick patients. Now, the model is shifting. They’re investing in tech startups to care for healthy kids. 

STEPHANIE KUO

The homeless have plenty to worry about, and their health often takes a backseat to more pressing concerns like housing and food. Doctors say that ultimately takes a toll.

In North Texas, we’re all about convenience. The drive-through Starbucks, burger joint, even drive-through bank. Still, there aren’t any drive-through health clinics. But there are clinics on wheels — they’re run by Parkland Health & Hospital System. The clinics have been crisscrossing Dallas for more than a decade, serving the people in the community who need it most.

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Alexandra Kleeman wanted to know what Victorian women went through when their doctors ordered them to stay still. So, she put herself on strict bed rest for five days at a convent in Washington. 

Health Wildcatters

Ten young companies from across the world snagged a spot in the 2015 class of Health Wildcatters. Some entrepreneurs have developed products – one for reducing the risk of stroke, another for easy eye exams – others, health services – like fast access to specialists through telemedicine and bilingual wellness programs for employers. Each company gets $35,000 in seed money and space to work for three months.

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No one’s sure why. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found annual rates of shingles have been on the rise in the U-S. It’s a highly uncomfortable disease that strikes adults who’ve already had chickenpox.

Dr. Brian Jones, a family health physician with Methodist Family Health Center in Cedar Hill, talked about shingles in this edition of Vital Signs.

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The general consensus is the more you exercise, the better off your heart is. But do the benefits change depending on how often you exercise a week? Researchers with Fort Worth’s John Peter Smith hospital wanted to find out.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

It’s back-to-school time for twelve innovative startups in Dallas. Today, Health Wildcatters, the Southwest’s first healthcare seed-accelerator, announced which companies were chosen for the second class of the Dallas-based accelerator. Five have Dallas ties.

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If you take a virtual stroll through the iTunes store or Google Play you will find nearly a hundred thousand health apps. Everything from fitness trackers to blood glucose monitors. Out of all these apps, only about 100 have been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration. Some lawyers are calling for more regulation.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

An annual national report on children's well-being doesn’t have a lot of good news for Texas. The Kids Count study, released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, shows that Texas still ranks in the bottom 10 states.

To be precise, Texas is No. 43.

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This week, at the Aspen Ideas Festival the focus is on health. From robotics to the future of healthcare and Hollywood’s power to improve health, experts from across the world are talking big ideas in the mountains of Colorado. KERA will be there, and we have this preview of the festival. 

Study Up For 'Think': Getting In Shape For Summer

May 13, 2014
Nathan Rupert / flickr

It's that time of year again. The prospect of appearing in public wearing strapless sundresses and bathing suits has people researching diets and dashing to the gym. But not all fitness plans were created equal. Today at noon, Krys Boyd speaks to Leslie Barker, health and fitness columnist with the Dallas Morning News, about what's healthy and what's as we get ready for swimsuit season. 

Workplace wellness is already a six-billion-dollar-a-year industry, and it’s growing. Employers are searching for programs that are both good for the beltline and the bottom line. The result? They’re gamifying corporate wellness programs.

New Crop Of Tech Wildcatters In Dallas

Feb 28, 2014
Lauren Silverman / KERA News

A select group of fourteen startups will work, sleep, eat, and breath together in Dallas for the next three months. Tech Wildcatters, a seed accelerator that started in 2010, has announced its newest, and largest, class of startups from across the world. Of the fourteen companies, five are from Texas.

The Lone Star State is home to more than 50 Fortune 500 corporate headquarters. Part of what Tech Wildcatters offers startups is direct access to these well-established companies.

If you’re looking to kick your health tech startup into high gear, Dallas-Fort Worth is a sweet spot to set up shop. Among DFW’s offerings: a roaring tech sector, startup meetups galore and top medical schools, to  name a few.

KERA's new series One Crisis Away looks at four families on the financial edge. In the first profile, meet Isac Madrid, his wife Elizabeth and their 1-year-old son. Eighteen months ago, they had two incomes and a savings account. Now, after a medical setback, they're barely hanging on financially.

Learn more about the Madrid family.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

There have been tons of concerns about Obamacare, and many politicians are trying to repeal it. And, in recent weeks, there have been scores of complaints about technical issues with the clunky Healthcare.gov website.

But how is the Affordable Care Act affecting North Texans? Here are four stories featuring everyday folks across Dallas-Fort Worth. Some are pleased with Obamacare, while one has no plans to sign up. Some are frustrated with the computer glitches, while one was able to sign up online right away.

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These jack-o’-lantern scraps are the healthiest part of the whole pumpkin. Pepitas, or pumpkin seeds, pack in a serious dose of magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, vitamin E and vitamin K. Here are some creative ways to make them part of your meal.

A study produced by the Natural Resources Defense Council ranks Texas first among states for the number of citizens exposed to  week or more of dangerous wildfire smoke in 2011.  

Dr. Patrick Kinney, from the Mailman School of Public Health, at Columbia University, says the smoke can affect health far beyond the fires.

"There’s a large body of health research that indicates on days with high smoke levels there is a greater risk of lung problems such as those experienced by asthmatics or people with chronic lung diseases," said Kinney.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

It’s been three weeks since the health insurance marketplace opened in Texas. While we don’t know exactly how many people have made it all the way to the finish line, it’s clear plenty are still stuck. As part of KERA’s series Obamacare 101: Making The Choice, we profile of a Fort Worth woman who’s been uninsured for more than a decade.


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This fair might not have corny dogs or deep fried lattes, but it will offer a free bag of healthy groceries and an all-you-can learn Obamacare buffet.

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Lace up your shoes and get ready to jump in — the health insurance marketplace opens in less than a month. And even though the details of the plans — or prices — available to Texans on the new site haven’t been revealed, you can still get a leg up by preparing early.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

There are nearly six million people in Texas without health insurance. The majority will be able to get coverage when the state marketplace opens in October, but not everyone. Undocumented immigrants won’t be able to sign up for health care through the exchange. 

This is shaping up to be the worst year for whooping  cough in Texas since the 1960s. State officials report nearly 1,700 cases of pertussis so far in 2013. About half of those are in North Texas.

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