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VA hospitals compare well on death, readmission rates

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

CHICAGO — Veterans’ hospitals compare pretty favorably with others when it comes to treating older men with three common conditions — heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia, according to a study on death rates and readmissions. Chances for dying or being readmitted within 30 days of treatment for those conditions varied only slightly for patients hospitalized within the VA system versus at outside hospitals, the 2010-2013 study found. The results …

Federal panel recommends screening adolescents for depression

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Amid evidence that fewer than half of depressed adolescents get treatment for their emotional distress, a federal task force has recommended that physicians routinely screen children between 12 and 18 for depression and have systems in place either to diagnose, treat and monitor those who screen positive or to refer them to specialists who can. The new recommendations, issued Monday by the U.S. …

Check it out: Health briefs

Monday, February 8, 2016

Compiled by Debra Scherban. Please send items to dscherban@gazettenet.com. Physician to speak on drug effects on teens Dr. Ruth Potee, a physician from Greenfield, will talk about the teen brain — what affects it and how to protect it — Feb. 25 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Easthampton High School auditorium. Board certified in family and addiction medicine, she is being …

Needle exchange leaders cheer relaxed federal funding ban

Friday, January 8, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS — Advocates are praising Congress’ recent softening of a longtime ban on federal dollars going to needle exchanges amid growing intravenous drug abuse that’s spreading hepatitis and HIV in many states. The new rules, which were in the spending bill signed last month by President Barack Obama, …

Cancer Q & A: Some tips for reducing cancer risk

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Editor’s note: Cancer Q and A is a monthly column in which health professionals from Baystate Regional Cancer Program, based in Springfield, address issues related to cancer in a question and answer format. It’s a new year and many have resolved to make 2016 a healthier one. Losing …

Check it out: Health briefs

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Compiled by Debra Scherban. Please send items to dscherban@gazettenet.com. Senior center to hold nutrition events The Northampton Senior Services Center, 67 Conz St., has three events planned aimed at fostering good nutrition. The first is a free Brown Bag Food Sampling & Tasting to be held with the …

Health Events: Support groups, resources

Thursday, January 7, 2016

For a full list of upcoming health events visit www.gazettenet.com/living/health/ SUPPORT AND RELATIONSHIPS ADULT CHILDREN OF ALCOHOLICS/DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILIES — Tuesdays, 5:15 p.m. at Greenfield Savings Bank, 325A King St., Northampton. Call Robin at 917-533-5691 or Ro at 250-3050 AGING ALZHEIMER’S CAREGIVERS — A support group for caregivers of …

Trouble sleeping? You might be slumbering in a dust bowl

Thursday, January 7, 2016

It’s cold and flu season, but if you have the sniffles and feel exhausted, the culprit might not be a germ. When was the last time you dusted everything in your bedroom? It’s a question Dr. Neeta Ogden, …

E-cigarettes damage DNA in lab study

Friday, January 1, 2016

SAN DIEGO — Heavy exposure to electronic cigarette vapor damages DNA in cell cultures, causing genetic instability that could lead to cancer, according to a study by VA San Diego Healthcare System and University of California, San Diego, …

Stories that endure: Heroin, prescription drug overdose crisis persists in Massachusetts

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey may have put it best last year when describing the heroin and prescription drug overdose crisis in Massachusetts. He called it an “equal opportunity destroyer of lives” — an epidemic that …

Insurer apologizes for waking up seniors

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

QUINCY — A health insurer is apologizing after sending automated phone calls to as many as 10,000 senior citizens in the wee hours of the morning. Tufts Health Plan accidentally sent the robocall between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. Tuesday to remind patients to get their flu shots. …

Holidays tough on recovering addicts

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

BOSTON — The holidays can be a tough time for addicts in their first year of recovery. Kylee Moriarty’s family should know. When the Massachusetts native resolved to kick her heroin addiction this summer, her relatives held out …

When an accident took Maggie Baumer of Northampton's arm she rebuilt her life to help others

Friday, December 25, 2015

Maggie Baumer doesn’t want to sugarcoat it — it was hell losing her arm in a trash compactor. But in a strange way, the loss set her on a path toward a better life. Many people strive for …