<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Health News - [DC Health Feature]4 Your Health]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/healthen-usSat, 25 Mar 2017 23:29:01 -0400Sat, 25 Mar 2017 23:29:01 -0400NBC Local Integrated Media<![CDATA[Robot Allows Boy With Degenerative Disease to Go to School]]>Sat, 25 Mar 2017 03:10:33 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Max+Robot.jpg
Despite a degenerative disease that makes going to school a life-threatening situation, a 3-year-old Maryland boy attends classes every day thanks to technology.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[Some Parts of 'Obamacare' Working Well, Problems With Others]]>Sat, 25 Mar 2017 05:09:28 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/obamacare-que-pasara-thumbnail.jpg
Once again, "Obamacare" has survived a near-death experience. It won't be the end of the political debate, but House Speaker Paul Ryan acknowledges, "We're going to be living with 'Obamacare' for the foreseeable...

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<![CDATA[Compare the Withdrawn GOP Health Bill With Obama-Era Law]]>Fri, 24 Mar 2017 15:43:52 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/650498064-Paul-Ryan-American-Health-Care-Act.jpg
The now-withdrawn House health care bill repeals major parts of former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, or ACA, as Republicans push to scale back the federal government's role in health care. The...

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<![CDATA[Trump Forces a Vote on Health Care Bill ]]>Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:18:44 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/HealthCareAM0324_MP4-149036463772500001.jpg
President Trump has issued an ultimatum to House Republicans on the health care bill designed to repeal and replace "Obamacare": vote today or no deal. If there's no deal, then Obamacare stands. In the option on the table, conservatives want to get rid of guaranteed coverage for maternity leave, mental health and emergencies. Some 32 Republicans were ready to vote no, enough to keep the bill from passing, but jockeying for support continued Friday ahead of the vote.]]>
<![CDATA[Critics Scoff at All-Male Photo of GOP Health Care Talks]]>Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:26:35 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/VP-Freedom-Caucus-Meeting-Men.jpg
A lack of women in a photo of negotiations over the Republicans health care bill that was tweeted out by the vice president is drawing criticism from Democrats, concerned over the bill's repercussions for women's health. The photo shows Vice President Mike Pence at the center of a conference table during negotiations with the House Freedom Caucus. About two dozen men can be seen in the photo and not a single woman. Washington U.S. Sen. Patty Murray drew attention to the absence of women in the room by retweeting the photo and sarcastically adding, "A rare look inside the GOP's women's health caucus."

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Photo Credit: @VP / Twitter]]>
<![CDATA[Changing Minds: An NBC4 Special Project]]>Sun, 14 Feb 2016 23:43:58 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/240*120/20140430+ChangingMinds2.jpg
For the next year, NBC4 will shine a light on mental health and mental illness by providing education, information and hope.]]>
<![CDATA[No Repeal for 'Obamacare' in Humiliating Defeat for Trump]]>Fri, 24 Mar 2017 23:20:00 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/ryan-trump-healthcare.jpg
In a humiliating failure, President Donald Trump and GOP leaders pulled their bill to repeal "Obamacare" off the House floor Friday when it became clear it would fail badly — after seven years of nonstop railing against the law. Democrats said Americans can "breathe a sigh of relief." Trump said the current law was imploding "and soon will explode." Thwarted by two factions of fellow Republicans, from the center and far right, House Speaker Paul Ryan said President Barack Obama's health care law, the GOP's No. 1 target in the new Trump administration, will remain in place "for the foreseeable future."

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Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[CPR Parties Teach Potentially Life-Saving Skill]]>Thu, 23 Mar 2017 20:10:00 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/CPR+Party.jpg
CPR Party is teaching people how to save lives from the comfort of their own living room. Learn how a mother's brush with tragedy inspired her to create the program.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[PHIT Grant Funds PE Equipment for NW DC School]]>Thu, 23 Mar 2017 19:02:05 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000018201565_1200x675_905091651676.jpg
Ross Elementary School in northwest D.C. doesn't have a gym, but now it has some physical education equipment to use in classrooms and outside thanks to a PHIT America GO! Grant from Under Armour.]]>
<![CDATA[Science Says: Who and What is to Blame for Cancer?]]>Thu, 23 Mar 2017 18:33:14 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/cancercells_generic_1200x675.jpg
Cancer patients often wonder "why me?" Does their tumor run in the family? Did they try hard enough to avoid risks like smoking, too much sun or a bad diet? Lifestyle and heredity get the most blame but new research suggests random chance plays a bigger role than people realize: Healthy cells naturally make mistakes when they multiply, unavoidable typos in DNA that can leave new cells carrying cancer-prone genetic mutations. How big? About two-thirds of the mutations that occur in various forms of cancer are due to those random copying errors, researchers at Johns Hopkins University reported Thursday in the journal Science.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[How Probiotics Can Help Improve Your Mental Health]]>Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:54:02 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000018196092_1200x675_904795203657.jpg
A probiotic a day keeps the blues away? Dr. Joshua Weiner is in the studio with News4's Melissa Mollet to talk about the relationship between gastrointestinal health and mental health, and how to get the healthy probiotics you want.]]>
<![CDATA[Death Rates Up For Middle Age Whites With Little Education]]>Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:52:51 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/employmenyt-application_1200x675.jpg
A sobering portrait of less-educated middle-age white Americans emerged Thursday with new research showing them dying disproportionately from what one expert calls "deaths of despair" — suicides, drug overdoses and alcohol-related diseases. The new paper by two Princeton University economists, Anne Case and Angus Deaton, concludes that the trend is driven by the loss of steady middle-income jobs for those with a high school diploma or less. The economists also argue that dwindling job opportunities have triggered broader problems for this group. They are more likely than their college-educated counterparts, for example, to be unemployed, unmarried or suffering from poor health.

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Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Bird Flu Outbreak Nation's Worst Since 2015: Expert]]>Wed, 22 Mar 2017 16:55:51 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/EggPricesChickens-AP_16197600754915.jpg
A bird flu outbreak that has led officials to euthanize more than 200,000 animals in three Southern states already is the nation's worst since 2015 and new cases are still popping up, an expert said Wednesday. Agriculture officials are trying to limit the damage, but it's unclear whether quarantines, transportation bans and mass killings will stop the spread, said Joseph Hess, a poultry science professor at Auburn University. The disease was first confirmed in southern Tennessee earlier this month and has since been detected in northern Alabama and western Kentucky.

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Photo Credit: File, AP/Charlie Neibergall]]>
<![CDATA[Seniors Worry About Loss of Meals Under Trump Budget Plan]]>Wed, 22 Mar 2017 19:27:02 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/IMG_82502.jpg
Dale Lamphier, 97, never married and her closest living relatives―three nephews―live across the country. About two years ago, she moved to a senior housing complex in Westwood, New Jersey, a town she has lived in her whole life. She has been using the meal delivery service Meals on Wheels since her brother died about three years ago. "Meals on Wheels is important because I can't do much shopping―very little," she said. "And I can't carry things. There are a lot of people here that can't."

Photo Credit: Shannon Ho
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<![CDATA[High Court Bolsters Rights of Learning-Disabled Students]]>Wed, 22 Mar 2017 20:08:51 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_17081573502374.jpg
A unanimous Supreme Court on Wednesday bolstered the rights of millions of learning-disabled students in a ruling that requires public schools to offer special education programs that meet higher standards. The court struck down a lower standard endorsed by President Donald Trump's nominee to the high court. Chief Justice John Roberts said that it is not enough for school districts to get by with minimal instruction for special needs children. The school programs must be designed to let students make progress in light of their disabilities.

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Photo Credit: AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File]]>
<![CDATA[Survivors Raise Awareness of Traumatic Brain Injuries]]>Tue, 21 Mar 2017 21:50:37 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000018171551_1200x675_903278147738.jpg
In advance of Brain Injury Awareness Day some survivors talk about their efforts to educate and bring awareness.]]>
<![CDATA[Marine Corps Marathon Lottery Opens Wed.]]>Wed, 22 Mar 2017 05:53:19 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20151006+Marine+Corps+Marathon1.jpg
The 42nd annual Marine Corps Marathon lottery opens next week. The lottery will be open from March 22 at noon to March 29 to noon -- but slots fill up fast.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Baby Born With 4 Legs, 2 Spines Survives Risky Surgery]]>Tue, 21 Mar 2017 16:59:39 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/dominique+2.jpg
A 10-month-old baby born with four legs and two spines is recovering well after undergoing a complex and risky medical procedure in Chicago, doctors say. Young Dominique came to Chicago from the Ivory Coast in West Africa with an extremely rare parasitic conjoined twin. Doctors say the bottom half of her not-fully-developed twins’ body was protruding from the infant’s neck and back.

Photo Credit: Advocate Children's Hospital
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<![CDATA[Here Are the Republicans Who May Reject Health Care Bill]]>Tue, 21 Mar 2017 17:25:59 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/649341198-GOP-Health-Care-Bill.jpg
President Donald Trump campaigned on the promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and replace it with "something terrific." Now, House Republicans are in danger of losing a vote on their health care bill, the American Health Care Act — a defeat that would cause setbacks for the party and for the president. According to a tally by NBC News, as of Tuesday afternoon at least 25 Republicans have said they will vote against or are leaning toward voting against the bill. Voting is expected to occur Thursday. Republican leadership has been busy trying to secure the 216 votes needed to pass the bill, which means they can lose the support of only 21 Republicans. After traveling to Capitol Hill Tuesday morning in an attempt to close the deal, Trump has invited about nine moderate, undecided Republicans to the White House Tuesday afternoon in another attempt at persuasion.

Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[FDA: Breast Implants Can Cause Rare Form of Cancer]]>Tue, 21 Mar 2017 16:03:40 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/implants-new.jpg
Breast implants can cause a rare form of cancer that may have killed at least nine people, the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday, NBC News reported. The cancer is called anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) and the FDA is checking into more than 350 reports linking it with both silicone and saline breast implants. ALCL, which is a type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, can take about 10 years to develop on average after the implant first goes in and usually stays in the area right around the implant, World Health Organization researchers reported last year in the journal Blood. But it can break out and spread. "All of the information to date suggests that women with breast implants have a very low but increased risk of developing ALCL compared to women who do not have breast implants," the FDA said in a statement.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kennedy Center Offering Free Yoga Classes]]>Tue, 21 Mar 2017 14:40:47 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/imageedit_3_6384853944.jpg
Every other Saturday from March to August, the Kennedy Center will be offering a free all-levels vinyasa yoga class in the Grand Foyer as part of their Sound Health program.

Photo Credit: Brooks Kraft via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Infant Mortality Rates Fall 15 Percent in US]]>Tue, 21 Mar 2017 13:58:57 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/babypacifier_1200x675.jpg
Fewer babies are dying in the United States than a decade ago, according to NBC News. The U.S. infant mortality rate, which is higher than in other developed countries, is down 15 percent over the last 10 years, federal researchers reported Tuesday. "Infant mortality is considered a basic measure of public health for countries around the world," wrote Anne Driscoll and T.J. Mathews of the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers pointed to a high teenage pregnancy rate in the U.S. compared to other countries as one of several factors behind the comparatively high rate of babies dying. Teenagers are more likely to have small and premature babies.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Tetra images RF, File]]>
<![CDATA[Trump to GOP: Pass Health Care Bill or Seal Your Fate]]>Tue, 21 Mar 2017 21:06:52 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Trump-Price-AHCA.jpg
Time for talk running out, President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned wavering House Republicans that their jobs were on the line in next year's elections if they failed to back a GOP bill that would overhaul Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. The countdown quickened toward an expected vote Thursday on legislation undoing much of the law that provided health coverage to some 20 million Americans. Trump huddled behind closed doors with rank-and-file Republicans just hours after GOP leaders unveiled changes intended to pick up votes by doling out concessions to centrists and hardliners alike.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: J. Scott Applewhite, AP]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Goes Outside DC for Support on Revised GOP Health Bill]]>Tue, 21 Mar 2017 00:45:42 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/tru1AP_17080015521172.jpg
President Donald Trump is deploying an outside and inside strategy to fulfill his campaign promise to repeal and replace "Obamacare," seeking support beyond Washington before making an in-person pitch on Capitol Hill. Top House Republicans unveiled proposed changes in their legislation in hopes of winning support, three days before the big House vote. Trump rallied supporters Monday night in Louisville, Kentucky, alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., after meetings and phone calls in Washington aimed at steadying the troubled legislation designed to erase President Barack Obama's signature health care law. He planned to court House Republicans on Tuesday. "We want a very big tax cut, but cannot do that until we keep our promise to repeal and replace the disaster known as 'Obamacare,'" Trump told the crowd of thousands in Louisville.

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Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Eat Healthy for Less: Advice for Eating Healthy on a Budget]]>Mon, 20 Mar 2017 20:21:48 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000018157434_1200x675_902477379964.jpg
You don't necessarily have to pay more to buy healthy food. Consumer Reporter Susan Hogan shows how to do it.]]>
<![CDATA[New Year’s Resolutions Failed? What Science Says You Can Do]]>Mon, 20 Mar 2017 13:37:22 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/People+exercising.jpg
Research shows many of us have dropped our New Year's resolutions by this time of year -- so what are we doing wrong?

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Already in Peril, Rural Hospitals Unsure on Health Care Bill]]>Mon, 20 Mar 2017 12:31:57 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/ruralhospital_Georgia_1200x675.jpg
Talmadge Yarbrough had just sat down at his desk and opened a box of pecans when he let out a gasp that could have been his last breath. He'd gone into cardiac arrest in his office, a co-worker called 911, and an ambulance drove him two miles to the small hospital that serves this rural community in southeast Georgia. "I would have never lasted to get to Savannah or Statesboro," Yarbrough said of the biggest cities near Claxton — each 30 to 60 miles away. "I firmly believe if that hospital wasn't here, I wouldn't be here." But like Yarbrough, the 10-bed Evans Memorial Hospital has fought to survive. That story is reflected nationwide — rural hospitals have long struggled, with patients who are older, suffer from chronic illnesses, and face few insurance options, if they're insured at all. Most rural hospitals have a higher-than-normal percentage of Medicaid patients; expected cuts to the federal program for low-income residents will affect facilities everywhere, but experts and administrators are particularly worried about rural areas. Still more rural patients are on Medicare, for those 65 and older, but both programs' reimbursements are lower than the cost of care.

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Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Muppet With Autism Arrives on 'Sesame Street' Set]]>Mon, 20 Mar 2017 08:06:32 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_17077063943253.jpg
Folks on Sesame Street have a way of making everyone feel accepted. That certainly goes for Julia, a Muppet youngster with blazing red hair, bright green eyes — and autism. Rather than being treated like an outsider, which too often is the plight of kids on the spectrum, Julia is one of the gang.

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Photo Credit: Zach Hyman/Sesame Workshop via AP]]>
<![CDATA[How Do Insurers Decide What Medicines to Pay For?]]>Sat, 18 Mar 2017 02:26:17 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-102897463.jpg
How do insurance companies decide what medicines to pay for and when to pay for them? Insurers and other payers look first at how well the drug works — not its cost — when they decide whether to cover the latest treatments, according to the nation's largest pharmacy benefits manager, Express Scripts. The price patients eventually pay gets determined later, when an insurance company or pharmacy benefits manager decides where a drug fits on a list of covered treatments called a formulary.

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Photo Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[New Drug Cuts Cholesterol by Half]]>Fri, 17 Mar 2017 17:11:35 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/NC_cholesteroldrug0317_1500x845.jpg
A new drug proven to slash bad cholesterol by more than half of a patient's initial level may prove to be a boon to those worried about heart attacks and strokes. Repatha, a drug that could lower the risk of heart attack or strokes by 20 percent, is a $14,000 a month drug that is injected once or twice a month - a price point health insurance companies may not approve of.]]>
<![CDATA[Gym On the Go: How to Work Out in a Group Without Buying a Gym Membership]]>Fri, 17 Mar 2017 13:21:06 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000018130963_1200x675_900470339531.jpg
Not motivated enough to work out by yourself? News4 consumer reporter Susan Hogan has four tips for finding group classes that don't require a gym membership.]]>
<![CDATA[Jurors Begin Deliberations in Deadly Meningitis Outbreak Trial]]>Fri, 17 Mar 2017 16:07:37 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_17075485521393.jpg
Jurors began deliberations Friday in the trial of a former executive charged in a 2012 U.S. meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people and injured about 700 others in 20 states. Barry Cadden, the co-founder and former president of the New England Compounding Center, is charged in a massive racketeering indictment with second-degree murder in the deaths of 25 people, as well as fraud and other charges. During closing arguments on Thursday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Strachan told the jury that Cadden ran the company in an "extraordinarily dangerous" way, leading to contaminated steroids being shipped around the country, where doctors - trusting they were safe - injected them into patients who then became sick or died.

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Photo Credit: Steven Senne/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Baby Given Police Escort in Snowstorm 'Resting Comfortably']]>Fri, 17 Mar 2017 12:08:07 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/The+Gingerlowskis.jpg
A 23-month-old Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania, boy who was escorted by snowplows and state troopers for an emergency procedure during this week's snowstorm was resting comfortably Friday in a hospital. Bentley Gingerlowski has a rare congenital heart defect and on Tuesday he needed an emergency treatment. But it was at the height of a powerful snowstorm and the doctors equipped to do the procedure were 80 miles from where the boy was staying to Geisinger Medical System's Janet Weis Children's Hospital in Danville, Pennsylvania. That's when seemingly the best of Pennsylvania's emergency personnel kicked in and provided a special escort in the blinding snow.

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Photo Credit: Geisinger Medical System
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<![CDATA[Cholesterol Drug Cuts Heart Risks, Spurs New Debate on Cost ]]>Fri, 17 Mar 2017 10:29:28 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/repatha_cholest_prescription_1200x675.jpg
A long-acting cholesterol medicine cut the risk of having a heart attack or some other serious problems by 15 to 20 percent in a big study that's likely to spur fresh debate about what drugs should cost. Statins such as Lipitor and Crestor are cheap and lower LDL or bad cholesterol, but some people can't tolerate or get enough help from them. The new drug, Amgen's Repatha, is given as a shot once or twice a month and is part of a novel class of medicines that drop LDL to unprecedented levels. It costs more than $14,000 a year, and insurers have balked at paying without proof that it lowers heart risks, not just the cholesterol number. The new study gives that evidence, but the benefit is not as great as some doctors had hoped.

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Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[How to Avoid Getting, Spreading Norovirus]]>Thu, 16 Mar 2017 18:16:42 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/norovirus-dengeric.jpg
Norovirus has spiked, making millions of people sick, so Consumer Reports offered advice on avoiding the highly contagious virus and stopping its spread. Doreen Gentzler reports.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Falls Are Taking a Huge and Rising Toll on Elderly Brains]]>Thu, 16 Mar 2017 18:06:13 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/elderly_people_1200x675.jpg
Elderly people are suffering concussions and other brain injuries from falls at what appear to be unprecedented rates, according to a new report from U.S. government researchers. The reason for the increase isn't clear, the report's authors said. But one likely factor is that a growing number of elderly people are living at home and taking repeated tumbles, said one expert. "Many older adults are afraid their independence will be taken away if they admit to falling, and so they minimize it," said Dr. Lauren Southerland, an Ohio State University emergency physician who specializes in geriatric care. But what may seem like a mild initial fall may cause concussions or other problems that increase the chances of future falls — and more severe injuries, she said.

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Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Strep Throat Leads to Quadruple Amputation]]>Fri, 17 Mar 2017 06:10:22 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/NC_strepamputee0315_1920x1080.jpg
An extremely rare case of strep throat that almost killed an Alto, Michigan, man has instead taken his hands and feet.

Photo Credit: WOOD]]>
<![CDATA[Health Bill Short of Votes, GOP Leaders Look to Trump ]]>Thu, 16 Mar 2017 20:02:34 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_17068637615881-paul-ryan-american-health-care-act.jpg
Short of votes for their health care bill, Republican congressional leaders turned to President Donald Trump on Thursday to wrangle support for the divisive legislation they hope to push through Congress before Easter. But Trump sounded more like he was at the start of a negotiation than ready to close the deal. And combined with opposition from Republicans of all stripes, the president's flexible stance suggested final passage of the bill could be delayed, potentially exposing the legislation to the same kind of extended public backlash that undermined former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act from the start.

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Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Gym on the Go: Getting in Shape Without Spending a Dime]]>Thu, 16 Mar 2017 07:21:37 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000018112521_1200x675_899324483595.jpg
Consumer reporter Susan Hogan has the secret to getting in shape without spending a dime!  ]]>
<![CDATA[Avoid Bed Bugs on Your Next Vacation]]>Wed, 15 Mar 2017 19:44:47 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/bedbug_042211.jpg
With spring break right around the corner, Consumer Reports has advice for avoiding bed bugs at your next hotel stay. Susan Hogan reports.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Critics Warn 'Phase 2' Won’t Save Health Care Plan]]>Wed, 15 Mar 2017 19:12:06 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/paulryan_healthcare_1200x675.jpg
Things aren't looking great for the Republican health care bill after the Congressional Budget Office estimated it would lead to 24 million more people without insurance and skyrocketing costs for older customers, NBC News reported. But the White House and GOP leaders say that's only part of the story. The Republicans' "American Health Care Act" is only "Phase One" of their plan. In "Phase Two," the White House will lower premiums with tweaks to regulations. In "Phase Three," they'll pass new legislation to fill in gaps that can't be addressed through the budget process.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Deaths Increase During Cold Largely Because of Heart Health]]>Wed, 15 Mar 2017 18:30:19 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000018107225_1200x675_898795587557.jpg
Seventy percent of the increase in deaths in the winter can be due to heart attacks and strokes. Dr. Jackie Eghrari-Sabet of Family Allergy & Asthma Care in Gaithersburg, Maryland, tells News4’s Angie Goff some parts of the body that can be connected to heart disease and what to look out for.]]>
<![CDATA[Mental Health Groups Worry New GOP Plan Will End Coverage]]>Wed, 15 Mar 2017 13:19:32 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/naloxone-kit.jpg
Mental health groups say the new GOP health care bill would terminate mental health care and efforts to combat the opioid crisis, NBC News reported. The Congressional Budget Office released a report on the bill on Monday, stating that billions of dollars would be saved in federal health spending, by way of cutting $880 billion from Medicaid. “Medicaid is the single largest payer of mental health and addiction treatment services in the country, paying 25 percent of all mental health and 20 percent of all addiction care,” the National Council for Behavioral Health said in a statement.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[GOP Leaders Acknowledge Health Bill Changes, May Delay Vote ]]>Wed, 15 Mar 2017 21:28:17 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_17068637615881-paul-ryan-american-health-care-act.jpg
Their health care overhaul imperiled from all sides, the White House and top House Republicans acknowledged Wednesday they would make changes to the legislation in hopes of nailing down votes and pushing the party's showpiece legislation through the chamber soon. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., declined to commit to bringing the measure to the House floor next week, a fresh indication of uncertainty. Republican leaders have repeatedly said that was their schedule, but opposition mushroomed after a congressional report concluded this week that the measure would strip 24 million people of coverage in a decade.

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Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Over 12M Signed Up for 'Obamacare' This Year: Gov't Report]]>Wed, 15 Mar 2017 17:59:18 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/pryan-acha.jpg
A substantial 12 million people have enrolled for coverage this year under the very health care statute that President Donald Trump and the Republican Congress want to erase, the government said Wednesday. With a crunch-time House vote on a GOP bill replacing that law planned for next week, Vice President Mike Pence ensured conservative lawmakers that the administration was open to changes. Pence's trip to the Capitol, and an evening all-hands meeting of House Republicans to count votes, came as GOP leaders strained to win backing for besieged legislation that's uniformly opposed by Democrats. The bill would strike down much of former President Barack Obama's 2010 overhaul and reduce the federal role, including financing, for the nation's health care consumers.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Gym on the Go: Getting Fit on Your Own Time]]>Wed, 15 Mar 2017 06:35:25 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000018096282_1200x675_898249795550.jpg
These days it doesn't take a lot of money or time to get in a good work out. From fitness apps to full-service online programs, there are a ton of ways to get fit. News4 consumer reporter Susan Hogan shows us how a mom of six  found her gym on the go!  ]]>
<![CDATA[Loud Sound May Pose More Harm Than We Thought]]>Tue, 14 Mar 2017 14:30:36 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/ear_noise_1200x675.jpg
Matt Garlock has trouble making out what his friends say in loud bars, but when he got a hearing test, the result was normal. Recent research may have found an explanation for problems like his, something called "hidden hearing loss." Scientists have been finding evidence that loud noise — from rock concerts, leaf blowers, power tools and the like — damages our hearing in a previously unsuspected way. It may not be immediately noticeable, and it does not show up in standard hearing tests. But over time, Harvard researcher M. Charles Liberman says, it can rob our ability to understand conversation in a noisy setting. It may also help explain why people have more trouble doing that as they age. And it may lead to persistent ringing in the ears.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Texas Effort to Replace Planned Parenthood Stumbles]]>Tue, 14 Mar 2017 08:15:31 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-499277954.jpg
In pushing a replacement for the Affordable Care Act that cuts off funds for Planned Parenthood, Republicans are out to reassure women who rely on the major health care organization that other clinics will step up to provide their low-cost breast exams, contraception and cancer screenings. Texas is already trying to prove it. But one big bet is quietly sputtering, and in danger of teaching the opposite lesson conservatives are after. Last summer, Texas gave $1.6 million to an anti-abortion organization called the Heidi Group to help strengthen small clinics that specialize in women's health like Planned Parenthood but don't offer abortions. But eight months later, the Heidi Group has little to show for its work.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[City Sues Drugmaker for Letting OxyContin Flood Black Market]]>Tue, 14 Mar 2017 11:45:36 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_16273781823723oxy.jpg
As deaths from painkillers and heroin abuse spiked and street crimes increased, the mayor of Everett took major steps to tackle the opioid epidemic devastating this working-class city north of Seattle. Mayor Ray Stephanson stepped up patrols, hired social workers to ride with officers and pushed for more permanent housing for chronically homeless people. The city says it has spent millions combating OxyContin and heroin abuse — and expects the tab to rise. So Everett is suing Purdue Pharma, maker of the opioid pain medication OxyContin, in an unusual case that alleges the drugmaker knowingly allowed pills to be funneled into the black market and the city of about 108,000. Everett alleges the drugmaker did nothing to stop it and must pay for damages caused to the community.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: Toby Talbot/AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Baby Injuries Rise in Common Infant Products]]>Mon, 13 Mar 2017 19:55:47 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/BabyInjuries0310_MP4-148944776988400001.jpg
 A new study finds a growing number of young children are being injured while using infant products like carriers, strollers and cribs. Researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, looked at the number of kids across the country under age 3 who had to go to an emergency room after such an injury. "There's an average of 128 a day, or about one every eight minutes," says Tracy Meahn of the Center for Injury Research and Policy. "And the concerning thing is that these numbers are going up."    ]]>
<![CDATA[What the Budget Analysts Say About GOP Health Care Bill]]>Mon, 13 Mar 2017 19:07:52 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/understand-gop-health-care-replacement.jpg
The Republican bill to replace major portions of Barack Obama's health care law and restructure Medicaid would leave 24 million people uninsured over the next decade, according to projections from the Congressional Budget Office. A look at what the CBO said Monday in its estimates of the House GOP plan that's backed by President Donald Trump:

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington

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<![CDATA[Exercise Can Work as Well as Drugs, Surgery for Some Conditions: Consumer Reports]]>Mon, 13 Mar 2017 19:47:37 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/184*120/Exercise+Bike+Generic+Working+Out.JPG
Research shows exercise might work as well as drugs and surgery for some conditions with fewer side effects. Consumer Reports has advice on how to get the disease-fighting benefits of exercise. Doreen Gentzler has the story.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Cardboard Boxes as Cribs? Safety Sleep Program Expands]]>Sat, 11 Mar 2017 13:29:47 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_17065757102076-Baby-Box-SIDS-SUIDS.jpg
Cardboard boxes certainly aren't new technology. But when they're linked to a practice that started in Finland decades ago to help babies sleep safely, they're taking on a new purpose as so-called baby boxes make their way to the U.S. Parents are beginning to take baby boxes home from hospitals along with their newborns. A Los Angeles-based company has partnered with health officials to give the boxes away for free and an online initiative offers advice aimed at reducing sudden unexpected infant deaths. New Jersey and Ohio were the first to participate statewide in the program. "To new moms: (SUID) was one of my biggest fears and then it happened,'' said 35-year-old Chauntia Williams, of Maple Heights, Ohio.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Hospitals Worry About Caring for Newly Uninsured in GOP Plan]]>Sun, 12 Mar 2017 22:07:27 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-600361148.jpg
When Colorado expanded Medicaid coverage under former President Barack Obama's health care law, the largest provider in the Denver region hired more than 250 employees and built a $27 million primary care clinic and two new school-based clinics. Emergency rooms visits stayed flat as Denver Health Medical Center directed many of the nearly 80,000 newly insured patients into one of its 10 community health centers, where newly hired social workers and mental health therapists provided services for some of the county's poorest residents. Demand for services at the new primary care clinic was almost immediate.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pence Appeals for Complete GOP Support for Health Overhaul ]]>Sat, 11 Mar 2017 19:32:55 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_17061754105215-Pence.jpg
Vice President Mike Pence appealed for total GOP congressional support for a White House-backed health overhaul during a brief visit Saturday to Kentucky, where the Republican governor and junior senator are among the plan's skeptics. "This is going to be a battle in Washington, D.C. And for us to seize this opportunity to repeal and replace Obamacare once and for all, we need every Republican in Congress, and we're counting on Kentucky," Pence said at an energy company where business leaders had gathered. He said President Donald Trump would lean on House Republicans — including two Kentucky lawmakers in the audience, Reps. Andy Barr and Brett Guthrie — to vote to replace former President Barack Obama's law.

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Photo Credit: John Minchillo, AP (File)]]>
<![CDATA[Feel Stressed? Stop Checking Your Phone, Study Says]]>Fri, 10 Mar 2017 20:23:11 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/SmartphoneStress0309a_MP4-148918974502400001.jpg
A recent study finds mobile users who check their phones frequently feel more stressed. According to the American Psychological Association, we are a nation of "constant checkers" and it's taking a toll. Some experts consider this a behavioral addiction.  ]]>
<![CDATA[Doctors Remove 140-Pound Tumor From Pa. Woman]]>Fri, 10 Mar 2017 16:34:13 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Mary+140LB+Tumor+BEFORE+AFTER+pic.jpg
Mary Clancey said she was resigned to being a plump old lady. What doctors found astounded them: A cyst in one of her ovaries had grown into a 140-pound tumor.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington

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<![CDATA[Under New Rules, Rookie Doctors Can Work 24-Hour Shift]]>Fri, 10 Mar 2017 14:18:37 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Doctor+Generic1.jpg
Rookie doctors can work up to 24 hours straight under new work limits taking effect this summer — a move supporters say will enhance training and foes maintain will do just the opposite. A Chicago-based group that establishes work standards for U.S. medical school graduates has voted to eliminate a 16-hour cap for first-year residents. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education announced the move Friday as part of revisions that include reinstating the longer limit for rookies — the same maximum allowed for advanced residents. An 80-hour per week limit for residents at all levels remains in place under the new rules.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: Getty Images/File]]>
<![CDATA[Women's Health Services Face Cuts in GOP Bill]]>Fri, 10 Mar 2017 08:48:06 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/650498064-Paul-Ryan-American-Health-Care-Act.jpg
Women seeking abortions and some basic health services, including prenatal care, contraception and cancer screenings, would face restrictions and struggle to pay for some of that medical care under the House Republicans' proposed bill. The legislation, which would replace much of former President Barack Obama's health law, was approved by two House committees on Thursday. Republicans are hoping to move quickly to pass it, despite unified opposition from Democrats, criticism from some conservatives who don't think it goes far enough and several health groups who fear millions of Americans would lose coverage and benefits. Here's a look at how the bill would affect women's health care:

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Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bottled Water Beats Soda as No. 1 Drink in US: Industry Analyst]]>Fri, 10 Mar 2017 08:10:20 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/634599298-bottled-water-generic.jpg
An industry tracker says bottled water overtook soda as the No. 1 drink in the U.S. by sales volume last year. Bottled water has been enjoying growth for years, while sales of traditional sodas have declined. Research and consulting firm Beverage Marketing Corp. says Americans drank an average of 39.3 gallons of bottled water in 2016, and 38.5 gallons of carbonated soft drinks. In 2015, bottled water was at 36.5 gallons while soda was at 39 gallons.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[GOP Health Bill Would Cut CDC's $1B Disease Fighting Fund]]>Fri, 10 Mar 2017 06:49:14 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/cdcGettyImages-456691988.jpg
A proposal to replace the Obama health care law would cut out a pillar of funding for the nation's lead public health agency, and experts say that would likely curtail programs across the country to prevent problems like lead poisoning and hospital infections. The Republican bill calls for the elimination of a $1 billion-a-year fund created for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by the Affordable Care Act in 2010. The fund's goal: Pay for public health programs designed to prevent illness and, therefore, reduce health care costs.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[California Lawmakers Want to Repeal HIV Criminalization Laws]]>Thu, 09 Mar 2017 19:59:10 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/160*128/AP_17068048820399.jpg
Exposing a person to HIV is treated more seriously under California law than infecting someone with any other communicable disease, a policy some lawmakers say is a relic of the decades-old AIDS scare that unfairly punishes HIV-positive people based on outdated science. Several lawmakers are promoting a bill by state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, that would make it a misdemeanor instead of a felony to intentionally expose someone to HIV, the virus that causes the immune system-weakening disease AIDS. The change would treat HIV like other communicable diseases under California law.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[3 Die, 13 Overdose Within 24 Hours in Maryland County]]>Thu, 09 Mar 2017 06:47:11 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Opioids.jpg
Three people died and 13 others overdosed on opiates within 24 hours in Anne Arundel County.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[POUND Transforms Drumming Into Exercise]]>Wed, 08 Mar 2017 20:52:36 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/POUND+class.jpg
As seen on the hit NBC show "This Is Us," POUND incorporates drumming into a workout.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[New Tech Could Change Food Nutrition Labels ]]>Wed, 08 Mar 2017 16:54:08 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/NC_labels0307_1500x845.jpg
New smart glasses developed by researchers at Colorado State University could change how food labels are printed on boxes and cans in your local grocery store. The FDA is looking to roll out this new tech by 2018.]]>
<![CDATA[Maryland Democrats to Plans for Planned Parenthood Funds]]>Wed, 08 Mar 2017 14:07:37 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/GettyImages-483023072-PP.jpg
Leading Maryland Democrats are supporting legislation for funding Planned Parenthood because of concerns that the federal government will cut family planning funds.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[4 Misconceptions About Substance Abuse]]>Wed, 08 Mar 2017 13:50:26 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000018016573_1200x675_893083203903.jpg
A recent study said an estimated 21 million people in this country are living with a substance abuse problem. This is one and one-half times as many as all cancers combined. Dr. Joshua Weiner is here with four common substance abuse misconceptions.]]>
<![CDATA[Industry Groups Oppose GOP Health Bill, Ryan Seeks Unity ]]>Thu, 09 Mar 2017 01:47:49 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/649341198-GOP-Health-Care-Bill.jpg
Pivotal industry and consumer groups mounted intensifying opposition to the Republican health care bill as GOP leaders labored Wednesday to rally a divided party behind their high-stakes overhaul drive. Lawmakers cast Congress' initial votes on the legislation as House Speaker Paul Ryan praised the proposal as "what good, conservative health care reform looks like." The American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association and AARP, the nation's largest advocacy group for older people, were arrayed against the GOP measure. Seven years ago their backing was instrumental in enacting President Barack Obama's health care statute, which President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans are intent on erasing.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pot for Pets: Owners Treating Sick Animals With Cannabis]]>Wed, 08 Mar 2017 08:09:31 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_17047766471893-Cannabis-extract-pets.jpg
Michael Fasman's 12-year-old dog, Hudson, limps from pain caused by arthritis and an amputated toe, but Fasman doesn't want to give her painkillers because "they just knock her out." So the San Francisco resident has turned to an alternative medicine that many humans use to treat their own pain and illness: marijuana. On a recent morning, Fasman squeezed several drops of a cannabis extract onto a plate of yogurt, which the Portuguese water dog lapped up in seconds. It's become part of Hudson's daily routine. "We think it's really lifted her spirits and made her a happier dog," Fasman said.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[How GOP Plans to Make Health Care Plan Into Law: Analysis]]>Wed, 08 Mar 2017 05:17:06 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-649341364.jpg
After more than 60 votes and seven years of promises, Republicans offered their long-awaited plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Now, the real work begins. Republicans must navigate a complicated path to turn their 123-page proposal from legislation to law. Take a look at the process and the politics.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sleepy Students Allowed to Nap at Some NM Schools]]>Tue, 07 Mar 2017 16:46:57 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/470425888-pillow-generic.jpg
A handful of high schools in New Mexico are letting their students sleep in school, NBC News reported. Not during class, though. The schools in Las Cruces are letting students take 20-minute naps between classes in sleeping pods, so they can focus better on their education. "They wouldn't be listening, they wouldn't be paying attention" if students weren't getting enough sleep, said New Mexico State University sleep researcher Linda Summers. Teens need a lot of sleep but get little. The National Institutes of Health recommends they get 9-10 hours every night, but only a third of teens are sleeping even 8 hours.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Conservative Groups Give 'RyanCare' Negative Reviews]]>Tue, 07 Mar 2017 19:13:22 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/649197060-American-Health-Care-Act-Brady.jpg
The reviews are starting to come in on the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as "ObamaCare," and aside from the Trump administration, they aren't very good to start out. Major conservative lobbying groups have registered their displeasure with the bill, deeming it "Obamacare-lite," "Obamacare 2.0" and "RyanCare." It's been criticized by some key members of the party in Congress, not to mention Democrats. It was rolled out by House Republicans Monday, and the Trump administration threw its support behind the bill Thursday, with the president calling it "wonderful" in an early morning tweet.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fewer Heavy Americans Are Trying to Lose Weight: Study]]>Tue, 07 Mar 2017 13:12:26 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/OBESITY_AP_16195512447159.jpg
Fewer overweight Americans have been trying to lose weight in recent years, and researchers wonder if fat acceptance could be among the reasons. The trend found in a new study occurred at the same time obesity rates climbed. "Socially accepted normal body weight is shifting toward heavier weight. As more people around us are getting heavier, we simply believe we are fine, and no need to do anything with it," said lead author Dr. Jian Zhang, a public health researcher at Georgia Southern University.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: AP, file]]>
<![CDATA[GOP Congressman Suggests Buying Health Care, Not Phone]]>Tue, 07 Mar 2017 12:39:40 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/trump-rechazo-10.jpg
Rep. Jason Chaffetz advised consumers concerned about changes to the health care system under the long-awaited Republican health care plan that they may want to choose between to putting money aside for their health instead of "getting that new iPhone." The Utah Republican soon walked his comment back as not perfectly phrased, but it had already sparked ridicule on social media, from citizens who have paid far more than the cost of an iPhone for health care to a Senate Democrat who said Chaffetz's own phone and health care plan are funded by low-income taxpayers. The plan, announced Monday, puts more emphasis on health savings accounts at the expense of former President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, which offers more generous subsidies of insurance premiums.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[Travel Order Could Hit Doctor Supply in Trump Territory: Researchers]]>Tue, 07 Mar 2017 11:17:31 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_17060083101353.jpg
President Donald Trump's new executive order suspending new visas to the United States for people from six Muslim-majority nations could reduce the number of doctors in areas that voted Trump into office, NBC News reported. Researchers at Harvard Medical School and MIT looked at data about physicians from those countries in the U.S. and found that swaths of Appalachia and the Rust Belt could be disproportionately affected. Residency programs are a pathway for foreign-born doctors to become physicians in the U.S. Many work in rural and low-income areas, where they have played a critical role in preventing doctor shortages. As many as several hundred doctors will be affected by the order, unable to begin medical residencies this year unless granted waivers, Atul Grover, executive vice president of The Association of American Medical Colleges, told NBC News.

Photo Credit: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Offers Planned Parenthood Funds If It Stops Abortions]]>Tue, 07 Mar 2017 07:38:58 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-499277954.jpg
President Donald Trump has offered to maintain federal funding for Planned Parenthood if the group stops providing abortions. Its president spurned the proposal and noted that federal money already is not allowed to be used for abortion. Trump confirmed Monday there had been discussions after The New York Times inquired about what it described as an informal proposal. In a statement to the newspaper, Trump said polling shows most Americans oppose public funding for abortion.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: Andrew Burton, Getty Images (File)]]>
<![CDATA[DNA Scan Uncovers 18 Genes Newly Associated With Autism]]>Mon, 06 Mar 2017 19:22:31 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DNA+Generic+Double+Helix.jpg
A new genetic analysis has uncovered 18 genes associated with autism, NBC News reported. The study observed people with autism and their relatives, and found that people with autism often had dozens of mutations that could have caused their symptoms. There was an average of 73 unique mutations, according to the team at Autism Speaks. The study adds to evidence that autism is a condition caused by genetics, and that each person with autism has his or her own pattern of DNA changes. The 18 genes that were identified have not been previously linked with autism, however they are all involved in brain cell communications.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Tracking Apps Help Keep College Students Safe]]>Mon, 06 Mar 2017 09:12:39 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017981432_1200x675_890929731535.jpg
In an emergency, every second counts. And knowing your exact locatoin can make a big difference in whether you get help. That’s why some colleges are turning to live tracking apps to keep students safe. With these apps, students can automatically send their location and get help. News4’s Aimee Cho breaks it down. ]]>
<![CDATA[Birth Defects Rise 20 Times in Zika-Affected Pregnancies: CDC ]]>Fri, 03 Mar 2017 09:10:15 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/pregnant+woman+generic1.jpg
Babies in Zika-affected pregnancies in the United States are about 20 times more likely to have birth defects compared with the proportion of pregnancies seen in 2013-2014, before Zika was introduced into the Americas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The types of birth defects associated with Zika include brain abnormalities and/or microcephaly, neural tube defects and other early brain malformations, eye defects and other central nervous system problems. Those defects were seen in about three of every 1,000 births in 2013-2014 in the U.S., but in 2016, the proportion of infants with these same types of birth defects born to women with Zika virus infection during pregnancy rose to about 6 percent, or nearly 60 of every 1,000 completed pregnancies with Zika infections, according to a CDC report.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[About 680,000 Baby Rattles Recalled Over Choking Hazard]]>Fri, 03 Mar 2017 08:40:01 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/baby-rattle-recall.jpg
Hundreds of thousands of baby rattles made by Kids II have been recalled due to the possibility that small beads can pose a choking hazard if part of the rattles break. Kids II has received 42 reports of the plastic disc that contains the beads breaking in Oball Rattles. Three children were reported to be gagging, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, and two other children were reported to have the beads in their mouths. The CPSC advises that consumers take the rattles away from children and contact Oball for a full refund.

Photo Credit: CPSC]]>
<![CDATA[Hogan Declares State of Emergency on Heroin, Opioid Crisis]]>Thu, 02 Mar 2017 11:20:45 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/481663349.jpg
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has declared a state of emergency in response to the opioid epidemic affecting the nation. The state will spend $50 million over the next five years on prevention efforts and recovery efforts.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: UIG via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Arena of Pollen Brings Early Allergy Season]]>Wed, 01 Mar 2017 19:12:01 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/nariz987654+%281%29.jpg
Dr. Jackie Eghrari-Sabet of Family Allergy & Asthma Care in Gaithersburg, Maryland, discusses the early allergy season and what you can do to help control the symptoms.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Click for Candy: How Online Retailers Boost Impulse Buys]]>Wed, 01 Mar 2017 13:17:25 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/adtargetingforonlineshopping.jpg
Supermarket layouts are carefully calibrated to tempt people into impulsive purchases, and now food makers are trying to adapt their strategies as people do more of their shopping online. Part of the worry for companies is that shoppers won't get to see their products as they would at a store, where people often decide they want an item only after walking past it on shelves or in displays . When shoppers order from a website, the thinking is that they aren't as susceptible to tossing extra goodies into their carts. "They don't buy so many Snickers and Skittles online as they would in the store," said David Ciancio, head of North American marketing at dunnhumby, a shopping analytics company.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: Getty]]>
<![CDATA[Same-Sex Marriage Legalization Associated With Teen Suicide Reduction in LGBTQ Teens]]>Wed, 01 Mar 2017 14:07:22 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017933252_1200x675_887672387688.jpg
For LGBTQ teens and young adults, suicidal thoughts are common. Dr. Joshua Weiner discusses a recent study that shows a significant reduction in suicide attempts in teens who identify as a sexual minority after same-sex marriage was legalized.]]>
<![CDATA[Less Stress: How Mindfulness Can Help Teens De-Stress]]>Wed, 01 Mar 2017 07:51:52 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017928907_1200x675_887447619863.jpg
Nobody likes feeling stressed out. All week long, News4 has been giving you ways for you and your kids to de-stress. News4’s Aimee Cho shares some tips teenagers can use. It’s part of a practice called mindfulness]]>
<![CDATA[Colon, Rectal Cancer on the Rise for Millennials ]]>Tue, 28 Feb 2017 19:03:17 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/NC_cancer0228_1500x845.jpg
A new study by the American Cancer Society is showing a shocking increase in cancer among millennials. People in their 20s and 30s have double the risk of being diagnosed with colon cancer, as well as quadruple the risk for rectal cancer as their parents' generation did at the same age. ]]>
<![CDATA[New Help for That Bane of Middle-Age: Blurry Close-Up Vision]]>Tue, 28 Feb 2017 12:39:49 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/eye-surgery.jpg
An eye implant that takes about 10 minutes to put in place is the newest surgical repair for the blurry close-up vision that is a bane of middle age. Dr. Shilpa Rose says the Raindrop inlay won't restore vision you had in your 20s. But the Washington ophthalmologist says it decreases the need for reading glasses to send texts or read email. Nearly everybody will experience presbyopia at some point, usually starting in the mid-40s.

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Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Gene Therapy to Fight a Blood Cancer Succeeds in Major Study]]>Tue, 28 Feb 2017 12:44:48 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/cancer6.jpg
An experimental gene therapy that turns a patient's own blood cells into cancer killers worked in a major study, with more than one-third of very sick lymphoma patients showing no sign of disease six months after a single treatment, its maker said Tuesday. In all, 82 percent of patients had their cancer shrink at least by half at some point in the study. Its sponsor, California-based Kite Pharma, is racing Novartis AG to become the first to win approval of the treatment, called CAR-T cell therapy, in the U.S. It could become the nation's first approved gene therapy.

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Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Less Stress: Class Teaches Kids How to Meditate]]>Tue, 28 Feb 2017 07:29:07 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017913183_1200x675_886390851576.jpg
Stress can impact everyone in the family including children. In Bethesda, there’s a new meditation class called Just Kids that’s teaching children ways to relax, focus and respond to stressful situations. Just Meditate offers the 30 minute class every Sunday for kids between the ages of 6 and 10 years-old. Angie Goff talked with instructors, health professionals, parents and kids about the benefits of learning to take a break- breath by breath.]]>
<![CDATA[Eggs Reintroduced Into Toddler's Diet]]>Mon, 27 Feb 2017 19:45:41 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Gabriella+Eats+an+Egg.jpg
A toddler suspected of being allergic to eggs underwent a challenge to make sure.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[Less Stress: Using Art Therapy to Relax]]>Mon, 27 Feb 2017 08:20:06 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2017-02-27_0719.png
All week long, News4 is breaking down ways to relax. To kick off the week, we take a look at art therapy and how kids can use drawing or sculpting to help de-stress.]]>
<![CDATA[Trans Students Face ‘Detrimental’ Health Effects: Experts]]>Sun, 26 Feb 2017 04:55:37 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_17055026714973.jpg
LGBTQ advocates say President Donald Trump sent a worrying message after his administration withdrew Obama administration's guidance on transgender students protections in public schools. "It makes me feel unimportant. It makes me feel angry. It makes me feel invisible," 16-year-old transgender student Grace Dolan-Sandrino told NBC Out. The American Academy of Pediatrics was one of many health organizations that released a statement opposing the White House's decision. "Policies excluding transgender youth from facilities consistent with their gender identity have detrimental effects on their physical and mental health, safety and well-being," the statement read. According to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, 40 percent of respondents reported attempting suicide in their lifetimes, nearly nine times the rate in the U.S. population.

Photo Credit: Kathy Willens, AP (File)]]>
<![CDATA[Warm Weather Seems to Mean Early Allergy Season]]>Fri, 24 Feb 2017 20:41:37 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/04-07-2014-allergies-allergy-generic.jpg
The warm weather seems to be ushering in an early allergy season. News4's Chris Gordon reports.]]>
<![CDATA[Domestic Violence Survivor Tells Her Story to Help Others]]>Fri, 24 Feb 2017 20:22:13 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Tamika+Bradshaw+and+Officer+Lisa+Worrell.jpg
A woman once silenced by domestic violence now uses her voice to help D.C. police.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[NIH Learning More About Zika Virus]]>Fri, 24 Feb 2017 13:17:35 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017872193_1200x675_883692611994.jpg
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci says they quickly are learning more about what the Zika virus can cause, but they hope they will develop a vaccine fast as well. Doreen Gentzler interviewed him Thursday.]]>
<![CDATA[How to Find Healthy Options for Your Kids When You Dine Out]]>Thu, 23 Feb 2017 21:50:53 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017872198_1200x675_883692611785.jpg
Taking your kids out to eat can present real challenges when it comes to finding healthy choices. Consumer Reporter Susan Hogan has some some tips to help your family eat well when dining out.]]>
<![CDATA[Another Pregnant Woman Positive for Zika After Botched Tests]]>Thu, 23 Feb 2017 18:01:31 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/zika-GettyImages-543498576.jpg
Two pregnant women who were told they tested negative for Zika retested positive after D.C. officials found testing was flawed.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Study Builds Case Linking Autism, Infections During Pregnancy]]>Thu, 23 Feb 2017 08:14:39 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/embarazo22588.jpg
Women with active genital herpes infections early in their pregnancy were twice as likely to have a child with autism than women who did not, according to a study released Wednesday. NBC News reported that the study, published in the journal mSphere, adds to evidence that some cases of autism may be caused by the mother's immune response to infections. The team from Columbia University and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health believe that the mother's reaction to herpes infection may be crossing the placenta and affecting the fetus' developing brain. A 2013 study found a similar rise in autism rates in pregnant women who had flu. "We are now looking at other triggers. We think that a wide range of different types of infections can cause this," said Dr. Ian Lipkin, a Columbia epidemiologist and infectious disease expert who oversaw the research.

Photo Credit: Media for Medical/UIG via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Food Fears: Is Sugar Worse Than Tobacco?]]>Wed, 22 Feb 2017 09:54:09 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017846845_1200x675_882337347610.jpg
Is sugar worse than tobacco? News4's Doreen Gentzler explains why it depends.  ]]>
<![CDATA[Texas Can't Cut Planned Parenthood]]>Tue, 21 Feb 2017 21:59:28 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/mv+planned+parenthood.jpg
A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Texas can't cut off Medicaid dollars to Planned Parenthood over secretly recorded videos taken by anti-abortion activists in 2015 that launched Republican efforts across the U.S. to defund the nation's largest abortion provider. An injunction issued by U.S. District Sam Sparks of Austin comes after he delayed making decision in January and essentially bought Planned Parenthood an extra month in the state's Medicaid program.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area (File)]]>
<![CDATA[Crisis Hotline Reaches More People With Text and Chat]]>Tue, 21 Feb 2017 19:47:54 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/EveryMind+Chat.jpg
A Maryland mental health association took its crisis hotline to text and chat to help more people as the way we communicate changes.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[Rise in Premiums Lays Bare 2 Americas on Health Care]]>Tue, 21 Feb 2017 14:58:35 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Obamacare-Website-AP_249581118509.jpg
Michael Schwarz is a self-employed business owner who buys his own health insurance. The subsidized coverage "Obamacare" offers provides protection from life's unpredictable changes and freedom to pursue his vocation, he says. Brett Dorsch is also self-employed and buys his own health insurance. But he gets no financial break from the Affordable Care Act. "To me, it's just been a big lie," Dorsch says, forcing him to pay more for less coverage. Schwarz and Dorsch represent two Americas, pulling farther apart over former President Barack Obama's health care law. Known as the ACA, the law rewrote the rules for people buying their own health insurance, creating winners and losers.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[NIH Testing Mosquito Saliva Vaccine as Way to Fight Illness]]>Tue, 21 Feb 2017 14:28:22 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-543392276-Mosquito.jpg
Wanted: 60 people willing to be bitten by mosquitoes to test a new kind of vaccine — one that acts against the bugs' saliva. Rather than separate vaccines against Zika or other mosquito-borne diseases, the new approach aims to protect against multiple infections by triggering the immune system to rev up in response to the bite itself. The National Institutes of Health is recruiting volunteers for a safety study of the experimental vaccine, being developed by two London companies.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Face Transplant Links Men Touched by Tragedy]]>Tue, 21 Feb 2017 11:31:54 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_17045844162882-s.jpg
The first face transplant performed at Mayo Clinic is providing a man from Wyoming a second chance at a normal life after he was disfigured by a gunshot in a suicide attempt a decade ago. He now has the face of another man who took his own life.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Food Fears: Should You Be Gluten Free?]]>Tue, 21 Feb 2017 10:01:06 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017831036_1200x675_881472067721.jpg
Gluten free diets -- hype or healthy? The number of Americans who were gluten free tripled from 2009 to 2014. But does being gluten free help in the long run? News4's Doreen Gentzler has more. ]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Suicide Attempts Fell as Same-Sex Marriage Became Legal]]>Mon, 20 Feb 2017 20:32:44 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/scotus-GettyImages-478622912.jpg
Teen suicide attempts in the U.S. declined after same-sex marriage became legal, and the biggest impact was among gay, lesbian and bisexual kids, a study found.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Drugs Vanish at Some VA Hospitals: AP]]>Mon, 20 Feb 2017 16:52:53 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_17048604060654-shulkin.jpg
Federal authorities are stepping up investigations at Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers due to a sharp increase in opioid theft, missing prescriptions or unauthorized drug use by VA employees since 2009, according to government data obtained by The Associated Press. Doctors, nurses or pharmacy staff at federal hospitals — the vast majority within the VA system — siphoned away controlled substances for their own use or street sales, or drugs intended for patients simply disappeared.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: AP, Carolyn Kaster]]>
<![CDATA[Food Fears: Dealing With Your Child's Peanut Allergy]]>Mon, 20 Feb 2017 07:56:38 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017816716_1200x675_880906819679.jpg
News4's Doreen Gentzler shares some major changes to the treatment for peanut allergies. ]]>
<![CDATA[Botched Zika Tests Worry Couple Who Moved From Miami]]>Fri, 17 Feb 2017 21:31:51 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Melissa+and+Brandon+Levitt.jpg
An expectant couple that moved from Miami to Washington to avoid the Zika virus when she got pregnant is worrying about the results of their retests after D.C. officials announced hundreds of tests performed last year were flawed.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[High School Students Address Depression by Singing About It]]>Fri, 17 Feb 2017 20:54:51 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/A+Will+to+Survive+Loudoun+County.jpg
A group of teenagers sings about depression and mental illness at schools througout Loudoun County, Virginia, to spread hope, save lives and honor one life lost too soon. Aimee Cho reports.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[Va. Governor: Cut Jamestown Celebration, Fund Mental Health]]>Fri, 17 Feb 2017 12:12:41 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20160615+Terry+McAuliffe.jpg
Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe is asking Republican lawmakers to cut spending on the 400th anniversary of the founding of the oldest legislative body in the country and redirect the money to mental health care reforms and other priorities.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington

]]>
<![CDATA[ Bill Mandating 12-Month Birth Control Coverage Passes]]>Fri, 17 Feb 2017 07:49:09 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/AP_16239685200585-bc.jpg
Women in Virginia may soon be able to buy a year's supply of prescription birth control instead of a few months' worth.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: Rich Pedroncelli/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Gore: Climate Change Poses Dangerous Health Consequences]]>Thu, 16 Feb 2017 17:16:56 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_17047583778829-gore.jpg
Former Vice President Al Gore on Thursday said more attention must be paid to the dangerous health consequences of climate change, and he called on scientists, health officials and health care providers to work together to find solutions to the crisis. Gore made the comments Thursday during the Health and Climate Meeting at The Carter Center in Atlanta. Gore helped organize the conference after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention abruptly canceled its own conference on climate change and health.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: AP, Alex Sanz]]>
<![CDATA[2 Pregnant Women Test Positive for Zika After Botched Tests]]>Thu, 16 Feb 2017 20:40:03 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/zika-GettyImages-543498576.jpg
Two pregnant women who were told they tested negative for Zika retested positive after D.C. officials found testing was flawed.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[China Carfentanil Ban a 'Game-Changer' in US Opioid Epidemic]]>Thu, 16 Feb 2017 11:10:40 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DEA-Badge-Generic.jpg
So deadly it's considered a terrorist threat, carfentanil has been legal in China— until now. Beijing is banning carfentanil and three similar drugs as of March 1, China's Ministry of Public Security said Thursday, closing a major regulatory loophole in the fight to end America's opioid epidemic. "It shows China's attitude as a responsible big country," Yu Haibin, the director of the Office of the National Narcotics Control Committee, told the Associated Press. "It will be a strong deterrent." The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration called China's move a potential "game-changer" that is likely to have a big impact in the U.S., where opioid demand has driven the proliferation of a new class of deadly drugs made by nimble chemists to stay one step ahead of new rules like this one.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: NBC San Diego, File]]>
<![CDATA[Would You Let Someone Who's Not a Dentist Pull Your Teeth?]]>Thu, 16 Feb 2017 11:43:30 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_17046749125354-dentist.jpg
Need a tooth pulled or a cavity filled? Forget the dentist. A number of states are allowing or considering letting "dental therapists," professionals with a lower level of training, do the job. In dozens of countries and a handful of U.S. states, dental therapists also sometimes called advanced dental hygiene practitioners help fill gaps in access to oral care for low-income, elderly and disabled people, and in rural areas where few dentists practice, according to many public health advocates.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: AP, Dawn Villella]]>
<![CDATA[Brain Scans May Detect Signs of Autism in Infants]]>Wed, 15 Feb 2017 21:57:36 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-5248112111.jpg
It may be possible to detect autism in babies before their first birthdays, a much earlier diagnosis than ever before, a small new study finds. Using magnetic-resonance imaging scans, researchers at the University of North Carolina were able to predict — with an 80 percent accuracy rate — which babies who had an older sibling with autism would be diagnosed with the disorder, NBC News reported. The brain imaging scans, taken at 6 months, at 12 months and again at 2 years, showed significant growth in brain volume during the first year in babies who would later meet the criteria for autism, such as not making eye contact, delaying speech or other displaying other developmental delays. Parents who have a child with autism have a 2 percent to 18 percent increased risk of having a second child who is also affected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Photo Credit: Sally Anscombe/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[South Florida Company Turns Cobra Venom Into Healing Treatment]]>Wed, 15 Feb 2017 20:42:41 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/021417+cobra+venom.jpg
When you think about Cobra venom eventual death comes to mind. A South Florida company is changing the perception of the deadly venom. Nutra Pharma Corp., a biotechnology company specializing in the acquisition, licensing, and commercialization of pharmaceutical products and technologies, has turned the toxin in the venom into treatment for pets and people.

Photo Credit: NBC Miami]]>
<![CDATA[Treat Back Pain Before It Happens With These Simple Tips]]>Wed, 15 Feb 2017 18:12:51 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017772570_1200x675_878104131723.jpg
You might not need all of that medication to get relief from your back pain. Dr. Jackie Eghrari-Sabet of Family Allergy & Asthma Care in Gaithersburg, Maryland, talks about three new recommendations for when those muscle spasms hit.]]>
<![CDATA[Why Taking Some Aspirin Can Help Fight Depression]]>Wed, 15 Feb 2017 14:00:25 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017768965_1200x675_877872707724.jpg
Depression affects 16 million adults each year in this country. Dr. Joshua Weiner makes the connection between depression and inflammation, heart health and back pain.]]>
<![CDATA[HIV Infections Fell 18 Percent in 6 Years]]>Wed, 15 Feb 2017 06:37:48 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/HIV-Testing-US-GettyImages-160899726.jpg
New calculations to better track HIV infections confirm that the U.S. is seeing a strong and steady decline.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: File/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Aortic Dissection Almost Cost Md. Yoga Teacher Her Life]]>Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:05:17 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Karin+Bertozzi.jpg
A Maryland woman had no idea of a heart condition she had until it almost took her life.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[Sore Back? Try Heat and Exercise First, Guidelines Say]]>Tue, 14 Feb 2017 12:56:07 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/212*120/Back-Guy.jpg
Prescription drugs should only be a last resort as a treatment for lower back pain, a leading doctors' group said Monday. NBC News reported on the new guidance from the American College of Physicians, which says doctors should tell patients to try heat wraps and exercise first, then over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen (Tylenol has been shown to do little for back pain), before they prescribe opioids. "Given that most patients with acute or subacute low back pain improve over time regardless of treatment, clinicians and patients should select nonpharmacologic treatment with superficial heat massage, acupuncture, or spinal manipulation," the group says in its new guidance, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Among the therapies that may help and have little risk of harm are tai chi, yoga and cognitive behavioral therapy, the group said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Aetna, Humana Call Off $34 Billion Deal]]>Tue, 14 Feb 2017 09:50:03 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_16229419820877.jpg
Aetna and Humana called off a $34 billion proposal to combine the two major health insurers after a federal judge, citing antitrust concerns, shot down the deal. The announcement Tuesday comes several days after another federal judge rejected a tie-up between two other massive insurers. Blue Cross-Blue Shield carrier Anthem is attempting to buy Cigna for $48 billion. Anthem has vowed to appeal that decision. Aetna, the nation's third largest insurer, had announced its bid for Humana in 2015.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Kennedy Center and NIH Team Up to Promote Health]]>Mon, 13 Feb 2017 21:05:58 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/kennedy+center1.jpg
The Kennedy Center and the National Institutes of Health are teaming up to raise awareness and encourage research of the impact music can have on health.]]>
<![CDATA[Getting Rid of GERD]]>Mon, 13 Feb 2017 20:17:11 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Tom+Galette.jpg
When symptoms that seem like heartburn persist, it could be a disease with more serious consequences.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[Firstborns Get Intellectual Advantage Over Siblings: Study]]>Mon, 13 Feb 2017 17:04:28 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/160*122/GettyImages-73781080.jpg
Firstborn children are set up for more academic and intellectual success, according to a new study that delved into nearly 40 years of data. Today.com reported that firstborn babies and toddlers started scoring better on cognitive tests than their younger siblings at the same age, and the advantage continued through their lives. The study was published in the Journal of Human Resources and based its findings on the Children of the National Longitudinal Survey of the Youth, which included information on thousands of Americans 14-21 years old who were interviewed several times starting in 1979. “First-time parents tend to want to do everything right and generally have a greater awareness of their interactions with and investments in the firstborn," co-author Jee-Yeon K. Lehmann, an economist at the Analysis Group in Boston, told "Today."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Shoveling Snow Can Be Deadly for Men: Study]]>Mon, 13 Feb 2017 15:45:47 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-462353044.jpg
Men are more likely to have a heart attack after a snowfall, probably from shoveling snow, according to Canadian researchers. NBC News reported that researchers found a slight increase in heart attacks and deaths following a storm in Quebec. With each day of snow, these likelihoods increased. A single day of snowfall raised a man’s risk of heart attack by just less than one percent, the researchers reported in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. “Men are potentially more likely than women to shovel, particularly after heavy snowfalls,” researchers wrote. “Snow shoveling is a demanding cardiovascular exercise require more than 75 percent of the maximum heart rate, particularly with heavy loads.” The study found that men were one-third more likely to die after an eight-inch snowfall compared to a dry day. Researchers did not find a similar trend with women.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Praises 911 Dispatcher]]>Sun, 12 Feb 2017 07:29:37 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/258*120/170211-911-dispatcherJPG.JPG
A California woman shed tears of gratitude Saturday upon meeting in person the 911 dispatcher who'd helped save her husband's life. On Jan. 21, Carolyn Evans called 911. Her husband, 65-year-old Jeff Evans, had suffered a heart attack and wasn’t breathing. The voice on the other end, kept Carolyn Evans calm.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV ]]>
<![CDATA[Nap Studio Helps Busy Washingtonians Get Reboot]]>Fri, 10 Feb 2017 11:35:17 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017714871_1200x675_874265667649.jpg
How much would you pay to get a few more minutes of shut eye? A new nap studio, located at 1445 New York Ave. NW, gives people the chance to pop in for a quick nap, but it comes at a price. News4’s Aimee Cho has more on the benefits of power napping – and how much cash it’ll set you back.]]>
<![CDATA[Flu Kills Healthy Teen Athlete in Baltimore]]>Thu, 09 Feb 2017 13:38:59 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/flushotseasonfeuerherd.jpg
Kayla Linton was a healthy, all-around athlete, but being fit did not protect her from the flu, NBC News reported. Linton, who died last week in Baltimore, is among the dozens of often perfectly healthy children who die from influenza every year in the U.S. It's shaping up to be an average flu season so far in the U.S. last year, but even an average flu season is deadly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. CDC says 15 children under 18 have died in the 2016-2017 flu season. It's probably more than that — it takes a few weeks for CDC to gather the information, and not all states report flu deaths quickly or in the same way. In the last flu season, 89 children died.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[US Judge Blocks Anthem-Cigna Health Insurance Merger]]>Thu, 09 Feb 2017 05:17:29 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/gavel-generic-stock.jpg
A federal judge on Wednesday rejected Anthem Inc.'s bid to buy rival health insurer Cigna Corp., saying the merger would likely lead to higher costs, less competition and diminished innovation. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said the merger would significantly reduce competition in the already concentrated insurance market, particularly for large national employers. Cigna and Anthem are two of just four insurers selling to companies with 5,000 employees spread across multiple states, and they compete aggressively for business, the judge wrote.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Laurel Hospital Closes Psychiatric Ward Temporarily]]>Wed, 08 Feb 2017 20:59:24 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017696145_1200x675_872999491730.jpg
Lauren Regional Hospital closed its psychiatric ward abruptly, causing some confusion for patients and staff. Prince George's County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins reports.]]>
<![CDATA[Clinic Falsely Told Dozens They Had Alzheimer's, Suits Say ]]>Wed, 08 Feb 2017 11:05:40 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_17027638904199-sm.jpg
Dozens of patients from a now-closed memory loss clinic in Ohio say its director told them they had Alzheimer’s disease when they really didn’t. Records show the former director of the center in Toledo didn’t have a medical license.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[4 Apps to Help You Meditate]]>Wed, 08 Feb 2017 07:57:28 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017685195_1200x675_872459331767.jpg
Stressed out? Meditation is not just for yogis anymore. Get your morning started right with 4 apps that will help you find your focus.]]>
<![CDATA[Barely Visible Device Can Save Your Eyesight]]>Tue, 07 Feb 2017 21:13:01 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20170207+iStent.jpg
A device barely visible to the naked eye helps many patients in the D.C. area keep their vision intact.]]>
<![CDATA[Kids Are Trying Potentially Harmful E-Cigarette Hack]]>Tue, 07 Feb 2017 08:25:07 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_34020085243.jpg
As many as a quarter of U.S. kids who are using e-cigarettes may be taking them apart and "dripping" — a method that gives them more vapor but a potentially higher hit of nicotine, researchers reported Monday. They recommended more research into whether it's more dangerous for kids, and experts said parents should ask their kids if they've tried it. "E-cigarettes are also being used for 'dripping,' which involves vaporizing the e-liquid at high temperatures by dripping a couple of drops of e-liquid directly onto an atomizer's coil and then immediately inhaling the vapor that is produced," Dr. Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin of Yale University and colleagues reported in the journal Pediatrics. "Among 1,080 ever e-cigarette users, 26.1 percent of students reported ever using e-cigarettes for dripping. Reasons for dripping included produced thicker clouds of vapor (63.5 percent), made flavors taste better (38.7 percent), produced a stronger throat hit (27.7 percent)," they added.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Frank Franklin II]]>
<![CDATA[Rare Disease Triggered by Exercise Threatens Man's Legs]]>Tue, 07 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Joel+Patton+PAES.jpg
A rare vascular disease was diagnosed just in time before it would have drastically changed a man's life.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[9.2 Million Signed Up for Obamacare in 2017]]>Fri, 03 Feb 2017 22:35:00 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/Obacare.jpg
Facing higher premiums, less choice and a last-minute advertising pullback, fewer people signed up for coverage this year through HealthCare.gov, according to data from a preliminary government report Friday. About 9.2 million people signed up through HealthCare.gov, the insurance marketplace serving most states, said the Health and Human Services department. That's about 500,000 fewer customers than had enrolled last year in those same 39 states, or slippage of around 5 percent.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: HealthCare.gov]]>
<![CDATA[Laundry Pod-Linked Eye Injuries Surged in Small Kids: Study]]>Fri, 03 Feb 2017 12:12:11 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-453144893.jpg
Liquid laundry packets are responsible for a surge in eye injuries in young children, according to new medical research. The pods are already under scrutiny after thousands of incidents of kids mistaking them for toys or candy, the "Today" show reported. But chemical burns to the eyes of preschool-aged kids caused by the packets jumped 32-fold between 2012 and 2015, according to a report published in JAMA Ophthalmology. The report noted that by the end of 2015, liquid laundry packet-involved eye injuries represented more than one in four chemical eye burns in children 3-4 years old. An industry group says that voluntary safety standards meant to prevent such injuries were put in place after the period covered in the data.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Moms Making Money: Mom Starts Stroller Fitness Business]]>Fri, 03 Feb 2017 08:48:32 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2017-02-03_0747.png
Starting a business can be intimidating for some people. But, one local mom has found a way to combine spending time with her kids, exercising and making money –- and she does almost all of it from home. News4’s Aimee Cho shares more on what it takes to run a stroller fitness business.]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Who Suffered Cardiac Arrest Shares Powerful Message]]>Thu, 02 Feb 2017 21:47:01 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Starr+Mirza.jpg
At 23 years old, Starr went into cardiac arrest.]]>
<![CDATA[New Treatment for Aggressive Prostate Cancer]]>Thu, 02 Feb 2017 20:55:31 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017627810_1200x675_868968003754.jpg
A new treatment regimen combining horomone-blocking drugs and radiation may help men with agressive prostate cancer live longer. NBC's Kristen Dahlgren explains.]]>
<![CDATA[Insurers Mull Exit From Exchanges or Price Hikes]]>Thu, 02 Feb 2017 17:52:51 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Obamacare-AP_30213472209.jpg
The Affordable Care Act's insurance exchanges have become too risky for major health insurers, and that's creating further doubt about coverage options consumers might have next year. Aetna, the nation's third largest insurer, said it lost $450 million last year on its ACA-compliant coverage. The losses that insurers have taken from coverage sold on these state-based exchanges in recent years have already prompted some to scale back their participation or raise rates, often dramatically.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: ap]]>
<![CDATA[Repeal of Health Law Could Mean Women Pay More For Less]]>Thu, 02 Feb 2017 15:55:20 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/ACA.jpg
From a return to higher premiums based on gender, to gaps in coverage for birth control and breast pumps, experts say women could end up paying more for less if the Obama-era health care law is repealed. The 2010 law ended a common industry practice of charging women more than men for policies purchased directly from an insurer. It made maternity and newborn care a required benefit for individual health plans. And it set a list of preventive services to be provided at no extra cost to women, including birth control and breast pumps used by nursing mothers. That preventive care requirement also applies to most employer plans.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes]]>
<![CDATA[Tackle Food Safety: Keep Your Food Safe on Game Day]]>Thu, 02 Feb 2017 15:38:06 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Screen+Shot+2017-02-02+at+2.25.05+PM.png
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a list of food safety tips for Super Bowl party hosts.]]>
<![CDATA[How to Avoid Nasty Winter Cold and Flu]]>Wed, 01 Feb 2017 19:35:49 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017612255_1200x675_867893315678.jpg
Dr. Jackie Eghrari-Sabet of Family Allergy & Asthma Care in Gaithersburg, Maryland, talks about the norovirus and adenovirus circulating the area, what symptoms to watch for, and some of the best ways to cure and prevent it.]]>
<![CDATA[Science Could Soon Develop Eggs, Sperm From Skin Cells]]>Thu, 02 Feb 2017 08:46:46 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/170131-babies-mn-1600.jpg
The world is on the brink of another revolution thanks to an emerging technology called in vitro gametogenesis, or IVG, which would allow doctors to develop eggs and sperm from a surprising source: skin cells, NBC News reported. These reproductive cells could then be used to create fertilized embryos to be implanted into a woman's uterus (or, someday, an artificial womb). Researchers in Japan created viable eggs from the skin cells of adult female mice, which were then fertilized with naturally derived sperm from male mice. Using the same process in people isn't exactly feasible, so scientists need to find another way to turn primordial germ cells into mature eggs in vitro. "It's a technology that will come someday, but the question is when and whether it will be completely safe," says Zev Rosenwaks, director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York.

Photo Credit: Blaine Harrington III/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[How Your Diet Can Help With Depression]]>Wed, 01 Feb 2017 14:06:18 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017608556_1200x675_867640899510.jpg
Dr. Joshua Weiner talks with Eun Yang about a new Australian study showing how a mediterranean diet can benefit mental health.]]>
<![CDATA[Attention to Doctor Burnout Benefits Patients, Doctors Alike]]>Wed, 01 Feb 2017 15:08:22 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/generic+doctor+coat.jpg
A program at the Georgetown University School of Medicine addresses the burden of stress on doctors.

Photo Credit: Stock Image]]>
<![CDATA[Tips on Foods That Boost Your Immune System]]>Tue, 31 Jan 2017 13:42:15 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017593944_1200x675_866721347804.jpg
Dietician Dr. Joy Dubost has tips on foods to eat to boost your immune system and prevent illness, including fatty fish like salmon, leafy greens, dark chocolate and blueberries. Dubost spoke with News4's Melissa Mollet.]]>
<![CDATA[Tuesday Night Is Deadline for Obamacare Coverage]]>Tue, 31 Jan 2017 09:21:19 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/OBAMACARE_AP_16320806519240.jpg
Overnight Tuesday is the deadline to sign up for coverage under the federal health care law. Even if the ultimate fate of Obamacare is uncertain, there's been no change for this year. About 11.5 million people had enrolled as of Dec. 24. The deadline is midnight Pacific time in the 39 states served by HealthCare.gov, the government said. States with their own insurance websites may have different deadlines. Although premiums are up significantly this year, more than 8 in 10 customers get subsidies, and more than half qualify for extra help with deductibles and copays.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington

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<![CDATA[Fairfax County Youth Gain Access to Free Mental Health & Drug Screening]]>Mon, 30 Jan 2017 20:35:35 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017584900_1200x675_866176067558.jpg
Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board will begin offering free mental health and drug screening to youth walk-ins beginning February 1, 2017.]]>
<![CDATA[Best Home Gym Equipment For Your Workout and Your Wallet]]>Mon, 30 Jan 2017 19:27:50 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017584404_1200x675_866132547758.jpg
Consumer Reports identified the home gym equipment that will get you the best workout for the cheapest price. News4's Susan Hogan walks through Monday's findings.]]>
<![CDATA[Tips From a Life Coach on How to Curb Stress]]>Mon, 30 Jan 2017 14:20:02 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/013017+life+coach.jpg
Local life coach Marci Moberg has tips on how to deal with stress in your life, including starting and ending your day on a positive note and using your breath to slow you down. She spoke with News4's Aaron Gilchrist.

Photo Credit: NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[NJ Becomes 1st State to Offer New Parents Free ‘Baby Boxes’]]>Fri, 27 Jan 2017 16:57:54 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/baby+box+new+jersey.jpg
New Jersey has become the first state where expectant parents can get a free "Baby Box" for their newborn. The Baby Box Co. announced the Baby Box University program on Thursday. The global integrated program looks to reduce Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome (SUIDS) and provide a safe start for newborns in the state by providing their parents with potentially life-saving boxes. The boxes, which are made from a durable cardboard, can be used as a baby's bed for the first months of life. Inside, the box contains diapers, wipes, and other goodies that are worth about $150.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: Baby Box Co.]]>
<![CDATA[Little Girls Doubt That Women Can Be Brilliant, Study Shows]]>Fri, 27 Jan 2017 13:02:57 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/education-nation169271319.jpg
Can women be brilliant? Little girls are not so sure. A study published Thursday in the journal Science suggests that girls as young as 6 can be led to believe men are inherently smarter and more talented than women, making girls less motivated to pursue novel activities or ambitious careers. That such stereotypes exist is hardly a surprise, but the findings show these biases can affect children at a very young age. "As a society, we associate a high level of intellectual ability with males more than females, and our research suggests that this association is picked up by children as young 6 and 7," said Andrei Cimpian, associate professor in the psychology department at New York University. Cimpian coauthored the study, which looked at 400 children ages 5-7.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: Getty Images/Caiaimage]]>
<![CDATA[Gore Revives Climate, Health Summit Canceled by CDC]]>Thu, 26 Jan 2017 23:21:46 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-519674944.jpg
A conference on climate change and health is back on but apparently minus the U.S. government. Several organizers including former Vice President Al Gore have resurrected the meeting set for next month in Atlanta. The government's top public health agency had planned the conference then canceled it in December without explanation.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Scientists Take First Steps to Growing Human Organs in Pigs]]>Fri, 27 Jan 2017 08:12:13 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/pig-embryo-research-salk-institute.jpg
Scientists have grown human cells inside pig embryos, a very early step toward the goal of growing livers and other human organs in animals to transplant into people. The cells made up just a tiny part of each embryo, and the embryos were grown for only a few weeks, researchers reported Thursday. Such human-animal research has raised ethical concerns. The U.S. government suspended taxpayer funding of experiments in 2015. The new work, done in California and Spain, was paid for by private foundations.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: Salk Institute]]>
<![CDATA[How Far Can $15 Billion Go in Washington?]]>Mon, 27 Feb 2017 11:44:38 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-617792078_master.jpg
If one believes the back-of-the-envelope estimates by Republican leaders on Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump's border wall is going to cost between $12 billion and $15 billion. That's a lot of money, even though it's just a minute fraction of a $4 trillion federal budget. For comparison, here are a few examples of how far $15 billion of government funding can go.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Md. Politicians Feud Over Medical Center for Prince George's]]>Wed, 25 Jan 2017 22:10:07 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/dfw-generic-health-1200-01.jpg
Maryland lawmakers are in a feud over funding for a new medical center in Prince George’s County.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[House Passes Abortion Funding Ban Days After Women's March]]>Thu, 26 Jan 2017 17:36:24 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/my-body-my-choice.jpg
Days after millions of people marched nationwide to bring attention to women’s issues, the Trump administration and Congress have responded with actions against women's reproductive rights. On Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. House passed H.R. 7, anti-abortion legislation, voting 238-183. The bill proposes to permanently ban women from receiving federal financial assistance for abortions. While the bill does not ban abortions outright, it bans all government subsidies of abortions. This ban reaches beyond Medicaid to include private insurers that cover abortions through plans bought on exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act. The bill was sponsored by U.S. Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey.

Photo Credit: Toronto Star via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Study Links Heart Disease and Depression]]>Wed, 25 Jan 2017 13:34:50 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017530833_1200x675_862436419604.jpg
A recent European study reveals that depression accounts for 15% of cardiovascular deaths. Aaron Gilchrist talks with psychiatrist Dr. Joshua Weiner about the correlation between stress, depression and heart disease, and what you can do to prevent it.]]>
<![CDATA[US Cancer Death Rate Dips, but Soars in Some Places: Study]]>Tue, 24 Jan 2017 14:29:54 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/smoking-stock-generic-73160938.jpg
Americans in certain struggling parts of the country are dying from cancer at rising rates, even as the cancer death rate nationwide continues to fall, an exhaustive new analysis has found. In parts of the country that are relatively poor, and have higher rates of obesity and smoking, cancer death rates rose nearly 50 percent, while wealthier pockets of the country saw death rates fall by nearly half. Better screening and treatment have contributed to the improvement in the nation as a whole — but the study underscores that not all Americans have benefited from these advances.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[4 Free Fitness Apps You Can Use at Home]]>Tue, 24 Jan 2017 08:32:29 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2017-01-24_0731.png
Have you kept up with your New Year's Resolution to be healthy and fit? Don't feel bad if the answer is no. We found four apps to help you stay on track and the best part is they're all free!]]>
<![CDATA[Police in Glendale, Calif., Give Dementia Patients Trackers]]>Tue, 24 Jan 2017 06:22:25 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/knbc-dementia-tracking-device-project-lifesaver.jpg
Police in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale are hoping to reduce the time it takes to find missing people diagnosed with dementia by providing patients with tracking devices. The Glendale Police Department has partnered with the nonprofit group Project Lifesaver to provide tracking devices to families with members who suffer from cognitive issues such as Alzheimer's disease of autism, The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday. If that relative wanders away, the device would allow authorities to find that person in minutes instead of hours.

Photo Credit: Project Lifesaver]]>
<![CDATA[US Health Officials Cancel Climate Conference]]>Mon, 23 Jan 2017 21:21:07 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/IceMeltingAP_4542707832.jpg
The government's top public health agency has canceled a conference next month on climate change and health but isn't saying why publicly. But a co-sponsor said he was told by the CDC that it was worried how the conference would be viewed by the Trump administration. The incoming administration did not ask or order that the meeting be canceled, said Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: Thibault Camus, AP (File)]]>
<![CDATA[GOP Obamacare Replacement Plan Would Grant States More Power]]>Mon, 23 Jan 2017 21:05:50 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/obamacare-que-pasara-thumbnail.jpg
Republican senators introduced a partial replacement to the Affordable Care Act on Monday that would let states keep some aspects of the Obamacare law while eliminating the mandate requiring citizens to carry health insurance. The measure is being billed as an "Obamacare replacement plan" aimed at empowering states and broadening health insurance access. The move comes days after President Donald Trump's issuance of an executive order directing the Health and Human Services Department to "waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay" any ACA requirement that would impose a fiscal burden. For now, however, the executive order that Trump signed Friday night has changed very little.

Photo Credit: Getty Images (File)]]>
<![CDATA[WHO on 'High-Alert' Over New Outbreaks of Bird Flu]]>Mon, 23 Jan 2017 13:31:49 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/influenza1.jpg
The World Health Organization is urging all countries to monitor avian influenza and to report any human cases that could indicate the beginning of a flu pandemic, Reuters reported. About 40 countries have reported new outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in poultry and wild birds since November, according to WHO. Several strains of bird flu have been spreading across Europe and Asia, resulting in large-scale poultry slaughters and some human deaths in China. Due to the rapid pace and expansive nature of these outbreaks, WHO director-general Dr. Margaret Chan said the organization is on "high alert." The WHO’s 194 member states are required to detect and report human cases promptly, Chan added: "We cannot afford to miss the early signals."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Fighting Winter Allergies]]>Mon, 23 Jan 2017 08:57:44 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WinterAllergies0120_MP4-148517587405100001.jpg
Many people believe that as the spring and fall seasons wrap up, so do their allergies, but that's not always the case once winter rolls around.]]>
<![CDATA[$12M Costco Pharmacy Settlement]]>Thu, 19 Jan 2017 23:41:53 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-477000903.jpg
Costco Wholesale Corp. has agreed to pay nearly $12 million to settle Justice Department allegations of lax pharmacy controls over a four-year period. The Issaquah, Washington-based company acknowledges in the settlement announced Thursday that some of its pharmacies improperly filled prescriptions, kept poor records or failed to adequately track inventory between the start of 2012 and the end of 2015. The case grew out of separate investigations conducted by federal authorities in Washington, Michigan and California.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Judge Blocks Texas From Cutting Off Planned Parenthood]]>Thu, 19 Jan 2017 18:53:07 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/lafile-west-hollywood-planned-parenthood.jpg
A federal judge has temporarily blocked Texas from ousting Planned Parenthood from the state's Medicaid program over secretly recorded videos taken by anti-abortion activists in 2015.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: KNBC-TV, File]]>
<![CDATA[1 in 4 US Men Have Cancer-Linked HPV Strain]]>Thu, 19 Jan 2017 14:44:32 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/HPV-Virus-Image.jpg
The first national estimate suggests that nearly half of U.S. men have genital infections caused by a sexually transmitted virus and that 1 in 4 has strains linked with several cancers. Most human papillomavirus infections cause no symptoms and most disappear without treatment. And most adults will get an HPV infection at some point in their lives.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: Getty Images/Science Photo Libra]]>
<![CDATA[The Facts About Peanuts & Planes]]>Wed, 18 Jan 2017 21:30:41 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/American_Airlines_generic.jpg
Dr. Jackie Eghrari-Sabet of Family Allergy & Asthma Care in Gaithersburg, Maryland, explains why American Airlines is under fire from people with peanut allergies.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Health Care Sign-Up Set for Sunday]]>Wed, 18 Jan 2017 20:37:23 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017454716_1200x675_857713219815.jpg
For the second year in a row, Loudoun County Supervisor Koran Saines hosts a health care signup event for people seeking health coverage.]]>
<![CDATA[Price Tries to Reassure on Health Care; Dems Not Buying It]]>Wed, 18 Jan 2017 17:45:31 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/healthcarefeuerherd.jpg
Offering reassurances, President-elect Donald Trump's pick for health secretary said Wednesday the new administration won't "pull the rug out" from those covered by "Obamacare." Democrats were unimpressed, noting a lack of specifics. Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., also told the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee that Trump is "absolutely not" planning to launch an overhaul of Medicare as he tries to revamp coverage under President Barack Obama's signature health care law. He acknowledged that high prescription drug costs are a problem, but did not endorse the idea of government directly negotiating prices.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Mom, Toddler Daughter Fight Cancer at the Same Time]]>Wed, 18 Jan 2017 10:39:13 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/cancerstrikesmomandtot.jpg
Heather Wilson received some bad news just five days before Christmas. The 31-year-old mother of three, who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor six months earlier, learned that her 14-month-old daughter, London, also had cancer, the Today Show reported. Doctors found a yolk sac tumor in the area of London's ovaries. The two have been an inspiration as they bravely face the disease together, rallying friends and family to help ease the financial and emotional burden on the young mom from Covington, Georgia.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Pam Hunt]]>
<![CDATA[Caffeine May Help Fight Cardiovascular Disease: Study]]>Wed, 18 Jan 2017 09:50:23 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-472209108.jpg
Scientists used blood samples and studies medical and family history for people in their study. In this research, a connection was found between that inflammatory process and caffeine consumption.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[18M Will Lose Health Insurance With ACA Repeal: Analysis]]>Tue, 17 Jan 2017 16:12:53 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/obaGettyImages-630310534.jpg
About 18 million people would lose or drop their health insurance in the first year after Obamacare is repealed, the Congressional Budget Office reported Tuesday. The nonpartisan federal agency also found that health insurance premiums would spike another 20 to 25 percent, NBC News reported. Within 10 years, 32 million more people would be without health insurance, the CBO projects.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Moveon.org, File]]>
<![CDATA[Abortions in US at Lowest Level Since Roe v. Wade: Survey]]>Tue, 17 Jan 2017 14:06:56 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_558685885003-Abortion-Report.jpg
Even as the election outcome intensifies America's abortion debate, a comprehensive new survey finds the annual number of abortions in the U.S has dropped to well under 1 million, the lowest level since 1974. The report, which counted 926,200 abortions in 2014, was released Tuesday by the Guttmacher Institute, a research group which supports abortion rights. It is the only entity which strives to count all abortions in the U.S.; the latest federal survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lacks data from California, Maryland and New Hampshire. The total from 2014 represented a drop of 12.5 percent from Guttmacher's previous survey, which tallied 1.06 million abortions in 2011.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Significant Increase in People With Flu-Like Symptoms Seeing Doctors]]>Mon, 16 Jan 2017 21:24:03 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017424248_1200x675_856063043924.jpg
The flu is widespread in Virginia and hitting D.C. and Maryland, too. Doreen Gentzler reports there's still time to get vaccinated.]]>
<![CDATA[When Mental Illness and Violence Intersect]]>Fri, 13 Jan 2017 15:06:23 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017394210_1200x675_854283843869.jpg
Last week, a man opened fire inside an airport in Fort Lauderdale killing five people. Esteban Santiago's motive remains a mystery. News4's Eun Yang looks at the connection between mental illness and similar violent crimes]]>
<![CDATA[The Pros and Cons of Marijuana Use]]>Thu, 12 Jan 2017 21:05:46 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/NC_pot0112_1500x845.jpg
Marijuana use may help with chronic pain and nausea, but a new study says there are also negative consequences for young children and those at risk for certain mental illnesses. Experts from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine reviewed all research on marijuana published since 1999 to find who should smoke and who shouldn't.]]>
<![CDATA[Ziploc Freezer Bags Help Premature Babies Stay Warm: Study]]>Thu, 12 Jan 2017 11:25:35 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/NICU+Hypothermia+011117.jpg
Nurses in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Texas Health Fort Worth developed a program to keep fragile babies warmer. It has led to a decrease of very low birth weight babies being admitted to the NICU as hypothermic, and potentially increasing their chance of survival. Premature infants with admission temperatures below 96.8 degrees are at higher risk of mortality and some morbidities, including late-onset sepsis, intraventricular hemorrhage and oxygen toxicity.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[CVS Puts Out Cheaper Generic Competitor to EpiPen]]>Thu, 12 Jan 2017 12:42:50 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/epipen1.jpg
CVS is now selling a rival, generic version of Mylan's EpiPen at about a sixth of its price, just months after the maker of the life-saving allergy treatment was eviscerated before Congress because of its soaring cost to consumers. The drugstore chain says it will charge $109.99 for a two-pack of the authorized generic version of Adrenaclick, a lesser-known treatment compared to EpiPen, which can cost more than $600. CVS Health Corp., the nation's second-largest drugstore chain, says it cut the price of the generic version of Adrenaclick nearly in half. The lower price is now available at all CVS stores. The chain runs about 9,600 retail pharmacies in the United States, including several locations inside Target stores.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Students Organize Mental Health Week at Md. High School]]>Wed, 11 Jan 2017 18:55:12 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/bethesda-chevy-chase-high-school-mental-health-week.jpg
Two students from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School have organized a mental health week for their school aiming to raise awareness and end the stigma surrounding mental illness.

Photo Credit: @dailybarons, Instagram
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Asks Vaccination Skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to Lead Vaccination Safety Commission]]>Tue, 10 Jan 2017 17:17:26 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/trumpKennedy.jpg
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a vocal vaccination skeptic, said Tuesday that President-elect Donald Trump has asked him to "chair a commission on vaccination safety and scientific integrity" and that he has accepted. Both Trump and Kennedy have spread fringe theories linking vaccines to autism in children, an idea that medical experts overwhelmingly reject and have warned is endangering public health by discouraging parents from immunizing their kids. Trump has tweeted previously that he knew a child who developed autism after receiving immunizations, but he did not provide evidence for that claim. Scientists have debunked the link between vaccines and autism. But Kennedy, the son of the late U.S. attorney general, believes there is connection and has advocated for parents to be allowed to opt out of vaccinations for their children.

Photo Credit: Getty Images (File)]]>
<![CDATA['An Angel Came Down': Woman Gives Kidney to Stranger]]>Mon, 09 Jan 2017 23:34:59 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20170110+KidneyDonor.jpg
Sarah Miknis, a photographer for George Washington University's medical school, donated a kidney to Jose Reyes, who had stage 5 kidney disease. "An angel came down, and here we are," Reyes said. News4's Aimee Cho has their story.]]>
<![CDATA[Holiday Sweets Recall]]>Tue, 10 Jan 2017 09:46:14 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/holiday+sweets+recall.jpg
Hostess Brands and Palmer Candy Company have recalled holiday-themed sweets over concern the desserts may be contaminated with the harmful Salmonella bacteria. Hostess Brands recalled its Holiday White Peppermint Hostess Twinkies in response to Blommer Chocolate Company’s recall of its confectionery coating, which contains milk powder ingredients recalled by Valley Milk Products. The milk powder ingredients recalled by Valley Milk Products were also in sweets distributed by Palmer Candy Company, which, like Hostess, issued a voluntary recall as a precaution.

Photo Credit: Handouts]]>
<![CDATA[Medical Student Meets Man Who Received His Kidney]]>Mon, 09 Jan 2017 21:41:24 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017343147_1200x675_851146307909.jpg
A local medical student who decided to donate a kidney to a stranger met the organ recipient for the first time at George Washington University Hospital. "Thank you, thank you, thank you," said the recipient, his voice hoarse with tears. News4's Aimee Cho reports.]]>
<![CDATA[Flu Season Hits Hard Nationwide]]>Fri, 06 Jan 2017 23:47:44 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/NC_flu0106_1500x845.jpg
Twelve states are reporting widespread flu activity as the United States slide into flu season at the start of the year. The Centers for Disease Control say flu activity is higher this season compared to last year.]]>
<![CDATA[Stuck in a Rut? How to Reboot Your Resolution]]>Mon, 09 Jan 2017 13:51:56 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017338289_1200x675_850771523836.jpg
We are going into the second week of 2017, and people are starting to kick their healthy living resolutions into high gear. But eating healthy can be challenging, especially on a busy schedule. Jrink is a local juicery that uses fresh produce and adds no additional sugar or preservatives to their juices. Founder Shizu Okusa stopped by News4 Midday to share some tips on how to get back on track.]]>
<![CDATA[Virginia Lt. Governor Promotes Plan to Give Women Free IUDs]]>Thu, 05 Jan 2017 20:34:57 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/010517+ralph+northam.jpg
Virginia's lieutenant governor promoted a proposal on Thursday to provide free intrauterine devices (IUDs) and other contraceptive implants to low-income women and girls.

Photo Credit: NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[Cancer Deaths Fell 25 Percent Since 1991]]>Fri, 06 Jan 2017 08:47:18 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/GettyImages-495314721-doctor.jpg
Fewer Americans are dying of cancer. The latest numbers from the American Cancer Society show a 25 percent drop in cancer deaths since 1991, the peak year for cancer deaths, NBC News reported. Cancer rates are holding fairly steady, but better screening and better treatments mean that people who get cancer are living longer, the American Cancer Society says in its annual report. And as fewer and fewer people smoke, cancer death rates follow. It projects that nearly 1.7 million people will be diagnosed with cancer in 2017 and 600,000 will die of it. "The continuing drops in the cancer death rate are a powerful sign of the potential we have to reduce cancer's deadly toll," said Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer for the group.

Photo Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Peanuts Early and Often]]>Thu, 05 Jan 2017 10:05:39 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Peanut-baby.jpg
Peanut allergies are a big problem for many kids and their families, but new guidelines published could help protect high-risk tots and other youngsters, too, from developing the dangerous food allergy. Feeding infants peanut butter when they are as young as four to six months old might prevent them from developing peanut allergies, according to research released from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. It's a change from past recommendations, which urged parents to delay giving children foods containing peanuts in their first few years. Peanut allergies can cause hives, rashes, breathing problems, and in the most severe cases, can even be fatal. "It's old news, wrong old news, to wait," said Dr. Scott Sicherer, who represented the American Academy of Pediatrics on the guidelines panel.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC4 Washington

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<![CDATA[Women Concerned About ACA Changes]]>Wed, 04 Jan 2017 15:29:06 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017286015_1200x675_847530563883.jpg
Many women are worried about the changes ahead for the Affordable Care Act. Doreen Gentzler reports.]]>
<![CDATA[The Best Diet to Fight Brain Shrinkage]]>Wed, 04 Jan 2017 18:28:07 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/NC_diets0104_1500x845.jpg
What are the best diets to help prevent brain shrinkage? A new study shows specific diets that may help fight brain volume loss as we age, NBC News reports.]]>
<![CDATA[Special Guests at NBC Health and Fitness Expo]]>Mon, 02 Jan 2017 11:22:30 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20161227+Expo+Guests.jpg
"Days of Our Lives" star Bryan Dattilo and Charlie, the TODAY show's "Puppy with a Purpose," will be special guests at the 2017 NBC4 Health and Fitness Expo.]]>
<![CDATA[Learn Yoga at the Health & Fitness Expo]]>Sun, 08 Jan 2017 13:27:41 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000017328412_1200x675_850226243693.jpg
The Health & Fitness Expo offers yoga and other fitness classes. Doreen Gentzler spoke with Maggie Grant of Metro DC Yoga.]]>
<![CDATA[Forget Tupperware - Now There's CPR Party]]>Thu, 23 Mar 2017 19:08:32 -0400http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000018201486_1200x675_905091139660.jpg
CPR Party is teaching people how to save lives from the comfort of their own living room. Learn how a mother's brush with tragedy inspired her to create the program. Doreen Gentzler reports.]]>