Successful Aging: Getting a sense when hygiene issues have deeper causes |Sep 3, 2017

Q My parents are in their 80s and lack good personal hygiene. My mother has been diagnosed with early onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Even before my mother became ill, she resisted bathing. Both my parents do not shower enough, and they wear the same clothes daily, some with stains.

Nutrition: It’s gut-check time when considering how microbiota affects healthy digestion |Sep 2, 2017

Evolving science is pretty clear that the microorganisms inhabiting our digestive tracts, also known as the gut microbiota, are largely responsible for our overall health and well-being. The gut microbiota is the complex mix of the thousands of species of healthy bacteria that live within the gastrointestinal tract of their host.

Emergency room crews learn to spot elder abuse |Sep 2, 2017

Abuse often leads to depression and medical problems in older patients — even death within a year of an abusive incident. Yet, those subjected to emotional, physical or financial abuse too often remain silent.

Successful Aging: It all depends on how you look at the greatness of 80 |Aug 28, 2017

Q I am 79 years old and soon will be celebrating my 80th birthday. Although I am grateful to have lived this long I feel so different about this birthday. I recently dreamed that I was about to wander through an arch and at the last minute stopped, which is when I woke up with heart palpitations.

Anthem’s exit leaves thousands without health insurance choice in California |Aug 21, 2017

For about 60,000 Covered California customers, choosing a health plan next year will be easier, and possibly more painful, than ever: There will be only one insurer left in their communities after Anthem Blue Cross of California pulls out of much of the state’s individual market.

Drinking lead: Why California may force all schools to test their water |Aug 20, 2017

When a therapy dog refused to drink at a San Diego grade school, it was the first clue that something was wrong with the water. Tests revealed why the pup turned up its nose—the presence of polyvinyl chloride, the polymer in PVC pipes that degrade over time.

Often missing in the repeal-and-replace health care debate: The voices of women |Aug 20, 2017

Women, in particular, have a lot at stake in the fight over the future of health care. Not only do many depend on insurance coverage for maternity care and contraception, they are struck more often by such diseases as autoimmune conditions, osteoporosis, breast cancer and depression.

Number of dialysis patients in California surges |Aug 19, 2017

The number of Californians who are getting care at dialysis centers has jumped in recent years — but not because kidney disease is more prevalent. The reason is that people are living longer with end-stage renal disease, said Anjay Rastogi, a professor of nephrology at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine.

Kicking heroin in California’s opioid ‘treatment desert’ |Aug 19, 2017

Heather Menzel squirmed in her seat, unable to sleep on the Greyhound bus as it rolled through the early morning darkness toward Bakersfield, in California’s Central Valley. She’d been trapped in transit for three miserable days, stewing in a horrific sickness only a heroin addict can understand.

Parents of Inland Empire autistic kids aim to remove the stress from eating out |Aug 19, 2017

The stares. The dirty looks. The criticism of their parenting. It was all too much for Mike and Cassidi Rand. Every time the Victorville couple dined out with their autistic son, they felt like other patrons were judging them, whether they said anything to them or not.

Lack of brain donations is hampering understanding of dementia in blacks |Aug 13, 2017

The question came as a shock to Dorothy Reeves: Would she be willing to donate her husband’s brain for research? She knew dementia would steadily take Levi Reeves’ memories of their 57-year marriage, his remaining lucidity and, eventually, his life.

35 children die in north Indian hospital in 3 days |Aug 12, 2017

LUCKNOW, India >> Parents of at least 35 children who have died in a state-run hospital in northern India over the past three days have alleged that the fatalities were due to the lack of a sufficient oxygen supply in the children’s ward.

Colon cancer rates rising among younger white adults — and falling among blacks |Aug 12, 2017

When Crawford Clay discovered blood on his shorts at the end a routine run in the spring of 2014, he did not know the stains were a symptom of a condition that also afflicted his family. His doctor said it was likely hemorrhoids, but as a precaution, the physician scheduled a colonoscopy.

Bending the trend, more employers are offering job-based health insurance |Aug 12, 2017

The shrinking unemployment rate has been a healthy turn for people with job-based benefits. Eager to attract help in a tight labor market and unsure of Obamacare’s future, large employers are newly committed to maintaining coverage for workers and often their families, according to new research and interviews with analysts.

Rare West Nile virus complications can devastate victims’ lives |Aug 10, 2017

FONTANA >> Recovery started with a twitch of his tongue. Greg Lee had been paralyzed and in intensive care for nearly 100 days at Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center after being diagnosed with West Nile virus in September 2015.

Texas cuts aid to ‘colonias’ after years of offering help |Aug 10, 2017

ALAMO, Texas >> While the economy in Texas has boomed over the last 20 years, along the border with Mexico about a half million people live in clusters of cinderblock dwellings, home-built shacks, dilapidated trailers and small houses.

California funds groups to serve food to Medi-Cal’s poor, just like medicine |Aug 9, 2017

Federico Guzmán moved from Mexico to San Francisco in 1992, fleeing anti-gay sentiment and searching for AIDS treatment. He couldn’t find a job and sometimes went hungry until friends introduced him to Project Open Hand, a nonprofit organization that began serving free, nutritious meals to HIV patients in 1985.

UCR researchers find way to thwart ovarian cancer, plan to work with City of Hope |Aug 9, 2017

A pair of UC Riverside researchers say they have found a mechanism for blocking the spread of ovarian cancer, one of the deadliest cancers for women. Recent University of Notre Dame transplants Mark Alber and Oleg Kim, along with a team of researchers, published a study in Oncology Times in July that detailed how they used a monoclonal antibody named GC-4 to block a protein responsible for allowing ovarian cancer cells to latch onto and penetrate other cells.

Los Angeles gets biggest boost from HIV housing funds |Aug 8, 2017

In a bipartisan push, Congress has restructured a federal housing program for HIV patients to funnel more money into areas struggling to control the spread of the virus. While legislators and housing advocates say the adjustments will better target regions with high rates of HIV, the changes are likely to mean less money for some of the large cities that faced the early effects of the epidemic.

Teen pregnancy prevention programs at risk after Trump Administration budget cuts |Aug 6, 2017

Luanne Rohrbach was stunned when she got the letter from Washington: The federal money for her teen pregnancy prevention program was being shut off. Rohrbach helps lead a program providing sexual health education for middle- and high-school students in Los Angeles and Compton.

Paying doctors more — now will they treat more poor Californians? |Aug 6, 2017

It seems like a simple solution. Raise what you pay doctors for treating low-income patients, and they’ll treat more of them. All those waits for appointments and physician shortages that have long plagued the state’s low-income health insurance program—a program that one out of every three Californians now relies on—could be remedied with a simple dose of economics.

California-led effort helps improve blood pressure control among low-income patients |Aug 5, 2017

California faces a big challenge in controlling the blood pressure of low-income residents with hypertension, but a state-led program has shown some signs of progress. Nine of the state’s 23 Medicaid managed care plans spent a year working with state officials, studying the latest blood pressure control methods, consulting with experts and sharing their own successes and failures.

This drug puts $750,000 ‘price tag on life’ |Aug 5, 2017

Jana Gundy and Amanda Chaffin live within two hours of each other in Oklahoma. Each has a child with the same devastating disease, one that robs them of muscle strength, affecting their ability to sit, stand or even breathe.

Record high vaccination rates of 7th-graders reported in 1st year of stricter requirements |Aug 5, 2017

Vaccination rates for California 7th-graders reached their highest recorded levels, the California Department of Public Health reported, in another sign that a stricter vaccination law is having an effect in its first year.

Leap of faith: Will healthcare ministries cover your costs? |Aug 5, 2017

Martin Estacio was shelling out $800 per month for a health plan that didn’t fit his two-state lifestyle. The retired San Bernardino firefighter lives between Oklahoma and California. But his health insurance policy, purchased in Oklahoma, didn’t cover non-emergency care outside the state.

San Bernardino Mountains camp offers hands-on experience for disabled |Aug 4, 2017

Nearly 5,000 feet up in the San Bernardino Mountains — just up the road from the Crestline Soaring Society Glider Launch — is another treasure of San Bernardino County. AbilityFirst Camp Paivika, a summer camp program for children and adults with special needs, including autism, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome — from mild to severe.

Here’s what you need to know as Covered California rates go up in 2018 |Aug 1, 2017

Covered California on Tuesday said insurance rates will jump an average of 12.5 percent for next year, driven in part by uncertainty about the future of Obamacare. Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, described 3 percent of premium increases as an “uncertainty surcharge,” fueled by the unclear future of the Affordable Care Act.

Paid parental leave may be the idea that transcends politics |Jul 30, 2017

Tameka Henry takes care of her disabled husband, her 87-year-old grandfather and her four children, ages 10 to 16. Two of her kids have asthma. Her husband has a chronic intestinal condition, diabetes and congestive heart failure.

Chicago giving departing inmates overdose-reversing drug |Jul 29, 2017

CHICAGO >> Chicago now gives at-risk inmates the overdose-reversing drug naloxone upon their release from jail and Los Angeles is poised to follow suit, putting the antidote in as many hands as possible as part of a multifaceted approach to combatting the nation’s opioid epidemic.

Drugmakers pay for influence as anger rises |Jul 29, 2017

Two federal investigations — one examining opioid sales, another about a multiple sclerosis drug whose price had soared to $34,000 a vial — were only part of the troubles Mallinckrodt faced as the year began.

Home nursing visits provide wide-ranging benefits for mothers, young children |Jul 29, 2017

Children born to low-income, first-time mothers who received home nursing visits showed increased mental health, stronger social and emotional development and academic gains, according to researchers who analyzed the impact of the Nurse-Family Partnership program, one of the largest home visiting programs in the country.

How bedbugs are making an unwelcome comeback in Southern California |Jul 29, 2017

Gary Shelton tossed clothes, a wooden bed frame, a director’s chair and cardboard boxes stuffed with papers from his community-activist campaigns. Other clothes the 68-year-old Long Beach man washed, dried and bagged.

Possibility of tainted water sparks warning for Joshua Tree residents: Boil your water |Jul 28, 2017

Officials with the Joshua Basin Water District issued an emergency directive Friday morning advising its customers to boil tap water before cooking or drinking. “Due to ... a mainline water break off Center and Dixie Roads, the State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water, in conjunction with the San Bernardino County Health Department and Joshua Basin Water District, are advising residents of Joshua Tree to use boiled tap water or bottled water for drinking and cooking purposes as a safety precaution,” the statement reads.

GOP dealt stiff blow in Senate’s bid to repeal ‘Obamacare’ |Jul 27, 2017

WASHINGTON >> Dealing a serious blow to President Donald Trump’s agenda, the Senate early Friday rejected a measure to repeal parts of former President Barack Obama’s health care law after a night of high suspense in the U.

Long Beach Marine, other vets trace illnesses to open-air burn pits in Iraq, Afghanistan |Jul 26, 2017

The last casualties of war die at home, yet that is when we look away. No more; and certainly not when we’re talking about war deaths connected to the burn pits of Iraq and Afghanistan. A decade ago, Marine Sgt.

Study: Brain disease seen in most of 202 football players at brain bank |Jul 25, 2017

CHICAGO >> Research on 202 former football players found evidence of brain disease in nearly all of them, from athletes in the NFL, college and even high school. It’s the largest update on chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a brain disease linked with repeated head blows.

Norovirus likely caused Chipotle’s latest illnesses, sickening more than 135 |Jul 24, 2017

NEW YORK (AP) — Health officials said that norovirus is believed to be what caused dozens of people to report becoming ill after eating at a Chipotle in suburban Washington, D.C., earlier this month.

Successful Aging: The ins and outs of quickly finding agency caregivers |Jul 24, 2017

Q My father recently was released from the hospital. At a moment’s notice we were told he was coming home and would need care. The immediacy was created because a family member insisted my father be released quickly.

Nutrition: A smooth way to make sure smoothies are healthful |Jul 24, 2017

If you’re trying to beat the heat, a smoothie or juice might quench your thirst, but are these fruit-laden concoctions really good for you, and what are the best ingredients to use? Whether made at home or store-bought, you can certainly opt for a refreshing beverage that helps you get the important nutrients you need without overdoing the calories.

Burn pits are the new ‘Agent Orange’ for cancer-stricken veterans |Jul 23, 2017

The last casualties of war die at home, yet that is when we look away. No more; and certainly not when we’re talking about war deaths connected to the burn pits of Iraq and Afghanistan. A decade ago, Marine Sgt.

Latinos left out of clinical trials — and possible cures |Jul 23, 2017

Two decades ago, Luis Antonio Cabrera received devastating news: He likely had only three months to live. The Puerto Rican truck driver, then 50, had attributed his growing leg pain to spending so many hours on the road.

California singles out cardiac surgeons with higher patient death rates |Jul 23, 2017

Michael Koumjian, a heart surgeon for nearly three decades, said he considered treating the sickest patients a badge of honor. The San Diego doctor was frequently called upon to operate on those who had multiple illnesses or who’d undergone CPR before arriving at the hospital.

California’s Obamacare exchanges in limbo |Jul 22, 2017

California’s Obamacare exchange scrubbed its annual rate announcement this week, the latest sign of how the ongoing political drama over the Affordable Care Act is roiling insurance markets nationwide.

Why California’s most polluting vehicles aren’t required to get smog checks |Jul 22, 2017

It’s California’s dirty little emissions secret. As Gov. Jerry Brown and the mayors of Los Angeles and Long Beach promise an emissions-free future, some diesel fumes aren’t going anywhere.

Kaiser, California reach settlement on lapses in mental-health access |Jul 21, 2017

California insurance regulators have reached a settlement with Kaiser Permanente to address its repeated failures to provide patients with timely access to mental-health services. Under the agreement — the result of two years of negotiations between the state Department of Managed Health Care and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan — Kaiser has agreed to hire an outside consultant for three years to help it address the access problems and improve oversight of its behavioral health program.

‘Urgent…alarming’ – but rehab investigator won’t be in thick of SoCal action any time soon |Jul 21, 2017

The idea seemed simple, elegant and eminently logical — but in Sacramento, there may be no such thing as a simple idea. Assembly Bill 572 would move one of the state-paid inspectors of addiction treatment centers from Sacramento to the epicenter of the drug rehab industry, Southern California.

Redlands horse therapy group building corral shelter for veterans, Dec. 2 survivors, first responders |Jul 20, 2017

A Redlands nonprofit group that offers horse therapy is building a $2,500 tack room with a sheltering porch to be used by military veterans, Dec. 2 survivors, first responders and others with post-traumatic stress injuries, thanks to a mother’s loving donation and a Vietnam vet ranch owner’s building skills.

Boy, 10, among youngest victims of opioid crisis |Jul 18, 2017

MIAMI (AP) — Prosecutors in Florida believe a 10-year-old boy who died with the painkiller fentanyl in his system is among the state’s youngest victims of the opioid crisis. Preliminary toxicology tests show Alton Banks had fentanyl in his system when he collapsed and died at his home on June 23, the Miami Herald reported .

Southern California patients uneasy about future of health care after Senate bill fails |Jul 18, 2017

Obamacare prognosis: Uncertain. Across Southern California on Tuesday, patients, doctors and insurance experts reacted to the collapse of a Senate bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with a mixture of relief, worry and calls for a bipartisan solution.

‘It’s raining needles’: Drug crisis creates pollution threat |Jul 17, 2017

LOWELL, Mass. — They hide in weeds along hiking trails and in playground grass. They wash into rivers and float downstream to land on beaches. They pepper baseball dugouts, sidewalks and streets.