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Personal Health

To Your Good Health: Heart Benefits of Niacin Not What Once Thought

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Dear Dr. Roach: I have been taking niacin for many years. What side effects should I be looking for? My cardiologist recently added Lipitor to my medications, which tells me that the niacin was not doing the best job. — A.H. Answer: Niacin has been used for decades as a treatment for high cholesterol levels when a good trial of diet and exercise has been ineffective. However, despite the fact …

Supporting A Vision: A New Space for Special Needs Adults

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Enfield — Homemade salsa, enchiladas, salad and sweet corn were what’s for dinner on a recent Tuesday evening in the farmhouse at Visions for Creative Housing Solutions. As usual, residents had pitched in with the preparations, cutting tomatoes, husking corn. After dinner, Kim Wolk, who lives at Visions, started loading the dishwasher in …

To Your Good Health: Confusing Pneumonia Vaccine Guidelines Clarified

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Dear Dr. Roach: I have a question regarding the new pneumonia vaccine Prevnar for my grandmother. She had the Pneumovax 23 in 2012 (she is in her 80s). Should she get Prevnar 13? She is relatively healthy, except for very mild asthma and seasonal allergies. I’m totally confused! — A.P. Answer: The two pneumonia vaccines are a little bit confusing, even for us …

Medicaid Costs Strain Vermont Budget

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Montpelier — Vermont is tied with Massachusetts for having the lowest rate of uninsured residents in the country, but that success might be coming at a high price. An unexpected spike in Medicaid costs has put the program and its thousands of new enrollees under heightened scrutiny. It’s …

To Your Good Health: Does Hole in Heart Increase Stroke Risk?

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Dear Dr. Roach: Articles on strokes or TIAs rarely mention that they can be caused by a congenital heart defect. I had a family member with a patent foramen ovale, found at age 54, after he’d had several strokes. He had surgery to repair it and has been …

CDC Reveals Just How Much Fast Food American Kids Eat Daily

Thursday, September 17, 2015

More than one in three American kids will eat fast food today, a new government report says. The same will be true tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that. On any given day, 34.3 percent of U.S. children and teens between the ages of 2 …

Vermont Requests Proposals for Psychiatric Facility

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Montpelier — Lawmakers and administration officials have begun contemplating the next major addition to Vermont’s mental health infrastructure. But they have some big questions to answer before they construct it, and the size of the facility, as well as its location, will be part of a legislative debate …

To Your Good Health: Was Case of ‘Bird Lung’ an Allergy or Infection?

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Dear Dr. Roach: I was a very active, healthy, young 68-year-old until March, when I was hospitalized for two weeks for bilateral pneumonia. I was told by the doctors at the hospital that it would take four to six weeks to get my health back. However, I experienced …

Grantham Principal Joins Second Growth Board

Sunday, September 13, 2015

White River Junction — Heather Cantagallo, the principal of Grantham Village School, has joined the board of Second Growth. The White River Junction-based nonprofit provides treatment and support services for adolescents and young adults with substance abuse issues, …

Vt. Officials Analyze Health Reform Pilot

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Montpelier — State officials and medical providers say a pilot program meant to reduce Medicaid spending, while improving beneficiaries’ health, is showing early signs of success, but officials said long-term benefits will be realized over time. Vermont’s Medicaid shared-savings program is a three-year pilot that started in 2014. …

To Your Good Health: The Risk and Reward of Blood Sugar Control Goals

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Dear Dr. Roach: I read about a follow-up study on the ACCORD population that showed that after a few years of follow-up, people in the tight blood-sugar-control arm had fewer heart attacks and need for stents. Can you comment on this? I want to know if I should …

To Your Good Health: Tips for Reducing Eye Strain

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Dear Dr. Roach: Would you mind providing some guidelines for preventing eye strain? I’m a graduate student, so I spend a lot of time reading, both from computer screens and from books. I will always need to read to get things done, but I’d also like my eyes …

To Your Good Health: Early Satiety Often Due to IBS

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Dear Dr. Roach: I was successfully treated for H. pylori five years ago. I continue to have stomach pain, which has been diagnosed as gastritis. For the past three weeks, when I eat even a small amount of food, I feel extremely full and bloated for hours. I …