U.S. doctors urge wider use of cholesterol drugs

Guidelines issued Tuesday by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology use a new formula for estimating someone's risk that includes many factors other than cholesterol, which is currently the main focus.

FROM READERS: My confession: I'm a 'trichster'

Melissa Gephardt, an MU student, recounts her struggle with trichotillomania — a disorder characterized by the compulsive urge to pull out one’s hair in response to stress, anxiety or depression — and how she eventually learned to accept herself.

Strep scorecard might help tell if you need a doctor

Smartphone apps for step throats test could be in the works. In the meantime, a quick rundown of symptoms could help in deciding if a doctor's visit is needed.


Board of Health recommends city water stay at current fluoride level

The board's report on water fluoridation concludes there are no negative health effects, but Fifth Ward Councilwoman Laura Nauser said she wants more information.

Alternative PTSD therapies finding a home in Columbia

In Columbia, people living with post-traumatic stress disorder have more choices of alternative therapies than ever. The service dog training program is one way veterans and domestic violence survivors learn to cope.

Accessibility issues mean Columbia's playgrounds not fun and games for all

Although the city's playgrounds comply with the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act, children with disabilities still struggle to find a place where they can play.

Some Boone Hospital Center part-timers to lose benefits; smokers won't be hired

Parent company BJC's changes to health benefits include eliminating coverage for part-timers who work fewer than 24 hours a week and charging smokers a fee. BJC also will stop hiring tobacco users.

CrossFit controversy reveals complexity of overexercise

The fitness program has gotten a bad name as a major cause of a severe muscle disorder called rhabdomyolysis. But the problem of overexercise is not unique to CrossFit, nor does it start and end in the gym.

Federal government shutdown not affecting local flu shots

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a flu vaccine supplier, closed when the federal government shut down on Oct. 1.

Missouri sees sharp rise in certain tick-borne illnesses

Doctors do not always order laboratory tests to diagnose patients with tick-borne illnesses, such as Lyme disease, before treating them with antibiotics. So there's no way to determine how many cases there actually are. One thing is certain: Some tick-borne illnesses increased this year in Missouri.

Ethical issues arise as scientists peek into baby genes

This is the newest frontier in the genetic revolution: how early to peek into someone's DNA and how to make use of this health forecast without causing needless worry.

Free flu shots available soon for MU students

The MU Student Health Center is still waiting for its flu shots to be delivered, but when they come in, there will be stations set up on campus to provide them to students.

Pills made from poop cure serious gut infections

For the half a million Americans who contract Clostridium difficile each year, a pill made from the healthy bacteria of donor feces could cure what pricey antibiotics might not.

Jefferson County resident tests positive for West Nile

There have been no reported fatalities from West Nile in Missouri this year.

MU Law School to help veterans claim disability benefits

Through the new program, six students supervised by an attorney from the law school will give legal counsel to veterans appealing decisions made on their original disability benefit claims.

Key dates in Obama health care overhaul law

Online insurance markets are scheduled to open Tuesday in every state. Here's a breakdown of how the Affordable Care Act came to be.



What it means: A glossary for health care reform

The new health care law has come with a lot of jargon. Here are some of those terms and what they mean.

Health insurance markets see surge of new customers, technical glitches on first day

The online insurance marketplaces that are at the heart of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul struggled to handle the wave of eager new consumers Tuesday.

FDA approves first pre-surgical breast cancer drug

The drug could help women with a form of early-stage breast cancer with a high risk of having the cancer spread to other parts of their body.


Free flu vaccines for children begin Monday

The Health Department will begin administering free flu vaccines to children on Monday. The vaccines are available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.