Flu cases in Boone County double; H1N1 prevalent

During the last week of December, the number of flu cases in Boone County nearly doubled over the previous week. H1N1 flu is partly responsible. Health officials are hoping more residents will get vaccinated before the season peaks this month and next.   

Health law to put calorie info on vending machines

The Food and Drug Administration estimates the cost to the vending machine industry at $25.8 million initially and $24 million per year after that, but says if just .02 percent of obese adults ate 100 fewer calories a week, the savings to the health care system would be at least that great.

Body clock might be to blame when tots fight sleep

Researchers know that about 25 percent of children have some type of sleep difficulty. A new study looks at how children's circadian rhythm develops and how to reset a delayed sleep clock.

Family battles autism as research continues to look for its cause — and a cure

Daniel Romero-Compain's family wants and hopes for the best for him, but they realize that with autism spectrum disorder, his opportunities aren't as wide ranging. They hope that scientists might be closing in on a cause and a cure.

Knee replacements double in 10 years

Almost 1.5 million Americans who have had total knee replacements are between 50 and 69 years old, which puts them at risk of long-term complications and costly revision surgery later in life, according to the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

As deadline nears, Boone County residents show interest in health exchange

Boone County clinics and social service agencies said that in the past three weeks, they have helped more people learn about and enroll in health insurance plans than in any period of time since the website's Oct. 1 launch.

Rural Missouri residents more likely to be uninsured

Missouri overall ranks right in the middle of the nation in the percentage of uninsured residents — tied with Washington state at 25th with 16 percent uninsured.

Wade Vlosich named Truman Veterans Hospital director

The associate director of the South Texas Veterans Health Care System and former interim medical director of the Truman Veterans Hospital will be the next director of the veterans hospital in Columbia.

FROM READERS: Tips for a happy, healthy holiday

Mica Newman, a doctor at Missouri Valley Physicians, advises that a flu shot, healthy snacks and smart alcohol consumption can help make your holiday season brighter.

'Hoosier Momma' app aims to reduce infant deaths

Mothers trying to reach a goal such as quitting smoking or lowering blood sugar levels can earn points such as those in online games. The application provides a social network where mothers can exchange insights and encourage one another.

MU receives $4.5 million grant for health care research

MU received $4.5 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that will go toward research on patient-centered care. 

Higher blood pressure threshold OK in older adults

Panel members stressed that they are not changing the definition of high blood pressure: 140 over 90. For adults aged 60 and older, they are recommending a higher treatment threshold, prescribing medicine only when blood pressure levels reach 150 over 90 or higher.

MU School of Medicine Receives National Award for innovation in medical education and research

The Medical School is one of five recipients of the Learning Health System Challenge Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges, according to a release from the MU School of Medicine.

Do vitamins block disease? Some disappointing news

Millions of Americans spend billions of dollars on vitamin combinations, presumably to boost their health and fill gaps in their diets. But while people who don't eat enough of certain nutrients may be urged to get them in pill form, the government doesn't recommend routine vitamin supplementation as a way to prevent chronic diseases.

FDA seeks tougher rules on antibacterial soaps

Regulators at the Food and Drug Administration said they are revisiting the safety of chemicals such as triclosan in light of recent studies suggesting the substances can interfere with hormone levels and spur the growth of drug-resistant bacteria.

Studies show some cancer treatments can be skipped

International studies presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium on Wednesday revealed that some groups of patients might be able to safely forgo certain treatments, such as radiation after surgery and surgery itself.

Female libido drug remains in limbo

Sprout Pharmaceuticals plans to appeal a letter from the FDA that denied approval for the production of its drug, flibanserin. The pill is designed to increase libido in women by acting on brain chemicals linked to mood and appetite. 

UPDATE: Gov. Nixon announces plan to build new state psychiatric facility

Gov. Jay Nixon announced Monday his proposal to fund a new psychiatric facility at Fulton State Hospital, estimated to cost $211 million. The current facilities are crumbling, he said. improving, but still not perfect relaunched Dec. 2 and navigators in Columbia say the website has improved. Since its Oct. 1 launch, the website has had several registration and login issues.

Hospital program helps staff deal with patient deaths

A team established in 2009 at University Hospital helps staff members cope. The program has expanded rapidly and is now being piloted at other hospitals in the country.