A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Promoting a healthy heart and the right amount of exercise during Heart Month this February

By Dr. Marc Paranzino University of Kentucky February is Heart Month, a time to focus on our cardiovascular well-being and creating a healthy lifestyle. It’s also important to recognize the warning signs of heart disease and understand the exercise paradox. Regular exercise has many benefits for your body but doing too much can sometimes lead to negative health outcomes. The American Heart Association...

Boost your ‘happy hormones — nine simple ways to boost your mental health

By Amy McKeever National Geographic There’s no shortage of hacks for boosting your mental health. Some are tried and true: Exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep. Other approaches are not yet well understood, like taking magnesium supplements or plunging your body into frigid water. And then there are the methods that aren’t entirely legal (for now), like microdosing psychedelics. But over...

Instances of child abuse have declined in Kentucky, but rate remains 60% higher than national average

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service Kentucky saw a 48% reduction in child victims of maltreatment from 2018 to 2022, according to the latest federal data. However, child abuse and neglect in the Commonwealth remains around 60% higher than the national rate. Shannon Moody, chief policy and strategy officer with Kentucky Youth Advocates, said identifying risk factors around substance abuse, untreated...

U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns — don’t overuse medications containing acetaminophen

In the heart of cold and flu season, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to overuse medications containing acetaminophen, commonly found in over-the- counter medications. If you have flu symptoms and have been getting some relief by taking a cough and flu medicine every few hours or have a headache and grab a couple of acetaminophen tablets (Tylenol, paracetamol and panadol)...

KY Health Department offers ways to protect your heart during American Heart Month

It’s tough being a teenager. The drama. Trying to find a place to fit in. Hormonal changes. For Tonya, the toughest part was the peer pressure. She was barely a teenager when her friends pressured her into smoking her first cigarette. By the time she was 16, she was already up to one pack a day. Over time, that took its toll. At age 38, she was diagnosed with heart failure as a result of smoking,...

Navigating Aging: Preparing to hang up the car keys as we age

By Judith Graham KFF Health News Lewis Morgenstern has made up his mind. When he turns 65 in four years, he’s going to sign an advance directive for driving. The directive will say that when his children want him to stop getting behind the wheel, Morgenstern will follow their advice. “I recognize that I might not be able to make the best decision about driving at a certain point, and I want to...

Early detection may help Kentucky doctors in effort to tamp down on Commonwealth’s lung cancer crisis

By Charlotte Huff KFF Health News Anthony Stumbo’s heart sank after the doctor shared his mother’s chest X-ray. “I remember that drive home, bringing her back home, and we basically cried,” said the internal medicine physician, who had started practicing in eastern Kentucky near his childhood home shortly before his mother began feeling ill. “Nobody wants to get told they’ve got inoperable...

It’s important we all understand the facts about fentanyl and help combat spread of misinformation

University of Kentucky Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is about 50 times stronger than heroin, making it an incredibly powerful drug. It is often made illegally and added to other drugs like heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, ecstasy, and benzodiazepines (like Xanax). In Kentucky, illicit fentanyl has become a significant concern, and was detected in over 70% of overdose deaths in 2022. (NKyTribune...

Kenton, Campbell Counties among 69 in KY seeking volunteers for Citizens Foster Care Review Boards

Citizen Foster Care Review Boards in 69 counties – more than half of Kentucky’s 120 counties – including Campbell and Kenton, need volunteers to review the cases of local children in foster care and make recommendations. Volunteers have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of these children who are in care due to dependency, neglect or abuse. The counties in need are Anderson, Bath,...

New poll shows majority of Kentucky voters think DEI programs should be left up to organizations

Bills have been filed in the Kentucky legislature this year that, in their current form, would limit the control some state institutions have over their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) education and training policies. New poll results shed light on how Kentucky voters feel about the topic of decisions around DEI programs. The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky asked respondents in the statewide...

St. Elizabeth’s Dr. Flora discusses role of Artificial Intelligence in medicine, especially cancer treatment

By Patricia A. Scheyer NKyTribune reporter With Artificial Intelligence bursting onto the horizon, people are scrambling to see how it fits in various fields, especially the medical field. The subject came up at a recent informational sessions held by St. Elizabeth Healthcare in honor of World Cancer Day. AI based biomarkers for cancer screening and diagnosis and imaging that is AI assisted used for...

Respiratory illness in state keeps declining but it still elevated; more kids are in hospitals

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News While emergency-department visits and hospital admissions related to respiratory illness were again less numerous in the week ended Feb. 4, the state Department for Public Health still considers them elevated.  ED visits for respiratory-associated illness in Kentucky in the week saw a 6.7% drop, to 3,005 visits, according to the health department’s weekly...

Kentucky, Oklahoma lead nation in adult daily vaping; Forbes ranks KY as No. 2 vaping state

Kentucky Health News Kentucky adults use electronic cigarettes daily at the highest rate in the nation, equaled only by Oklahoma, according to an analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data by Forbes. The magazine says 6 percent of adults in Kentucky vape daily, and another 4.5% vape on “some days,” for a total of 10.5%. In Oklahoma, the rates are 6% and 5% for a total...

Highland Heights City Council honored for its smoke-free ordinance, commitment to healthy community

As one of the first Northern Kentucky communities to pass groundbreaking smoke-free ordinances, the Highland Heights City Council was honored at its February meeting by the Breathe Easy Coalition and the Northern Kentucky Agency on Substance Abuse Policy (NKY ASAP). Courtney New, NKY ASAP, Mayor Greg Meyers, and Stephanie Vogel, NKY Health Department (Photo provided) “Highland Heights’ mayor,...

KY seniors push for support for family caregiving, equitable housing and prescription drug costs

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service Kentuckians age 50 and older say increased support for family caregivers, affordable housing and lower prescription drug costs would help improve their lives. AARP Kentucky advocates will gather today at the Capitol in Frankfort to identify these and other issues for the state’s older residents. Older adults make up a growing share of Kentucky’s population,...