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chronic diseases

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When is a doctor too old to practice safely? That depends, says Dr. William Norcross, who founded a national doctors' remedial education center and now advocates for regular testing of aging doctors for cognitive problems like dementia.

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West Virginia is among the top five on just about every national chronic disease list. The state leads the nation in diabetes and obesity, according to the Gallup Healthways poll.

Surveys show that many West Virginians do not realize obesity is a leading cause of many chronic diseases. Many also feel those diseases are hereditary, and there is nothing a person can do to prevent them.

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One in six of Logan County's 36,700 residents is a diabetic, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and there are many more who don't know they have it.

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Fifty-four-year-old Everette Ray Roberts was one of an estimated 69,000 West Virginians who have diabetes, but don't know it.

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For four hours, Bill Hall used to lie on a padded vinyl recliner, one arm stretched out, two thick needles sticking out of it. One needle drained the blood from his body. The other put it back.

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Glenda has no insurance. She makes $350 every two weeks. If she were diabetic, she could get insulin free through the clinic if she needed it, but not the diabetic finger sticks and testing strips, which cost about $45. "I can't afford to get diabetes," she said.

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Think about this: More than 200,000 West Virginians have contracted a disease that kills people. About 69,000 of them don't know they have it.

Picture of Elizabeth Baier

Latinos are the fastest-growing minority group in Minnesota. Tens of thousands of mostly-Mexican immigrants have settled in the state in the last decade, and much of that growth has happened outside of the Twin Cities in smaller communities like Rochester, Worthington and Faribault.

Picture of Bernice Yeung

Nearly every day, Arleen Hernandez battles an aging septic tank that backs up into her toilet and shower. Upon moving to Parklawn in 1986, she didn’t realize her new neighborhood lacks basic public services.

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West Virginia has the nation's worst statistics in 10 of 12 categories in the new 2011 Gallup Healthways ranking. More than one in three West Virginians -- 35.3 percent -- are now obese.

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“Racism in medicine is a national emergency.” That’s how journalist Nicholas St. Fleur characterized the crisis facing American health care this spring, as his team at STAT embarked on “Color Code,” an eight-episode series exploring medical mistrust in communities of color across the country. In this webinar, we’ll take inspiration from their work to discuss strategies and examples for telling stories about inequities, disparities and racism in health care systems. Sign-up here!

The USC Center for Health Journalism at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is seeking two Engagement Editors to serve as thought leaders in one of the most innovative and rewarding arenas in journalism today – “engaged reporting” that puts the community at the center of the reporting process. Learn more about the positions and apply to join our team. 

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