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Folic Acid For Pregnant Mothers Cuts Kids' Autism Risk

A study of more than 85,000 women in Norway found that those who started taking a folic acid supplement four weeks before getting pregnant were about 40 percent less likely to have a child who developed the disorder. Mothers had to continue taking the supplement during the first eight weeks of pregnancy to get the full benefit.
WAMU 88.5

Smoking Ban Passes In Montgomery County

An expansion of the smoking ban to all Montgomery County-owned properties passed without much fanfare.


Hospital Observation Units Fill Gaps, But Patients May Foot The Bill

In some cases, "observation" may be no more than a billing designation that allows hospitals to move patients out of crowded emergency departments. Hospitals also may use them to avoid potential insurance reimbursement problems.

Attacks On Health Workers Put Fight To End Polio Under Fire

The world is close to wiping out polio, as the number of new cases is at an all-time low. But recent violence against polio vaccinators threatens to reverse this progress. Recently, gunmen killed nine polio vaccinators in Nigeria, mirroring attacks in Pakistan in December.
WAMU 88.5

New Questions About The Safety Of Hip Replacements

The Food and Drug Administration recently issued new warnings on the safety of some hip replacements. As part of our occasional series, "Mind and Body," Diane and her guests discuss what patients need to know about safety and cost of hip replacements.


Need A Price For A Hip Operation? Good Luck With That

When researchers asked hospitals how much a total hip replacement would cost a 62-year-old woman paying cash, a surprising number couldn't or wouldn't say. Health care could learn something from the car industry about working with consumers, critics say.
WAMU 88.5

Dot Com v. MD: Health Advice & Resources Online

We look at how Americans are using online health resources and how they're changing the doctor-patient relationship.