Patti Neighmond

Award-winning journalist Patti Neighmond is NPR's health policy correspondent. Her reports air regularly on NPR newsmagazines All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Weekend Edition.

Based in Los Angeles, Neighmond has covered health care policy since April 1987. She joined NPR's staff in 1981, covering local New York City news as well as the United Nations. In 1984, she became a producer for NPR's science unit and specialized in science and environmental issues.

Neighmond has earned a broad array of awards for her reporting. In 1993, she received the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award for coverage of health reform. That same year she received the Robert F. Kennedy Award for a story on a young quadriplegic who convinced Georgia officials that she could live at home less expensively and more happily than in a nursing home. In 1990 she won the World Hunger Award for a story about healthcare and low-income children. Neighmond received two awards in 1989: a George Polk Award for her powerful ten-part series on AIDS patient Archie Harrison, who was taking the anti-viral drug AZT; and a Major Armstrong Award for her series on the Canadian health care system. The Population Institute, based in Washington, DC, has presented its radio documentary award to Neighmond twice: in 1988 for "Family Planning in India" and in 1984 for her coverage of overpopulation in Mexico. Her 1987 report "AIDS and Doctors" won the National Press Club Award for Consumer Journalism, and her two-part series on the aquaculture industry earned the 1986 American Association for the Advancement of Science Award.

Neighmond began her career in journalism in 1978, at the Pacifica Foundation's Washington D.C. bureau, where she covered Capitol Hill and the White House. She began freelance reporting for NPR from New York City in 1980. Neighmond earned her bachelor's degree in English and drama from the University of Maryland, and now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.

Pages

12:01am

Thu February 9, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Tai Chi May Help Parkinson's Patients Regain Balance

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 8:35 pm

In a study, patients with Parkinson's disease, a progressive nervous-system disorder, had fewer falls after taking up Tai Chi.
iStockphoto

Tai chi, the Chinese martial art involving slow and rhythmic movement, has been shown to benefit older people by maintaining balance and strength. Now, researchers have found that tai chi also helps patients who suffer from Parkinson's disease.

Leona Maricle was diagnosed with Parkinson's two years ago. At the time, she was teaching math, and she says she had experienced the telltale tremors of Parkinson's for a number of years. She learned how to cope.

Read more

12:01am

Mon February 6, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

The 'Morning After' Pill: How It Works And Who Uses It

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 11:52 am

Plan B is available over the counter for people 17 and older.
AP

Access to emergency contraception has swirled at the center of a recent flurry of debate over insurance coverage. It's a pill women can take if their birth control fails or they forget to use it.

The most popular brand of emergency contraception is called "Plan B One-Step." You might better know it as the morning-after pill. Today, about 10 percent of sexually active women say they've used it.

Read more

5:35pm

Wed January 25, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Start Early To Curb Heart Risks For A Lifetime

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 7:03 pm

Yvan Dub iStockphoto.com

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the U.S. But who's at the most risk?

A study in the lastest New England Journal of Medicine offers a simple way to predict the risk of a fatal or debilitating heart attack or stroke for a middle-aged person over the rest of his or her life.

Read more

4:48pm

Tue January 3, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Study: Weight-Loss Surgery Can Reduce Deaths From Heart Disease, Strokes

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 4:50 pm

iStockphoto.com

Most patients who undergo bariatric surgery lose weight and experience other health benefits. They have less heart disease, diabetes and cancer than their obese counterparts who don't have the surgery.

Now, researchers from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden find bariatric surgery also reduces deaths from cardiovascular causes, such as heart attacks and strokes.

Read more

3:50pm

Tue January 3, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Why A Teen Who Talks Back May Have A Bright Future

Good arguments can provide lessons that last a lifetime.
iStockphoto.com

If you're the parent of a teenager, you likely find yourself routinely embroiled in disputes with your child. Those disputes are the symbol of teen developmental separation from parents.

It's a vital part of growing up, but it can be extraordinarily wearing on parents. Now researchers suggest that those spats can be tamed and, in the process, provide a lifelong benefit to children.

Read more

12:01am

Mon December 12, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Road Rage: A Symptom Of Much More Than Bad Traffic?

Originally published on Mon December 12, 2011 5:20 pm

Los Angeles is no stranger to traffic jams and road rage.
iStockphoto.com

It's not unusual for awful traffic conditions or incompetent driving to make some people really angry behind the wheel. But when enraged drivers actually lash out at others on the road, that's road rage — and experts say it can be a sign of deeper emotional problems.

The term road rage was coined in Los Angeles – a city long known for its epic freeway jams. Mike Shen got a taste of how bad it can get shortly after moving to L,A., when a woman viciously tailgated him on the freeway.

Read more

11:09am

Fri December 2, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Working Moms Multitask, And Stress, More Than Dads

A Kansas City family prepares a meal together. A new study finds that working mothers log more hours — and get more stressed — than working fathers while multitasking at home. (This family wasn't part of the research.)
Allison Long MCT /Landov

A new study in the December issue of the American Sociological Review comes up with some findings that lots of women may feel they already know too much about: Working mothers spend significantly more time multitasking at home than working dads. And those mothers aren't happy about it.

Read more

4:00am

Fri December 2, 2011
Research News

Research: Multitasking Is Multi-Stressful For Women

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Working mothers spend significantly more time multitasking when they are at home than their counterparts, working dads. That's according to a new study published in this month's journal The American Sociological Review. The findings are something that many women are surely saying, even as I speak, that they already knew. NPR's Patti Neighmond has this report.

Read more

4:00am

Thu December 1, 2011
Health

Medicare To Cover Weight Loss Counseling

Medicare has announced that it will pay for primary care providers to counsel obese patients on losing weight and maintaining the weight loss. Medicare will pay doctors, nurses and physicians' assistants to help plan weight loss programs.

12:01am

Mon November 28, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Got Arthritis? Exercise Can Help

Originally published on Tue November 29, 2011 11:16 am

Swimming is one form of exercise that can help prevent arthritis from getting worse, doctors say.
iStockphoto.com

If you suffer the pain and stiffness of arthritis, you may not be enthusiastic about exercising. But arthritis specialists say that's exactly what you need to do.

It's advice that 65-year-old Sibyl Zaden has taken to heart. A former marathon runner and triathlete, Zaden now suffers from osteoarthritis in her shoulders and knees. "My problem is lifting my arm," she says. "It's very painful. I can lift it halfway and that's it."

Read more

3:26am

Mon November 14, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Why Doctors And Patients Talk Around Our Growing Waistlines

Originally published on Tue November 15, 2011 1:07 pm

Many doctors and patients aren't discussing the health consequences of weight.
iStockphoto

Part of an ongoing series on obesity in America

OK, so you're overweight. So are two-thirds of all Americans. Maybe you need a nudge to get going on a diet and exercise plan. Maybe you've thought about talking with your doctor about weight-loss strategies. Well, a number of studies suggest you're probably not getting the advice you need.

Read more

4:52am

Mon October 31, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Losing Weight: A Battle Against Fat And Biology

One recent study found that people were able to burn up an extra 450 calories a day with one hour of moderate exercise. That can include walking briskly, biking or swimming.

iStockphoto.com

Part of an ongoing series on obesity in America

If you're among the two-thirds of Americans who are overweight, chances are you've had people tell you to just ease up on the eating and use a little self-control. It does, of course, boil down to "calories in, calories out."

Read more

4:35pm

Tue October 18, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

When It Comes To Baby's Crib, Experts Say Go Bare Bones

A pediatrician says parents often mistakenly believe all baby accessories are safe.

iStockphoto.com

No more blankets in the baby's bed. Not even when it's cold outside. No bumpers, pillows, or toys. All these accoutrements are hazards for newborns and infants, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, which has released new expanded guidelines for reducing deaths from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, and other causes including suffocation, entrapment and asphyxia.

Read more

10:09am

Tue September 27, 2011
The Salt

Caffeinated Women May Be Fighting Depression With Every Cup

See that sparkle? It could be the caffeine
iStockphoto.com

For many of us, coffee is the first thought of the day. Just thinking about it gives us the buzz, the energy and the power to ask ourselves the next question, do I make it at home or shell out another $4 at the local Starbucks as I race to work?

Read more

4:30am

Mon September 26, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

When It Comes To Pain Relief, One Size Doesn't Fit All

iStockphoto.com

When you get a headache or suffer joint pain, perhaps ibuprofen works to relieve your pain. Or maybe you take acetaminophen. Or aspirin. Researchers now confirm what many pain specialists and patients already knew: Pain relief differs from person to person.

Dr. Perry Fine is president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine. He also sees patients and conducts research at the University of Utah Pain Management Center.

Read more

6:00am

Mon September 5, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Cracking The Conundrum Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Some patients describe chronic fatigue syndrome as feeling like an "unrelenting flu."
iStockphoto.com

Nearly three decades have passed since the debate began about a series of symptoms that have come to be known as chronic fatigue syndrome. It's cause is still unknown, but over the years, researchers have identified various brain, immune system and energy metabolism irregularities involved. Some patients describe the syndrome as feeling like an "unrelenting, unremitting flu."

Read more

12:01am

Mon August 29, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Think You're An Auditory Or Visual Learner? Scientists Say It's Unlikely

iStockphoto.com

We've all heard the theory that some students are visual learners, while others are auditory learners. And still other kids learn best when lessons involve movement.

But should teachers target instruction based on perceptions of students' strengths? Several psychologists say education could use some "evidence-based" teaching techniques, not unlike the way doctors try to use "evidence-based medicine."

Read more

12:01am

Mon August 22, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

How Music May Help Ward Off Hearing Loss

Older people often have difficulty understanding conversation in a crowd. Like everything else, our hearing deteriorates as we age.

There are physiological reasons for this decline: We lose tiny hair cells that pave the way for sound to reach our brains. We lose needed neurons and chemicals in the inner ear, reducing our capacity to hear.

So how can you help stave off that age-related hearing loss? Try embracing music early in life, research suggests.

Read more

5:07pm

Mon August 15, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Sleep Apnea Makes Quick Comeback If Breathing Treatment Stops

A man with sleep apnea wears a CPAP machine mask in bed.
Amy Walters iStockphoto.com

If you use a breathing machine to treat your sleep apnea, it's probably a bit clunky. But it's also probably doing you a lot of good.

In a small study, researchers at the University Hospital in Zurich, Switzerland report that when patients stopped using the continuous positive airway pressure machines (C-PAP), even for one night, not only were they really sleepy the next day, but a flood of related health problems returned.

Read more

Pages