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

2:40am

Mon April 23, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Swaddling and Shushing Help Soothe Babies After Vaccinations

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 6:57 am

I could use some shushing and swaddling right about now.
iStockphoto.com

Imagine you're a happy baby, off with your folks to visit the doctor.

"They're probably thinking, 'Oh hi everybody, hi!' and suddenly — boom! A shot," says John Harrington, a pediatrician in Norfolk, Va.

Who wouldn't scream at that?

But Harrington says that the same techniques used to soothe a fussy baby can also help an infant overcome the pain of vaccinations.

Read more

2:17am

Mon April 16, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Why Women Suffer More Migraines Than Men

Originally published on Mon April 16, 2012 7:52 am

A vintage ad for a headache remedy plays to women.
The National Library of Medicine

One in four women has had a migraine. And, it turns out, the debilitating headaches affect three times more women than men.

But why?

Decades ago, these headaches were attributed to women's inability to cope with stress, a sort of hysteria. Now experts are starting to figure out the factors that really make a difference.

Today scientists know a migraine is all in your head — but not in that old-fashioned sense. Migraines are biologically based, and they play themselves out as a wave of electrical activity traveling across the brain.

Read more

11:01pm

Sun March 25, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Facebook May Not Be So Friendly For Those With Low Self-Esteem

Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 7:44 am

Low self-esteem and Facebook aren't the best mix.
iStockphoto.com

Posting on Facebook is an easy way to connect with people, but it also can be a means to alienate them. That can be particularly troublesome for those with low self-esteem.

People with poor self-image tend to view the glass as half empty. They complain a bit more than everyone else, and they often share their negative views and feelings when face to face with friends and acquaintances.

Read more

11:01pm

Sun March 11, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Gain Together, Lose Together: The Weight-Loss 'Halo' Effect

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 4:19 pm

Studies show that friends and family gain weight — and lose weight — together.
Sean Locke iStockphoto.com

Here's another good reason to lose weight: It might benefit your friends, family and co-workers. Such altruism might be just the final "nudge" some of us need.

Researchers are finding that the friends and family of obese and overweight individuals who lose weight lost weight themselves, and sometimes a lot of it. Dr. John Morton, who directs Bariatric Surgery at Stanford Hospital & Clinics, calls obesity a "family disease."

Read more

11:01pm

Sun February 19, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Does Tylenol Worsen Asthma For Kids?

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 4:50 pm

Dr. John McBride examines 9-month-old Martez after his mother, Ceasha Moorer, brought him in to check on his asthma.
Courtesy of Karen Schaefer

Parents and doctors around the world have been alarmed by the dramatic increase in childhood asthma.

One factor in the upswing is better detection by doctors, but at least one doctor thinks a common over-the-counter drug also has something to do with it.

Read more

11:01pm

Wed February 8, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Tai Chi May Help Parkinson's Patients Regain Balance

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 7:35 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

11:01pm

Sun February 5, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

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

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 10:52 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

4:35pm

Wed January 25, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Start Early To Curb Heart Risks For A Lifetime

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 6:03 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

3:48pm

Tue January 3, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Study: Weight-Loss Surgery Can Cut Deaths From Heart Attacks, Strokes

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 3:50 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

2:50pm

Tue January 3, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Why A Teen Who Talks Back May Have A Bright Future

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 8:19 pm

Good arguments can provide lessons that last a lifetime. But psychologist Joseph P. Allen's research shows that yelling isn't the answer. "The teens who learned to be calm and confident and persuasive with their parents acted the same way when they were with their peers," he says.
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

11:01pm

Sun December 11, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

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

Originally published on Mon December 12, 2011 4:20 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

10:09am

Fri December 2, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Among Working Parents, 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

3:00am

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

11:01pm

Sun November 27, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Got Arthritis? Exercise Can Help

Originally published on Tue November 29, 2011 10:16 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

2:26am

Mon November 14, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Why Doctors And Patients Talk Around Our Growing Waistlines

Originally published on Tue November 15, 2011 12:07 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

Pages