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Picture of Tom Wilemon

Tom Wilemon avoided jargon like "social determinants," instead revealing the tragedy behind diabetes, a disease he describes as "so pervasive, so obvious, so accepted here in the South that people do not see it for the public health threat that it is."

Picture of Kate Long

Kate Long looks at the laundry list of problems that extra body fat can cause, including Alzheimer's Disease, sleep apnea and incontinence. This story is part of a Charleston Gazette series called "The Shape We're In."

Picture of Kate Long

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.

Picture of Kate Long

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

Picture of Kate Long

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.

Picture of Kate Long

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 Kate Long

Until the 1980s, few West Virginians are overweight in archival photos. In the 1960s and 1970s, during the poverty war, Americans got used to seeing pictures of bone-thin West Virginians on the evening news. Only 13.4 percent of Americans were obese then.

Picture of Erin Marcus

Sometimes, the simplest tools in medicine are the ones that give us the most useful information. Take the humble blood pressure machine, for example. It's been around for years, and it's cheap, compared with a lot of other medical devices. It's simple to use, and it doesn't require a medical or a nursing degree to operate. But the numbers it reports are valuable in helping predict a person's risk of a host of medical problems, including heart failure, stroke and kidney failure, and can help doctors determine whether a person really needs to take medicine to control his or her high blood pressure.

Picture of Lisa Jones

Journalist Lisa Jones muses on covering Native American health issues and remembers her friend Stanford Addison.

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

Some good news (finally!) about whooping cough, and a hospital mystery: why was a California hospital named as one of the nation's best when it's being investigated for patient safety problems? 

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