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Suffering a Stroke at 22; Cost of Obamacare; "The 30-Day Love Detox"

Aired June 2, 2013 - 07:30   ET


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, HOST: Hi there, and thanks for joining us.

The full weight of Obamacare is just around the corner, including the requirement that everyone have insurance. Now, millions are going to get help that couldn't get it before, but one study says some insurance costs could also go up by as much as a third.

We're also going to talk about the mind/body connection. Relationships are crucial, but if yours is toxic? How do you fix that?

But, first, stroke and young people. Since 1995, strokes in people under the age of 44, they're up by more than a third, in women and in men. But there are specific risk factors and specific signs to let you know you might be in trouble.


GUPTA (voice-over): Annie Cosgrove was leaving a job interview when she realized something was wrong.

ANNIE COSGROVE, RECENT COLLEGE GRADUATE: I get out of the building and noticing that I am kind of starting to kind to drift to the right, and now, my vision has gotten like instantly really blurry in my right eye and it's like the world is stacked on top of each other, one and two.

GUPTA: Soon, she couldn't even walk down the street.

COSGROVE: So, I'm picking my head up and going, just walk straight. It's not that big of a deal. And I can't.

Right outside, there is a bunch of trees. It's a tree lined avenue. And I walked into every single one.

GUPTA: Scared and confused, Annie called her mother who works as a nurse in Philadelphia.

KATHY COSGROVE-MCNALLY, REGISTERED NURSE & ANNIE'S MOTHER: She was talking to me and she wasn't making a lot of sense and then she said to me, mommy, my third leg won't go where it's supposed to.

COSGROVE: I think within two minutes I'm saying to her, I don't know what's going on and then, all of a sudden, I started crying. COSGROVE-MCNALLY: When she started to cry, as a nurse, too, if you worked in any kind of neurological stuff, there's a certain tone to that cry and the minute she did it, it didn't sound like a regular cry.

COSGROVE: I must have been terrified on the other side of that because she immediately goes, Annie, you're having a stroke.

COSGROVE-MCNALLY: I am yelling into the phone that she needs to get help, she needs to go to the hospital.

GUPTA (on camera): So, what happened to you next? You got to the hospital, my understanding, what happened?

COSGROVE: For a long time. I was having a stroke for quite a few hours.

GUPTA: Do you know how many hours?

COSGROVE: I think it was like, maybe four? I don't know what to say.

GUPTA: I'm going to pick up there, but why is that number of hours --

DR. CAROLYN BROCKINGTON, NEUROLOGIST: Very important because, you know, in stroke we say time is brain. And the reason why is you're not getting enough blood flow to the brain. Part of the brain is being injured, irreversibly so. I mean, the one problem with the brain is, you know, is it doesn't grow back. You cut your skin, your skin grows back, you injure the brain, it does not.

GUPTA: So, in the end, you look great now. Are you totally fine?

COSGROVE: Totally fine.

GUPTA: Nothing leftover?

COSGROVE: No, I think for three months, I was having some stuttering issues and some word finding, but I really rebounded quite wonderfully.

GUPTA: So, what in the end, I'm sure you had a lot of conversations about this. But what caused this? What happened?

COSGROVE: Do you know what is it?

BROCKINGTON: Well, you know, we looked at all the things we talked about in terms of stroke risk for her. And two of the risk factors came back, she had been on oral contraceptives recently, that can produce a relative, what we call hyper elevate, coagulate to clot.

GUPTA: Too many blood clots.

BROCKINGTON: Right, exactly. GUPTA: So, what does this mean for Annie and other women who may be on these types of medications, the contraceptives?

BROCKINGTON: You know, it's interesting, because the fact that she had a stroke on this medicine would mean that she would not be able to take hormonal supplementation because her risk of having another event, maybe even cardiovascular event, heart event, would be higher.

COSGROVE: Yes, I was going to say that I think that is what I wish I had been told because I think birth control has a place and I just wish I had been more, you have a risk of stroke. But it's -- you know, it didn't seem like an issue.

GUPTA: Are some contraceptives going to be more implicated here or put more people at risk?

BROCKINGTON: I think it has to do with the person themselves, in addition to the oral contraceptives. Meaning that someone particularly has some underlying, maybe subclinical, hematological or blood clotting abnormality. But then you put oral contraceptives on top of it, so the perfect storm coming together.

GUPTA: Should people be screened then in some way before they take these meds?

BROCKINGTON: What's interesting is that probably, everybody doesn't need to be screened. But family -- you know how important history is in terms of medicine and family history is really key in this type of issue because if people have a family history of blood clotting abnormalities and many times people have a history of spontaneous miscarriage in their family, again, that could also suggest that there is an underlying hyper coagulable state because we know that during pregnancy, there is relative change in the blood clotting capabilities of some people.

GUPTA: So, you are doing fine now. Do you have to take medications, blood thinners, anything like that now?

COSGROVE: The only thing I take now is a baby aspirin.

GUPTA: A baby aspirin. Are any medications you can't take going forward?

COSGROVE: I think that's it. I got pretty lucky as far --


GUPTA: I'm glad you're doing well.

COSGROVE: Thank you.

GUPTA: You look fantastic.

Doc, thanks for joining us.


GUPTA: I appreciate it. Thank you.


GUPTA: You know, it was 30 years ago this month that French neurologist Francoise Barre-Sinoussi and her team identified the human immunodeficiency virus or HIV. It's a virus that causes AIDS. It was two years after people had started to die. And for this breakthrough she won the Nobel Prize. But to this day, her life's work is to fight to find a cure for the disease.


FRANCOISE BARRE-SINOUSSI, FRENCH NEUROLOGIST: I am Francoise Barre-Sinoussi in France. I'm professor of History Institute in Paris. I was part of the team that discovered HIV in 1983.

On the first page we can (INAUDIBLE) of the virus, other side is an electron microscopy of the virus particles.

The day the Nobel Prize was announced, I was in Cambodia. When I came back from Cambodia, they did not tell me in advance but they were at the airport.

So when the door opened, I saw all the team then singing with my picture. And I started to cry. I still sometimes wonder if I had really been there or if it was a dream. Working as a teacher, it's something special, the Pasteur spirit.

Pasteur was a visional. He was saying that science has no borders. Science is the light of humanity. And we found out that for HIV, we had to apply really the pastor spirit.


GUPTA: And next up Obamacare under the microscope. We know it's going to cover millions of new people, but could it also push insurance premiums through the roof?

Stay with us.


GUPTA: The biggest part of Obamacare, the massive health care law is now just months away from taking effect. I can tell you, it shouldn't be dramatic for most people if you have insurance from a job or if you're on Medicare or Medicaid. But what it's going to cost for everyone else, that's a matter of fierce debate.

In fact, one recent study said some insurance costs will go up by more than a third. To try to explain how this all works, we're going to start in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) GUPTA (voice-over): Dan Olkives runs Tease Hair Studio. It's in the trendy bay view neighborhood in Milwaukee. He estimates it takes about six of these hair cuts to pay his monthly medical insurance bill.

DAN OLKIVES, TEASE HAIR SALON: How long do you think you want to go in the long run?

GUPTA: Three hundred bucks is a big expense for Dan and he's relatively healthy, but he's self-employed and doesn't want to tempt faith.

OLKIVES: You know, growing up with a father who was a cancer patient, I definitely learned you have to have insurance. You know, whether you like or not, you do have to have it.

AMY GROSS-BRAUN, STAY AT HOME MOM: Are you all done with your banana? Are you ready to go work?

GUPTA: Amy Braun Gross (ph) is a stay at home mom in suburban Milwaukee. Her son, Spencer, has severe autism.

GROSS-BRAUN: Are you ready? It's time to work.

GUPTA: He's covered through a government program.


GUPTA: But no health insurer will cover Amy and her husband, Chris. They do have a steady income. They pay their bills, but they were rejected because of past health issues, depression and being overweight.

GROSS-BRAUN: It's very hard to get approved due to pre-existing conditions.

GUPTA: As things stand now, Amy worries if she gets hurt, it could bankrupt her family.

GROSS-BRAUN: Something as simple as spraining my ankle. None of it is covered right now, none of it. So, we would be billed. And, you know, that's just going to add to the debt that we already have. So, that's what scares me.

GUPTA: Amy and Dan share a lot in common. They live five minutes down the road from each other and they both need to buy their own health insurance.

But when it comes to Obamacare, the similarities end. Starting next year, everyone will legally be required to have health insurance. So, thanks to Obamacare, companies will have to sell her a policy and the rules say it has to be affordable.

GROSS-BRAUN: Obama care! Exactly.

GUPTA: Now, Dan on the other hand -- OLKIVES: You're fine.

GUPTA: He's young and fit. And those things keep his payments low. He's an inexpensive risk, but that's about to change. With Obamacare, insurance companies will have to raise rates on the young and healthy. That's to balance the expense of covering new and sicker customers like Amy.

Sara Teppema is with the Society of Actuaries. They've been running the numbers.

SARA TEPPEMA, ACTUARY: Those costs varied a lot depending on the state that the person lives in.

GUPTA: Nationally, her association estimates that cost for insurers will go up more than 30 percent.

TEPPEMA: Wisconsin was one of the higher ones.

GUPTA: In Wisconsin, she says, the cost of covering an individual will go up by some 80 percent.

OLKIVES: So, now, all of a sudden, this continues to escalate with the insurance and be like, where are we going to get this money from to cover that?

GUPTA: Now, this doesn't mean Dan will have to pay 80 percent more or that nationwide rates will go up 30 percent, but some costs will be passed on to the consumer. We just don't know how much. And even if rates rise, the federal government is giving subsidies. Family as earning up to $94,000 will get help.

JONATHAN GRUBER, PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS, MIT: I think the key point is that victories in health care is not health care prices going down. It's going up more slowly.

GUPTA: MIT economist Jonathan Gruber is one of the primary architects of the federal health plan. Ultimately he says, the legislation makes health insurance more fair, even if the younger, healthier people do have to pay more.

GRUBER: Generally, we end discrimination in the insurance markets. Sick and healthy pay the same price and young and old pay somewhat different prices but within a limited range. And basically what we're ending is the fundamental failure of our social safety net that you can be bankrupted by high medical expenses.


GUPTA: The changes, they take full effect on January first. But to sign up for the new options, along with any sticker shock, that's going to come this fall.

And speaking of sticker shock, a requirement in the Affordable Care Act calls for any restaurant to have more than 20 locations to put calorie counts on their menus, although the FDA is still working out the details. I find this really fascinating and I wonder if you think it helps to actually see these numbers. One study in New York City that found that actually didn't make any difference at all in people's behavior.

Look, I'm on the road all the time, so I want to give you some simple tips that you can incorporate now. I know that eating healthy in restaurants can pose a real challenge, but a few simple things. One thing I do, for example, is I avoid items that say crispy, creamy, breaded or smothered. Instead, look for items that are grilled, boiled or steamed.

Another thing, my wife and I were going to split an on a tray because restaurant portions I find can easily feed two. If you're by yourself --


MARISA MOORE, ACADEMY OF NUTRITION & DIETETICS: As soon as you order your meal, also ask the server to bring a to-go box. So, when your meal arrives, you put half of it away and take it home with you.


GUPTA: Stick to these tips and maybe you won't kick yourself the next day.

Well, up next, love is really a in the air with one of our favorite guests, Wendy Walsh. She's here to talk about "The 30-Day Love Detox".


GUPTA: Having a secure relationship is one of the best things you can do for your health. We often don't do a great job at either. Could an increasing reliance on technology be making it hard to keep quality communications? You know, texting instead of calling.

Our good friend Wendy Walsh, she's the author of "The 30-Day Love Detox."


GUPTA: "The 30-Day Love Detox." It's a great title, I love it. It captures your imagination. What does it mean?

WENDY WALSH, PSYCHOLOGIST: It's based around one study I found that shows if you have sex within 30 days of meeting someone, you have almost a 90 percent chance of being broken up within one year. Not good odds, right?

If you wait only 31 to 90 days, you have a one in four chance you'll be together a year later. Of course, we know the skills it takes to have a long-term relationship to be fit and flexible are very different than the skills you need to build a long-term relationship.

GUPTA: Now, what about living together? You get into that as well, living together before you get married.

WALSH: So, sadly, we think that cohabitating is a great way, an insurance policy, let's test drive the relationship. Unfortunately, what co-habitation does is it really attracts people who are less commitment oriented. They just put one toe in.

So, if you cohabitate, you actually have less chance of marrying that person. And if you do marry that person, you do have a much higher divorce rate, because what happens is when the sexual energy goes down and the passion starts to go down, then the cohabitating couple says, let's get married to recharge this relationship. But the day after the wedding, it's the same relationship.

GUPTA: Is that for men and women both?

WALSH: Yes. Men and women tend to enter cohabitation for two different reasons. Women, because they think it's a steppingstone to marriage. Men, because they want to share expenses, save money and have some regular sex.

GUPTA: You talk about the fact that when you do have long-term committed relationships, that can be quite good obviously for both but maybe better for the man.

WALSH: Yes. Long-term monogamy is good for both genders but a little better for men.

GUPTA: Why is that?

WALSH: They tend to have better health, they live longer and they accumulate more wealth. Here's why, because there's a woman caring for him.

What is a relationship? A relationship is an exchange of care. So, of course, women end up doing a little more work in marriages than men because they're giving a little more care. It's just how we are.

GUPTA: So, I have three young girls. I think you and I have talked about this. What am I to tell them? They're still young, but what am I to be teaching them especially as a father.

WALSH: I wrote this book as my almost 15-year-old daughter and I'm begging her to read it. She's like all right, mom, I'll get there.

But I think if you don't have an emotional bond, if you don't have the glue, you'll never be able to sustain yourself in the valleys of a relationship. You've been in a long-term relationship. You know it's not all excitement and passion. There are moments when you look at this person and say, why am I here?

But you've made an intellectual commitment. And research shows people who stay together the longest are people who can easily go from sexual attraction to romantic love to intellectual commitment love that eventually morphs into mature companion love.

GUPTA: And technology. I'm on the road a lot. You probably are as well. I communicate with my family a lot through technology.


GUPTA: My wife and I will exchange text messages a lot throughout the day. I got a little concerned. I was reading the book that -- I know I should pick upped phone, even better should be in person, but what about technology, that's here to stay?

WALSH: Well, the way you're using technology with an established relationship is much different than people meeting by text and meeting just for sex, believe me, that is happening. That's going to effect the ability to have emotional intimacy, because any text is devoid of body language, vocal tone, eye contact and even pheromones. We're smelling each other right now.

So, that doesn't happen in a text. So, it's very important. I mean, I'm beginning here a slow love movement. It's just like the slow food movement, a reaction to high-tech mass produced food, well, now we're going to get rid of junk food relationships that are not good nutrition for our soul.

GUPTA: Honey, I still love you even if I texted you today.

Look, I always learn something from you. It's great to see you in person.

WALSH: Good to see you in person.

GUPTA: Good luck with the book. Have fun touring around the country talking about this.

WALSH: Thank you.

GUPTA: Wendy Walsh, thank you.


GUPTA: And coming up, the 60s rock star whose career was derailed by mental illness. Well, he's finally back on stage. We've got him, next.


GUPTA: He may not be a household name, but Rocky Ericson is a legend in his world of rock music. REM, ZZ Top, T-Bone Burnett, just a few musicians who played his songs.

Roky's own career was derailed by mental illness however. But after a long climb back, he's on tour for the first time in more than two decades.



GUPTA (voice-over): Roky Erickson is a legend for fans of early psychedelic music. In fact, he's been making music since he was a child.

ROKY ERICKSON, MUSICIAN: It was something I could always look forward to, you know, if I would get out of school early, then I could go home and play guitar.

GUPTA: "The 13th Floor Elevators," "You're Going to Miss Me." It hit the charts in the 1960s.

JEGAR ERICKSON, ROKY'S SON: We have Roky, 17, you know, making music. Going to "American Bandstand."

GUPTA: His son, Jegar, recalls the day his dad's world changed.

JEGAR ERICKSON: The cops focus on him. He got arrested for picking up a person. There was a joint found on him and --

GUPTA: So to avoid prison, Roky pleaded insanity and he was committed to a psychiatric hospital. He was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and treated with Thorazine, electroshock therapy and experimental medications.

JEGAR ERICKSON: He described it a little bit to me. And I didn't expect it. He said, sometimes I hear something and it's running, running, running, and I tell it to shut up.

GUPTA: What's kept him alive, he says, is music.

ROKY ERICKSON: Find the things that you have that you love and are important and make sure that you know you have them with you.

GUPTA: Forty years later, every day is still a battle. But Roky says his mental health is improving. And today, he's back touring, performing with his son's band, the Hounds of Baskerville.


GUPTA: Roky just finished a trip to Europe as well. He goes back on the road in August.

Chasing life today, you know, it's not just Roky Erickson benefiting from a little music therapy. There's a recent study that found listening to music could help patients in the ICU suffer less anxiety when they're in the hospital. Another study found that music can help premature babies develop better heart and lung function.

Just a few weeks ago, a teacher in Moore, Oklahoma, played music to help calm her students down during that frightening. So, whether it's Beethoven, or you like, or one of my favorites, Rolling Stones, I love the Stones in the operating room, music can help.

That's going to wrap things up for SGMD today. But stay with me at Let's keep the conversation going on Twitter as well @DrSanjayGupta.

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