The Programs

Healthwise: The Series

As a part of the UNC-TV Health Initiative, this web site will provide advance notice of upcoming health related broadcast programs. Login weekly and get the latest broadcast schedule information.

HealthWise: Heart Disease
Heart disease kills more Americans than the next four leading causes of death combined. The death rate from heart disease is even higher in North Carolina than the rest of the nation—with one in every four North Carolinians having some form of cardiovascular disease. According to the North Carolina Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention Program (HDSP) approximately 40% of all deaths annually in the state are caused by cardiovascular disease (CVD), or one death every 20 minutes. These staggering statistics earned North Carolina the ranking of the 17th highest CVD rate in the country in 2001. CVD is the leading cause of death and long term disability in North Carolina. Heart disease causes twice as many deaths as all cancers combined. It is also the leading cause of hospitalization among North Carolina residents, responsible for more than $3.6 billion in medical care costs in 2003. According to Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey results in 2003, adults in North Carolina reported having the following risk factors for heart disease and stroke: 28.6% had high blood pressure, 33.8% reported having high blood cholesterol, 8.1% had diabetes, 24.8% were smokers, 61% were overweight or obese and 25% reported no exercise in the prior 30 days.

In 1998, North Carolina was one of two states awarded funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to implement a state based cardiovascular health program, now called the North Carolina Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention Program. In 2002, the CDC awarded continuation of funding through 2007. The NC HDSP program focuses on systems level change to create communities, work places, schools and health care systems that are supportive of cardiovascular health promotion and cardiovascular disease prevention. The programs address physical inactivity, unhealthy eating, tobacco use, hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes and overweight/obesity.

Be wise about your health and your heart—join host Christine Rogers for the UNC-TV special HealthWise: Heart Disease as a panel of experts from across North Carolina examine what the state is doing to address the many challenges of heart disease and how its citizens can improve their own cardiovascular health. 


HealthWise: The Environment & Health
While we know genetics plays a major role in understanding the cause of human disease, genes alone are not the whole story. Our genetic differences can influence our risk of developing various illnesses, but environmental factors can also play a large role. Many of us now wonder if there is something in the air, water or our diet that could me making us sick. Recently a major research study found that most types of cancer are not inherited genetic defects, but are explained mainly by environmental factors. These include, tobacco smoke, toxic chemicals and dietary habits. While overt poisoning from environmental toxins has long been recognized, scientists are still searching for answers about how our behavior, genes and environmental factors interact. According to a report sponsored by the Pew Environmental Health Commission, this gap in critical knowledge hinders national efforts to reduce or eliminate diseases that might be prevented by better managing environmental factors. This is especially true for chronic diseases and conditions such as birth defects, asthma and childhood cancers. The national cost of chronic disease is staggering: 4 of every 5 deaths annually, 100 million people suffering each year and $325 billion in annual healthcare and lost productivity.

As a nation, we have invested heavily in identifying and tracking pollutants in the environment, particularly for regulatory and ecological purposes, but only minimally in tracking exposures and the distribution of disease and its relationship to the environment.

Join host Christine Rogers for the UNC-TV special, HealthWise: The Environment & Health as a panel of experts from across North Carolina discuss the ways in which environment influences human biology and the risk of developing disease. This hour-long program also examines the many programs underway across the state to address the possible link between environmental factors and disease.


HealthWise: Complementary & Alternative Medicine
As defined by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), a component of the National Institutes of Health, complementary and alternative medicine is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices and products not presently considered part of conventional medicine. Some CAM therapies include acupuncture, chiropractic, naturopathic medicine, homeopathic medicine, massage and therapeutic touch.

While difficult to quantify how many North Carolinians use CAM, the state has seen a dramatic increase in the number of health care professionals offering
these alternatives.

Join host Christine Rogers for the UNC-TV special HealthWise: Complementary & Alternative Medicine. During this hour-long program, a panel of experts and practitioners from across North Carolina will examine the growing industry of alternative and complementary medicine in the state to expose why so many Tar Heels are now seeking therapies outside conventional medicine modalities.


Healthwise: Drug & Alcohol Addictions
It’s estimated that one out of every ten North Carolinians suffers from some form of addiction. People who abuse drugs cross all ethnic, societal and economic barriers. Addicts can be loving parents, lawyers, nurses, students or next door neighbors and the diseases of alcoholism and drug dependence can have a devastating impact on individuals, families, employees and communities.
According to the Alcohol Drug Council of North Carolina, the annual cost of alcohol and drug abuse to the citizens of North Carolina exceeds 12 billion dollars. Regardless of the substance involved, addiction is a mental illness just like depression or schizophrenia and alcoholism and drug dependence are considered diseases, not unlike cancer or diabetes.

What treatment options are available for North Carolina’s citizens? What is the state doing in the way of prevention efforts? How are employers addressing the problem of addictions?

Join host Christine Rogers for the UNC-TV special HealthWise: Alcohol and Drug Addictions. During this hour-long program, a panel of distinguished experts from across North Carolina will examine the challenges of drug and alcohol addictions and how North Carolina is meeting those challenges.


HealthWise: Vision Loss & Correction
Vision impairment remains one of the most feared disabilities. Although it is believed that half of all blindness can be prevented, according to the National Eye Institute, the number of people in America who suffer vision loss continues to increase. As people age their chance for developing eye diseases increases dramatically. These diseases include glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration. Few people are aware that macular degeneration (MD) is an incurable eye disease. It is the leading cause of blindness for those aged 55 and older in the United States, affecting more than 10 million Americans. Acording to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, the estimated prevalence rate of MD in North Carolina is 2.5%.  Glaucoma is another eye disease that gradually steals sight without warning. It’s estimated that over 3 million Americans have glaucoma, but only half of those know they have it. According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness among African Americans. It is six to eight times more common in African Americans than in Caucasians.

Refractive errors are the most frequent eye problems in the United States. These errors are optical effects that result in light not being properly focused on the eye’s retina. They include myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism (uneven focus). It is estimated that more than 150 million Americans use corrective eyewear, spending approximately 15 billion dollars a year on eyeglasses and contacts. Today, more and more people are turning to refractive or laser surgery to correct their vision problems.

Radial Keratomy (RK) is a surgical procedure used to decrease nearsightedness. LASIK is a shortened term standing for "LAser in SItu Keratomileusis". This particular correction procedure utilizes two devices to alter the degree of near-sightedness in an eye. Photorefrective Keratectomy (PRK) utilizes a type of laser called an excimer laser to decrease nearsightedness. 
Join host Christine Rogers for the UNC-TV special HealthWise: Vision Loss & Correction. During this hour-long program, a panel of distinguished experts from across North Carolina will examine the challenges of vision loss and the treatments and procedures available for vision correction throughout the states


Prevent Blindness North Carolina

UNC Chapel Hill Department of Ophthalmology

North Carolina Division of Services for the Blind, Department of Health and Human Services

Graystone Ophthalmology

Duke University Eye Center


HealthWise: Arthritis
Arthritis is one of the most common chronic diseases and is the leading cause of disability in the United States. Arthritis has a tremendous impact on the health and well-being of many North Carolinians. The term "arthritis" refers to more than 100 different conditions affecting the joints surrounding connective tissues. These include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, gout, lupus, bursitis, Lyme disease and many others. Most of these conditions are characterized by pain, stiffness and sometimes swelling around joints. According to the 2002 North Carolina Arthritis Report by the North Carolina Division of Health, State Center for Health Statistics, almost a quarter of North Carolinians (24.8%) surveyed reported physician-diagnosed arthritis. This represents more than 2 million adults. North Carolina's arthritis prevalence is one of the highest in the nation. This puts a tremendous burden on state resources, making arthritis prevention and control a priority. The 2002 DHHS report indicates that many people with arthritis know little about their disease making it difficult to manage the condition without further information. In addition, many of those with arthritis or chronic joint symptoms do not have adequate health insurance. Access to needed health care can also be limited by the lack of resources in a particular geographic area.

In addition to psychological and social costs, the financial burden of arthritis in the United States is enormous. According to the DHHS report, the total costs of arthritis have risen from $65 billion in 1992 to almost $83 billion in 1995.

Join host Christine Rogers for a UNC-TV HealthWise special on arthritis. A panel of experts from across the state will examine the problem of arthritis in North Carolina and how various state organizations and health professionals are trying to better meet the needs of the thousands of state residents who suffer from this disease.


Thurston Arthritis Research Center

Duke University School of Medicine

The Arthritis Foundation

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion


HealthWise: Pediatric Cancer
Cancer is a very rare childhood disease, yet despite its rarity, cancer is the chief cause of death by disease for children between ages one and 14. According the North Carolina State Center for Health Statistics, between 1973 and 1991, incidence rates for childhood cancers increased by 10%. The incidence rates are higher among Whites than African Americans, 14.4 and 11.8 respectively. About 16% of childhood cancers occur during the first two years of life. The most common cancers in children are leukemia, bone, lymph nodes, brain, kidney and soft tissues. UNC-TV presents an hour long live call in show about childhood cancers. Christine Rogers moderates a panel of experts from across the state to discuss risk factors, early detection and new treatment options on Healthwise: Pediatric Cancer. 

Also watch A Lion in the House, the national program about the cancer journeys of five young people, their families and caregivers, Wednesday and Thursday, June 21-22, at 10 PM.




HealthWise: Diabetes

second opinion
Sponsored by a grant for Second Opinion
In the last decade, diabetes has nearly doubled in the United States. It has become one of the most prevalent diseases in North Carolina and the nation. According to the NC Department of Health and Human Services, it is the fifth leading cause of death in the state. More than a half million people have diabetes in North Carolina. Though type 2 diabetes was at one time fairly rare among young adults and adolescents, it is now commonplace in pediatric populations and a major concern of public health agencies and child care physicians throughout our state. Diabetes is costly. Nationally, the estimated cost of direct medical care for each person with diabetes is twice that of a person without the disease. In North Carolina diabetes related costs exceed 1.5 billion dollars a year. On May 18 at 8 PM, host Christine Rogers leads a panel of experts in an hour long call-in program about diabetes prevention and control.

As in past Healthwise episodes, viewers can call in with questions. In addition to the panel in the program, an additional 10-20 medical experts will be available off camera to answer viewer questions as well.



Frequently Asked Questions

2005 Season