Try Premium for 30 days

Live games for all NFL, MLB, NBA, & NHL teams
Commercial-Free Music
No Display Ads
Health Check-logo

Health Check


Health Check grapples with health issues on a global scale, investigates discoveries and solutions in healthcare, and looks at how to deliver a healthier world.

Health Check grapples with health issues on a global scale, investigates discoveries and solutions in healthcare, and looks at how to deliver a healthier world.
More Information


London, United Kingdom




Health Check grapples with health issues on a global scale, investigates discoveries and solutions in healthcare, and looks at how to deliver a healthier world.




Kids’ Screen Time: What Are The Risks?

Many parents know it’s hard to separate children from technology – whether they’re watching box sets on tablets, playing video games or messaging friends on smartphones. Scary headlines warn parents of the risks – but how much evidence is there that new technology causes harm? Surprisingly little – according to researchers who’ve been meeting in London this week. So what should parents do? Do you have a bucket list of things you want to do before you die – like seeing the Pyramids or the...

Duration: 00:26:27

New Year, New You?

A New Year can herald ambitious goals for self-improvement – including physical fitness and even happiness. The self-help sections in bookshops are well-stocked – but does reading them do any good? We hear from a Danish philosopher and an American psychologist about the role of both positive and negative emotions in our lives. When a woman is given a prison sentence should her child be locked up with her? In some countries babies born in prison can stay for a few months. But in the women’s...

Duration: 00:26:40

Patients More Likely to Die After Surgery in Africa

Twice as many people die during or after surgery in Africa than on average around the world, according to a new study. The patients – from 250 hospitals in 25 countries - fared worse even though they were young and fit and the operations were often minor. Professor Bruce Biccard says that many of the deaths could be prevented – if patients were monitored properly after their operations. Despite nursing being a noble profession it is not a well-paid job and in countries like Jordan it has...

Duration: 00:26:42

The Brain Prize: How “Reward” Works

This week’s Health Check comes from the Royal Institution in London – where the winners of the world’s biggest prize for brain research explain how the brain reacts to rewards. Vital for our survival, it ensures we enjoy the things that we need - like food. But if it goes into overdrive it can lead to obesity, gambling problems and addiction. Claudia Hammond meets the three recipients of the million Euro Lundbeck Foundation Brain Prize for their research on reward. Wolfram Schultz from the...

Duration: 00:26:32

50 Years Since First Heart Transplant

The first ever heart transplant took place in Cape Town in South Africa fifty years ago this week. That patient died after just 18 days – but today around five thousand people have heart transplants every year. A shortage of donor hearts means there is often a wait – and an artificial pump called an L-VAD can buy time. We hear from doctors and a patient about the advances in technology which have made the pumps easier to live with. The World Health Organization says that more than 200...

Duration: 00:26:30

Every Step You Take Counts

Millions of people wear electronic step-counting bracelets or use apps on their phones – aiming for ten thousand steps a day. Claudia Hammond asks whether this routine motivates her – or if it’s actually setting her up for failure. Some experts applaud the bar charts and graphs which track progress as proof of healthy activity. But can the constant checking take away the pleasure of exercise? American scientists found that after the novelty wore off people did less because the competitive...

Duration: 00:26:36

Could Cholesterol-lowering Drugs Fight Pneumonia?

Thousands of people around the world take a statin pill every day – to lower their cholesterol levels and help reduce their risk of stroke and heart attacks. In some people they cause side-effects – but they might also have a hidden benefit - helping older people fight the serious respiratory infection pneumonia. A British researcher describes her delight when she saw that statins boosted the immune systems of older people – which could help them fight deadly pneumonia. Following the...

Duration: 00:26:29

When The Brain Wakes Up – But The Body Doesn’t

“When your brain wakes up but your body doesn’t” is how a sleep expert describes the phenomenon of sleep paralysis. Around 1 in 20 people will experience vivid hallucinations while falling asleep or waking up whilst being completely unable to move. Sleeping on your back can help to reduce the risk of an attack. Even less well understood is 'Exploding Head Syndrome' where people experience abrupt and very loud noises when going to sleep or waking up. To mark the 150th anniversary of Marie...

Duration: 00:26:31

The “Hidden” Virus That Attacks The Liver

Four out five patients with hepatitis C don't know they're infected – and the virus can cause cancer or cirrhosis of the liver, leading to 1.3 million deaths every year. The World Health Organisation wants to eliminate hepatitis by 2030 – but only a handful of countries like Egypt and Australia are on track. The World Hepatitis Summit has been taking place in Sao Paulo in Brazil this week – to explore the best ways to detect and treat those infected. Could boxing training help people with...

Duration: 00:28:12

Eye Diseases in Ebola Survivors

Around a quarter of survivors of the Ebola outbreak that started back in 2014 in West Africa have developed eye problems, including uveitis and cataracts. Dr Jessica Shantha and Dr Steven Yeh, both assistant professors of ophthalmology at Emory University in Atlanta US talked to Claudia Hammond about how they’ve been studying and treating the conditions. Loneliness is a huge problem amongst carers. Connecting via social media is a solution for some, but not everyone is comfortable with the...

Duration: 00:27:23