Shahla Farzan

Shahla Farzan is a general assignment reporter and weekend newscaster at St. Louis Public Radio. She comes most recently from KBBI Public Radio in Homer, Alaska, where she covered issues ranging from permafrost thaw to disputes over prayer in public meetings. A science nerd to the core, Shahla spent six years studying native bees, eventually earning her PhD in ecology from the University of California-Davis. She has also worked as an intern at Capital Public Radio in Sacramento and a podcaster for BirdNote. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, combing flea markets for tchotchkes, and curling up with a good book. 

Pregnancy triggers a cascade of changes in a woman’s body, including, in some cases, a special form of diabetes.

Gestational diabetes — which causes high blood sugar during pregnancy — can lead to health problems for mom and baby.

But even after giving birth, the risk persists.

More than half of women with gestational diabetes develop Type 2 diabetes, usually within 10 years of giving birth. But a new study from Washington University reports only a fraction of low-income women in Missouri who develop diabetes during pregnancy are retested after having a baby.

Missouri has one of the highest rates of gun-related deaths in the nation.

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rank Missouri sixth in U.S. for gun death rate, including intentional and accidental shootings. The CDC reports 1,307 Missourians died from gunshot wounds in 2017, an increase over the previous year.

When it comes to vaccinating adolescents, Missouri ranks among the worst in the nation.

The report from the nonprofit United Health Foundation ranks Missouri 48th in the U.S. for overall adolescent vaccinations. Doctors say the pattern may be linked to a more widespread trend of “vaccine hesitancy” among parents in the U.S.

Missouri voters approved a sweeping overhaul of state legislative redistricting, raising the minimum wage and legalizing medical marijuana, but rejected a gas tax increase.

Of all of the initiative petitions on Tuesday’s ballot, the most contentious was Clean Missouri — on the ballot as Amendment 1. Voters approved it by a wide margin — 59-40, with close to 60 percent of the votes reported — a result propelled by a well-organized and well-funded campaign. Passage is a huge victory for Democratic activists seeking to advance their party’s state House and Senate prospects after the next census.

Decriminalizing marijuana doesn’t necessarily lead to an increase in adolescent use, according to research from Washington University.

Marijuana possession is still illegal under decriminalization, but it is treated as a civil offense.

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