June 19th, 2013
02:53 PM ET
Cases of human papillomavirus (HPV) have significantly decreased since the advent of the HPV vaccine in 2006, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and numbers have outpaced even their greatest predictions.
"The prevalence of the types of HPV that commonly cause cervical cancer in women has dropped by about half in girls ages 14 to 19," said Dr. Thomas Frieden, CDC director. "That decline is even better than we had hoped for." FULL POST
June 18th, 2013
01:41 PM ET
It seems we often hear of another patient who has been desperately waiting for a transplant that could save his or her life.
Earlier this month it was a 10-year-old girl in Pennsylvania hoping for a new set of lungs. Before that it was Molly Pearce, who needs four organ transplants to survive. In September a man walked the streets of his South Carolina town asking strangers for a kidney for his wife.
More than 118,000 people in the United States are currently awaiting organ donations, according to OrganDonor.gov; 18 of them die each day without a donation.
Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg is hoping to change that with the power of the world’s largest social networking site. On May 1, 2012, Facebook launched an initiative aimed at encouraging more people to register as organ donors.
June 18th, 2013
12:36 PM ET
Don't drink while you're pregnant, not even in moderation. It's wisdom that major medical groups such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have repeatedly emphasized. But researchers are still looking into the specific effects of different quantities of maternal drinking on children.
A new study in BMJ is the latest to look at whether moderate drinking during pregnancy is associated with adverse effects on children. The researcher's measure for detrimental fetal neurodevelopment - children's ability to do various balance tasks at age 10.
Researchers found that mothers who drank between three and seven glasses of alcohol a week during pregnancy did not, on average, have children who had balance problems at age 10, and there were even some observed benefits. However, these are associations, not a proof that alcohol causes any outcomes.
June 18th, 2013
08:36 AM ET
Scientists may be able to predict throat cancers caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) more than 10 years before patients get diagnosed, according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Using a blood test that is still in the research stage, experts were able to detect blood markers indicating early signs of the disease.
Actor Michael Douglas recently made headlines when The Guardian reported he said his throat cancer may have been caused in part by HPV transmitted through oral sex. Douglas later said he simply was stating that oral sex can lead to cancer.
HPV: What you need to know
HPV is the most common type of sexually transmitted virus in the United States and is passed on through sexual contact – genital or oral. There are more than 40 types of HPV, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and nearly all sexually active men and women will get at least one type of HPV during their lifetime. FULL POST
June 17th, 2013
06:23 PM ET
Cities including New York, Toronto, and San Francisco have launched public awareness campaigns to promote vaccination, but the authors also call on physicians to assess the risk to their patients and discuss the strain.
Since August 2010, 22 cases have been reported in New York City among men who have sex with men. More than half of those were already HIV positive. Seven men died. In fact, in New York City last year, men who have sex with men were 50 times more likely than the general population to be infected with the virus, according to city health officials.
June 17th, 2013
09:13 AM ET
Editor's Note: Dr. Arshya Vahabzadeh is a resident psychiatrist at Emory University's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health.
African-American and Hispanic children are far less likely to be seen by specialists - for autism, but also other medical conditions - and also less likely to receive specialized medical tests than their white peers, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
Dr. Sarahbeth Broder-Fingert and colleagues studied the records of 3,615 children with autism at the Massachusetts General Hospital, specifically looking at the rates of both referral to specialists and medical tests undertaken. They discovered that children from African-American and Hispanic families were far less likely to receive specialized care or specific medical tests such as a sleep study, colonoscopy, or endoscopy.
When compared to their white peers, African-American children were three times less likely to see a gastroenterologist or nutritionist, and half as likely to see a neurologist or mental health specialist, according to the study. The story is similar among children from Hispanic families.
June 12th, 2013
06:01 PM ET
Treating intravenous drug users with antiviral drugs may reduce their chances of HIV infection, according to a new study published Wednesday in the British medical journal The Lancet.
The Bangkok Tenofovir Study was done in Bangkok, Thailand, from 2005-2013. It was run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in collaboration with the Thailand Ministry of Public Health.
Researchers recruited more than 24,000 people at 17 sites. Half took the pill tenofovir - an antiretroviral drug – daily, while the other half got a placebo. Participants were followed for about four years. Researchers found those taking the drug cut their chances of infection by 49% almost in half - approximately 49%.
June 12th, 2013
05:05 PM ET
Poor diet and lack of exercise might not be the only factors contributing to the obesity epidemic. A new study suggests the environment may also play a role.
“Eating too much and exercising too little are important factors,” said Dr. De-Kun Li, a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California. “But they cannot explain the steep increase in the obesity rate the last three decades. We haven’t really changed our eating habits and exercise that much.”
The environmental culprit, according to the study published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE, may be bisphenol-a, a chemical commonly found in plastic and cans.
Li and colleagues studied 1,326 school-age children in Shanghai, China, and measured BPA levels in their urine. In girls ages 9 to 12, higher BPA urine levels were associated with a doubled risk of obesity. And as BPA urine levels increased, so did the girls’ obesity risk - measured using their weight in reference to weight distribution in the population. FULL POST
June 11th, 2013
10:53 AM ET
When compared to the bone-jarring crash between two football helmets, heading a soccer ball might seem almost innocuous. But those seemingly mild hits to a soccer player's head may damage the brain at a deep, molecular level, according to a new study.
"It's entirely possible that the innumerable subconcussive hits that those players have may really be a culprit (for brain injury) as well," said Dr. Michael Lipton, associate director of the Gruss Magnetic Resonance Research Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and the study's lead author.
The theory gaining ground among many concussion experts is that the unfortunately-named 'subconcussive' hits - less-forceful hits that don't cause an overt concussion - when they accumulate over time, may prove to be more damaging than their more flamboyant cousins. FULL POST
June 10th, 2013
05:21 PM ET
Chalk it up to a win for ingenuity: Doctors are crediting surgical superglue for saving the life of a 20-day-old girl in Kansas.
Ashlyn Julian was born healthy and happy on May 16. Shortly after returning home from the hospital, however, her parents noticed something was wrong with their newest addition.
“She was probably around 10 days old, and she was sleeping a lot, and I understand that babies sleep a lot, but to the point that you couldn't wake her up to feed her,” said Ashlyn’s mother, Gina Julian.
Then abruptly, her behavior changed. “We (went) from a baby that was very quiet to a baby that was screaming all the time and throwing up, and at that point we knew something was very wrong," Julian said.
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.