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Aspirin reduces cancer risk, study says
December 7th, 2010
05:31 PM ET

Aspirin reduces cancer risk, study says

If all you had to do to prevent cancer was take an aspirin every day, that would be amazing.

Of course, it's not quite that simple. But new research supports the idea that an aspirin does more than relieve pain and prevent cardiovascular events in some people: It also may guard against certain kinds of cancers.

A study in the Lancet looked at data from more than 25,000 patients, following up on previous trials. Researchers found that a daily aspirin reduced cancer risk by at least 20 percent during the 20-year period. Most study participants were from the United Kingdom.

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Consumers Union raises concerns about mercury in tuna
December 7th, 2010
02:20 PM ET

Consumers Union raises concerns about mercury in tuna

Younger women and children should limit the amount of tuna they eat and pregnant women should not eat tuna at all, because of mercury levels found in the canned and packaged fish, says  new report in the January 2011 issue of Consumer Reports.

Albacore or white tuna usually contains far more mercury than light tuna, according to Consumer Reports , and canned tuna is the most common source of mercury in our diet.

In order to test current levels, investigators for the periodical tested 42 samples from cans and pouches of tuna bought mostly in the New York City area. They found all the samples contained measurable levels of mercury, ranging from 0.018 to 0.774 parts per million. Samples of white tuna had 0.217 to 0.774 ppm of mercury and averaged 0.427 ppm. According to Consumer Reports, if a woman of childbearing age ate about half a can of any of the tested samples, she would exceed the daily mercury intake the Environmental Protection Agency considers safe.

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Get Some Sleep: Jet lag? Reset your inner clock
December 7th, 2010
10:25 AM ET

Get Some Sleep: Jet lag? Reset your inner clock

About a year ago, news reports noted that President Obama's medical records said he used medication to help him deal with jet lag, but not which ones he used. I was asked by The Daily Beast to speculate on what drug or drugs he might be taking. “Well,” I said, “obviously he might be using a sleeping pill to help him get to sleep, but also he could be taking a wake-promoting agent such as modafinil (Provigil) or armodafinil (Nuvigil) in order to function better.

“Does it concern you that the leader of the free world could be using medications such as these?” the reporter asked. I was stunned for a moment. Her tone gave the whole topic such gravity. But then I answered: “No."

I would answer the same today, but most sleep doctors do think that there are better ways than drugs to deal with jet lag symptoms. It's important, because anyone who travels extensively can suffer sleep disruption and the resulting affected judgment - whether it's a businessperson, a member of the military or even the president of the United. States.

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Filed under: Sleep

December 7th, 2010
09:12 AM ET

Are mood swings, extreme sleeping signs of depression?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Tuesdays, it's Dr. Charles Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, and an expert in the mind-body connection for health.

Question asked by Jeffery T. Johnson , San Diego, California

I would like to know what you recommend for a person that believes he or she is suffering from depression. There are mood swings, and extreme sleeping, and just thoughts of being lonely, and that no one cares. Is this depression?

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December 7th, 2010
08:14 AM ET

Confessions of a claustrophobic fighter pilot

In the Human Factor, Dr. Sanjay Gupta introduces you to survivors who have overcome tremendous odds. Confronting a life obstacle – injury, illness or other hardship – they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn’t know they possessed. Be inspired by their successes, as we have been.

Three years into my eleven-year Air Force flying career, my life changed when I almost died during a scuba diving trip in the Caribbean. Thirty feet under the water and already exhausted, I inhaled a lungful of water and had the most intense panic attack of my life. I literally thought I was going to die.

I immediately got out of the water, brushed it off as a very bad experience and put it behind me. A week later at my flying squadron in Oklahoma, I found myself back in the cockpit on a training mission in bad weather. Unable to see the ground or the sky, I felt closed in. My mask tightened around my face, my pulse quickened, and I suddenly had difficulty breathing. I became lightheaded and the panicky feeling I had a week before came back. “Get me out of this plane!” FULL POST


Why religion breeds happiness: Friends
December 7th, 2010
12:01 AM ET

Why religion breeds happiness: Friends

As important as your religious beliefs may be to you, they don't necessarily make you happier, a new study in the American Sociological Review finds. What does make you more satisfied with your life, the study finds, is having friends at your congregation and a strong religious identity.

"Those are the people who give you the sense of belonging," said lead study author Chaeyoon Lim, of the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Lim conducted the study with Robert Putnam, author of "Bowling Alone" and "American Grace."

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Do cell phones cause behavioral problems?
December 7th, 2010
12:01 AM ET

Do cell phones cause behavioral problems?

Evidence of harm from cell phones continues to emerge: First there was the possible cancer link, and now there's suggestion that those little hand-held devices may affect children's behavior.

Children who had exposure to cell phones both in the womb and after birth, up to age 7  had a higher likelihood of behavioral problems than those who had no exposure, researchers said in a new study in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

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Study: Flame retardant found in small butter sample
December 7th, 2010
12:01 AM ET

Study: Flame retardant found in small butter sample

A stick of butter purchased at a Dallas grocery story contained high levels of a flame retardant used in electronics, according to environmental scientists at the University of Texas School of Public Health.

The butter was contaminated with a chemical called polybrominated diphenyl ether, or PBDE.

"To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of U.S. butter contaminated with PBDEs," said lead research Arnold Schecter, whose study was published Tuesday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

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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.

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