home
RSS
Almost 1 million U.S. children without nearby pediatrician
December 20th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Almost 1 million U.S. children without nearby pediatrician

Almost 1 million children living in mostly rural parts of the United States do not have access to a nearby doctor, according to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics on Monday. The Dartmouth University study found that more than "950,000 children in 47 states lived in regions without any primary care physician for children," while 20% of children live in areas with the highest concentration of primary care physicians for children (where there are less than 710 children for each pediatrician).

There are currently about 75 million children living in this country according to the U.S. Census Bureau and while the researchers looked at data from 1996-2006, the study does suggest that more needs to be done to provide more doctors in underserved areas. Researchers found that in that 10 year time period, the number of general pediatricians went up 51% and the number of family physicians increased by 35%.

The study authors suggest the number of available doctors wouldn't have to increase to care for children in underserved areas.  Instead they suggest that "through incentives to attract even a small proportion of child physicians from high-supply area to low-supply areas" this problem could possibly eliminated.

The new health reform law has built-in incentives to encourage more doctors and nurses to practice in rural areas and according to the federal government's website, will lead to the "training and placement of more than 16,000 primary care providers over the next five years."


Can a fat protect you from diabetes?
December 20th, 2010
05:01 PM ET

Can a fat protect you from diabetes?

For those trying to eat a healthy diet, whole-fat dairy and trans fats are usually not on the menu — at least, not yet. Scientists have narrowed in on a trans fat component found mainly in dairy fat that may ward off type 2 diabetes and protect cardiovascular health. While the research is far from conclusive and requires much further study, it suggests fats may play a more complex role in human health than previously thought.

Researchers found that adults with high levels of a fatty acid (one of the main parts of fat molecules) called trans-palmitoleic acid in their blood had a three-fold lower risk for diabetes, according to a study published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine. This naturally produced trans fat component is found mainly in dairy, as well as some meats. These subjects also had lower body fat, higher good cholesterol levels, and lower triglyceride levels, which are all associated with better cardiovascular well-being.

“It’s exciting because traditionally fats were just seen as artery cloggers, but they seem to be both harmful and protective,” said lead author and Harvard epidemiologist Dariush Mozaffarian. “The fatty acid world is becoming more interesting and complex.” FULL POST


Face transplant recipient and donor's family meet
December 20th, 2010
02:52 PM ET

Face transplant recipient and donor's family meet

The donor’s family and recipient of the first face transplant met Saturday, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

The Plain Dealer has details about the donor, Anna Kasper, a Lakewood, Ohio, woman who took care of nursing home patients and died of a heart attack at age 44. After her death, her family agreed to have her face used in the transplant surgery conducted at the Cleveland Clinic.

Ron Kasper, her widower told the Cleveland newspaper: "The overriding factor was we knew it was what Anna would've wanted," as he fought back tears.

FULL POST


December 20th, 2010
12:28 PM ET

Are breast fed babies smarter?

A study in the journal "Pediatrics" found that babies who were mainly breast-fed for the first six months of life or longer, scored higher academically when they got older, than children who were not breastfed or breastfed over a shorter length of time.

The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between duration of breast-feeding and educational outcomes.

Colostrum is the thick yellow first breast milk that you make during pregnancy and just after birth. This milk is very rich in nutrients and antibodies that protect your baby. FULL POST


December 20th, 2010
09:39 AM ET

Can wearing unwashed new clothes hurt a child's skin?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Mondays, it's pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Shu.

Question asked via email
Should I wash my kids' clothes before first wearing?

FULL POST


C-sections up, overall births down in 2008
December 20th, 2010
12:01 AM ET

C-sections up, overall births down in 2008

4,251,095 babies were born in the United States in 2008, according to the latest statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is about 2% fewer than in the previous record-setting year. But about a third or 32.3% of these newborns came into this world by way of cesarean sections – a 2% increase – which marks the twelfth consecutive year that the number of c-sections has gone up.
Although the rate has gone up more than 50% compared with 1996, the increased number of women delivering their babies this way has been slowing, says Joyce Martin, one of the CDC’s epidemiologists who crunched the numbers for a report published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

Each year the American Academy of Pediatrics publishes an “annual summary of vital statistics” that compiles a variety of data. For example, in 2008: FULL POST


Report: Harmful chemical found in tap water of 31 U.S. cities
December 20th, 2010
12:00 AM ET

Report: Harmful chemical found in tap water of 31 U.S. cities

Millions of Americans in at least 31 U.S. cities could be drinking tap water contaminated with the harmful chemical hexavalent chromium, according to a report released Monday by the non-profit Environmental Working Group.

While the dangerous carcinogen, otherwise known as chromium-6, may sound foreign to most people, perhaps the name Erin Brockovich will ring a bell.

After chromium-6 was discovered in the water supply of Hinkley, California, Brockovich helped bring about a lawsuit that ultimately ended in 1996 with the utility company, Pacific Gas & Electric, paying more than $330 million in damages.  Norman, Oklahoma; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Riverside, California, top the non-profit organization's list of cities with water supplies contaminated by chromium-6.

FULL POST


Advertisement
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.

Advertisement
Advertisement