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Does road traffic noise increase stroke risk?
January 25th, 2011
07:15 PM ET

Does road traffic noise increase stroke risk?

Many people who live in cities or near highways are accustomed to a lullaby of cars whizzing by, but that noise may put them at increased risk of stroke, a new study suggests.

Research from Denmark, published in the European Heart Journal, found an association between exposure to residential road traffic and higher stroke risk among people older than age 64 1/2.

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January 25th, 2011
03:52 PM ET

A doctor in Davos

I flew into Zurich, Switzerland this morning, and then traveled two hours to Davos to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF). On the way, I learned Davos is Europe’s highest-altitude city. It is a small and remote place with only around 13,000 residents and only one road in and out. The WEF is a five-day meeting where 2,500 of the world’s top business leaders, heads of state, and public figures get together to try to solve the problems confronting the other nearly 7 billion of us.

It is a remarkable concentration of some of the best minds in business, technology and politics – all together in one remote destination. I can tell you, despite its high-profile attendees, the forum isn’t official or formal.  Former President Clinton is just "Bill" here in Davos. There are no titles, and there are no fancy restaurants. Most of the attendees hang out in the cafeteria hall.

To be clear, though, there are two meetings going on here. After the panels are completed, there are dozens of private gatherings where some of the real work gets done. If you have heard of the Global Health Initiative, you may also know that Kofi Annan launched it at the 2002 annual meeting. The mission was to take advantage of the public/private partnerships towards combating malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. In 1989, North and South Korea spoke for the first time here at Davos.

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Get Some Sleep: Apnea beyond the CPAP
January 25th, 2011
02:08 PM ET

Get Some Sleep: Apnea beyond the CPAP

Lisa Shives, M.D., is the founder of Northshore Sleep Medicine in Evanston, Illinois. She blogs on Tuesdays on The Chart. Read more from her at Dr. Lisa Shives’ Sleep Better Blog.

Last week, I talked about CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), which is the gold standard therapy for obstructive sleep apnea. As promised, this week I will discuss the other treatments.

Although not all patients with OSA are overweight, we think that about 80% are overweight or obese. For these patients, weight loss would almost always improve and sometimes eliminate their OSA. There is research that shows that even a 10% loss of total body mass can reduce the number of apneas per hour by 50%.

The Catch 22 is that having OSA makes losing weight difficult. In fact, there are studies that indicate that OSA may be one of the causes of weight gain. I think that it is unrealistic to think that weight loss is an appropriate first line approach for treating OSA in overweight patients because the untreated sleep apnea is most likely sabotaging their efforts at weight loss. My approach is to treat the sleep apnea and then work on weight loss with the carrot always being that one day patients may be truly cured of their sleep apnea.

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Filed under: Sleep

Parents' history can affect your heart risk
January 25th, 2011
12:43 PM ET

Parents' history can affect your heart risk

Children can learn a lot from their parents, including whether they may someday have a heart attack, concludes a new multinational study to be published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Researchers examined data collected between February 1999 and March 2003 as part of the INTERHEART study to examine whether having a parental history of myocardial infarction, commonly known as a heart attack, increased a person's risk of having the same experience.

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January 25th, 2011
08:30 AM ET

Where can I get help for depression relapse?

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 Megan of Alabama:

Hi. I am 18 years old. In the past, I have been treated for depression, among many other things. My problem now is I am feeling the same way I used to before. I am feeling very depressed. I want to go to counseling because it could help, but I don't have insurance and I do not know any low-priced place. No one knows what's going on, and I am not telling my parents. What can I do? I want counseling. I want help, but there is nowhere to go at the moment.

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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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