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USDA sets new policy to curb foodborne illness
April 5th, 2011
05:04 PM ET

USDA sets new policy to curb foodborne illness

It's called "Test and Hold." Under a new policy the U.S. Department of Agriculture proposed Tuesday, meat and poultry  would held off  store shelves until test results come back clearing them of any harmful pathogens like salmonella and E. coli. You see currently, the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) can request that producers withhold products from the market until test results are in, but they are not required to do so. Test and Hold makes it mandatory.

"While many establishments have similar policies already in place, this proposed requirement will allow government to provide an additional safeguard to ensure food safety," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "Meat and poultry products will be prevented from reaching consumers until our inspectors have the opportunity to thoroughly evaluate test results."

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Teen pregnancy rate lowest in two decades
April 5th, 2011
03:57 PM ET

Teen pregnancy rate lowest in two decades

Shows like "Teen Mom" and "16 and Pregnant" have helped make teen pregnancy a topic of national conversation. However, the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the actual rate of teen pregnancies in the U.S. has declined to a record low.

In 2009, around 410,000 teenage girls, ages 15 to 19, gave birth in the United States. That's a 37 percent decrease from the teen birth rate in1991. Then, 61.8 births per every 1,000 females was a teen pregnancy. The rate has now dropped to 39.1 births per 1,000 women. Yet according to the United Nations, the rate of teen pregnancy in the United States is nearly nine times higher than in the majority of other developed nations.

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Get Some Sleep: Hormonal havoc, or menopause and your rest
April 5th, 2011
03:32 PM ET

Get Some Sleep: Hormonal havoc, or menopause and your rest

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.
The change of life affects so many aspects of a woman’s life. Our female sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone, decrease. That can cause the familiar symptoms of hot flashes, mood swings and memory lapses.  And it can play havoc with women’s sleep.

Many of us begin to have sleep difficulties as we go through menopause.   In fact, most studies show that 40 to 50 percent of women start to toss and turn as they age, often associated with hormone fluctuations.

It’s true that it’s not always hormones. Women can have more than one problem with their sleep.  The first thing to keep in mind is that once women go through menopause, they are just as likely as a man to develop obstructive sleep apnea.

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CDC chief: Americans not at risk from radiation
April 5th, 2011
03:25 PM ET

CDC chief: Americans not at risk from radiation

Minuscule amounts of radiation detected in the United States do not pose any risk to Americans' health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Thomas Frieden reiterated Tuesday.

"We do not expect radiation to reach problematic levels," he said on a conference call with reporters.

Despite a low-level of concern, Frieden said, agencies such as the CDC, the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture were all actively monitoring the air, the food and the water supplies in the U.S. for any evidence of contamination.

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April 5th, 2011
12:09 PM ET

How can I reveal painful things in therapy?

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 Thomas of Birmingham, Alabama

I have been seeing a therapist for several weeks, and I am having trouble disclosing several issues. These issues are extremely personal and embarrassing. Do you have any suggestions to help me talk about these extremely personal, painful things?

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April 5th, 2011
11:21 AM ET

Human Factor: Opera singer gives voice to cancer fight

In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle – injury, illness or other hardship –- they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn’t know they possessed.   This week Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta introduces us to an opera singer from Shanghai who followed her dreams to the U.S.  Then, two years ago, she learned she had lung cancer, even though she never smoked. But Zheng Cao never lost hope or her desire to sing.  And today she wants to use that voice to help others.


Kids' CT scans increase fivefold
April 5th, 2011
09:55 AM ET

Kids' CT scans increase fivefold

The number of children getting computed tomography, or CT scans when visiting an emergency room increased fivefold over a 14-year period according to a new study in the journal Radiology.

The study analyzed data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey between 1995 and 2008 and looked at more than 7,300 emergency room visits a year. Researchers say during that time ER visits that included at CT exam increased from approximately 330,000 to 1.65 million visits.

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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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