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April 13th, 2011
05:42 PM ET

Is secondhand smoke really that risky?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Wednesdays, it's Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer at the
American Cancer Society.

Question asked by David of Tampa, Florida

Really, how much secondhand smoke does a nonsmoker get anyway? If a person who smokes a pack a day for 30 years is only 1/3 more likely to die younger than a nonsmoker, then how likely is it that a nonsmoker is even more likely to die younger merely because other people smoke?

FULL POST


Brain shrinkage may predict Alzheimer's
April 13th, 2011
05:29 PM ET

Brain shrinkage may predict Alzheimer's

There's no treatment that works to truly reverse Alzheimer's disease, but being able to predict who's at risk can help researchers target potential interventions. There's been a lot of recent research on the genetics of the disease and how it might be detected early.

Now there's evidence published in the journal Neurology that signs of the disease may be in the brain nearly a decade before symptoms, such as memory loss, begin. Specifically, magnetic resonance imaging  reveals shrinkage in brain areas that have been previously associated with Alzheimer's disease.

FULL POST


U.S. hospitalizations for dengue fever tripled in 7 years
April 13th, 2011
04:43 PM ET

U.S. hospitalizations for dengue fever tripled in 7 years

Dengue fever, common in tropical and subtropical areas of the world that are home to more than a third of the world's population, has been a rarity in the United States - until a couple of years ago.

But in 2009, dengue infection appeared in a few Florida residents who had not traveled out of the U.S., ending a 45-year absence from the United States, according to the CDC. The number of U.S. hospitalized cases of dengue infection more than tripled between 2000 and 2007, according to a study published Wednesday in the April issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

FULL POST


Religious women use contraception regularly, report says
April 13th, 2011
04:39 PM ET

Religious women use contraception regularly, report says

Most sexually active women use contraception, regardless of their religious beliefs, says a report from the Guttmacher Institute, an organization working to advance reproductive and sexual health  in the U.S. and worldwide.

"Regardless of religious affiliation, the majority of women use highly effective contraception methods, so any efforts to restrict access to these methods is going to impact these populations," said Rachel K. Jones, the lead author. FULL POST


April 13th, 2011
08:05 AM ET

Human Factor: Ron Artest says, 'I'm an example'

In the Human Factor, we profile inspiring figures who've confronted a challenge, tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn’t know they possessed.   This week Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta talks to LA Lakers forward Ron Artest, who became notorious for storming  the stands in pursuit of a fan. Today he champions counseling, saying more people need access to mental health care.

These days, Artest has been busy raising money and awareness for mental health programs.  Artest said that even though he does not have a mental illness, he has taken up this advocacy because it is in many ways personal to him.

“At the age of six years old, I had anger management problems,” he said. “There was a lot of frustration and tension in my household. And as I got older, I'm like, man, I'm always mad for some reason.”

Artest has been able to gain better control of his emotions due to therapy sessions. When the Lakers won the NBA finals, he thanked his psychologist for all her help, on live television. Artest said that he wants his experience to be a beacon of hope for those who are struggling with their own mental problems.

“I'm still not perfect,” he said. “I'm no longer a statistic, I'm an example. I'm a solution and I'm trying to be a role model.”


Filed under: Human Factor • Mental Health

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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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