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Council votes for condom mandate in adult films
January 10th, 2012
06:57 PM ET

Council votes for condom mandate in adult films

The Los Angeles City Council voted in favor of a measure requiring condom use in adult films shot in the city.

On Tuesday, it voted 11-1 to approve the rule intended to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases in the adult film industry. The council will need a second vote within 10 days to finally approve the petition.

The matter was headed toward a ballot initiative after 70,000 signatures were gathered over three months by a professional signature-gathering firm, according to AIDS Healthcare Foundation, a nonprofit that has called for mandatory condom use in adult films.
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January 10th, 2012
05:11 PM ET

Study: Occasional pot smoking not as damaging as cigarettes

Science has shown the dangers of cigarette smoking on lungs– smoking undermines lung function, causes lung cancer and long-term breathing problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  But what about smoking marijuana?

Researchers sought to determine whether exposure to marijuana smoke, which contains many of the same components in cigarette smoke, would also show negative effects on lung function.

They were surprised to find that subjects who occasionally smoked pot – meaning two to three times per month – did not show the same reduced lung function that was seen in cigarette smoking. The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
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Americans binge drinking more
January 10th, 2012
02:03 PM ET

Americans binge drinking more

Binge drinking is a bigger problem in the United States than previously thought.  Adults binge drink more frequently and consume more drinks when they do, according to the CDC.

Ursula Bauer, Director of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, announced the findings during a telebriefing Tuesday.  “Excessive alcohol consumption, including binge drinking, accounts for 80,000 deaths in the U.S. each year,” she said, “making it the third leading preventable cause of death.” Those deaths are typically the result of motor vehicle crashes or violence against others while under the influence.

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Diabetes affects drop out rate, lifetime earnings
January 10th, 2012
11:08 AM ET

Diabetes affects drop out rate, lifetime earnings

Diabetes is contributing to high school dropout rates and reducing lifetime earnings for young people, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Health Affairs.

Researchers found the high school dropout rate among diabetics was 6% higher than the dropout rate among their peers.  They also found the likelihood that a diabetic student will attend college is 8 to 13% lower and that over the course of a lifetime, a diabetic could lose more than $160,000 in wages.

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Tracking infectious disease on Twitter
January 10th, 2012
10:34 AM ET

Tracking infectious disease on Twitter

Haitians started dying of cholera just 10 months after the country's devastating earthquake. Researchers say health ministries might have responded more quickly had they seen evidence of the unfolding epidemic in an unlikely place: Twitter.

Putting all publicly-available tweets with the word "cholera" and the hashtag "#cholera" on a timeline, researchers at Harvard Medical School were able to show a surge in cholera-related tweets early in the epidemic. The timeline correlates closely with later health-ministry tallies.

The researchers used tweets from around the world - 65,728 total with the word "cholera" - that were sent between October 20 and November 3, 2010, including those that came from aid organizations and/or media outlets in Haiti and elsewhere.

The goal is to someday harness the immediacy of social media and use it to make better decisions early on about where to deploy public health resources, said Professor John Brownstein of Children's Hospital Boston and co-founder of HealthMap.org, which aggregates global information about infectious diseases. FULL POST


January 10th, 2012
09:29 AM ET

Heisman Trophy winner: Expect life to be tough

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, Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL player Danny Wuerffel talks about his battle with Guillain Barre Syndrome, and why he left the NFL to run Desire Street Ministries.

"Life is tough."

I remember hearing those words often growing up, especially from my father when things weren’t going my way. I hated those words as a kid... and I still do.

Something inside me resists any suggestion that life shouldn’t be comfortable.

In early June of last year I was diagnosed with a condition known as Guillian Barre Syndrome, an auto-immune disorder that left me temporarily paralyzed. While the acute and debilitating part of GBS didn’t last too long for me, I’ve been battling with my recovery for over seven months now, and the difficulties in my life related to the illness continue to make life much harder than I want.
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Tri Challenge: Physical and emotional health
January 10th, 2012
07:43 AM ET

Tri Challenge: Physical and emotional health

Every day this week, CNN will introduce you to one member of the 2012 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge team. Today meet Nancy Klinger, who says significant life changes have left her feeling lonely and searching for a goal.

On November 15, 2011, I did something crazy by my standards: I sent in a video submission to be selected as a member of the 2012 CNN FitNation Triathlon Team! My submission was titled "Triathlon for Emotional Health."

The past few years have been emotionally challenging for me, starting sadly with the unexpected death of my sister and ending with a separation from my husband. In addition, my youngest child left for college and I found myself alone. My emotional state has been teetering toward depression and I decided that it was time for a jump start.

The mind is like a seesaw and just a small change in thought one way or the other can make all the difference. I certainly did not think that I would even be considered, especially given all of the inspiring submissions, but just the act of taking a chance added some light to my life.
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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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