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Study: Fewer abortions worldwide; increase in unsafe abortions
January 18th, 2012
06:31 PM ET

Study: Fewer abortions worldwide; increase in unsafe abortions

A new study finds that although abortion rates around the world have leveled off, unsafe abortions across the globe continue to rise.

Researchers noted between 1995 and 2003 the abortion rate per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 to 44 dropped from the 35 to 29 worldwide. But in 2008 the global abortion rate remained the same at about 28 per every 1,000 women.

Yet alarmingly, researchers say the proportion of abortions thought to be unsafe rose from 44%  in 1995 to 49% in 2008.  The study is published in The Lancet.
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In denial: Why we’re still stressed
January 18th, 2012
02:29 PM ET

In denial: Why we’re still stressed

Editor's note: CNN contributor Amanda Enayati ponders the theme of seeking serenity: the quest for well-being and life balance in stressful times.

Stress in America, the American Psychological Association’s annual survey, came out last week.

The results were not particularly shocking. Large numbers of Americans are stressed out. Many, extremely so. And far too many are failing to take adequate action to alleviate the stress in their lives.

All of which led my editors to wonder: If we recognize the negative health implications of high stress levels - heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and depression, among others - then why are so many of us doing such a poor job at managing it?
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Gossip may have social purpose, study says
January 18th, 2012
12:27 PM ET

Gossip may have social purpose, study says

"Did you hear what she did?" "Guess what I just found out about our new co-worker!" These could be the starts of nasty rumors, but a new study suggests the act of gossiping can also serve important purposes in maintaining social order.

Researchers report their findings in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

"Gossip gets a bad rap," said Robb Willer, social psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley. "Much of what we call gossip is driven by a sincere desire to help others."
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January 18th, 2012
11:27 AM ET

Study: Challenging seniors' brains can also change their personality

We’ve all heard the adage “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks." But new research reveals that you CAN teach an older adult how to improve their brain skills, with the added effect of changing a personality trait, making them more open to new experiences.

Using subjects from a study designed to improve brain skills of older people, the researchers hypothesized that improving cognitive skills might also increase participants openness - a personality trait that allows a person to be receptive to new experiences or being engaged by novel ideas such as an intellectual challenge.

Lead researcher Elizabeth Stine-Morrow of the University of Illinois explains, “It also makes sense that, reciprocally, if you engage in cognitive abilities that you enjoy and that are rewarding, that will also make you open to experience. And that’s what we found.”
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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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