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February 1st, 2012
05:31 PM ET

Birth control ‘packaging error’ leads to recall

Pfizer is recalling 1 million packets of birth control pills because there’s a problem with the order of pills in the packaging. It’s an error that could lead to unintended pregnancies.

The company says there’s a mix-up with its Lo/Ovral-28 brand tablets, and generic-brand Norgestrel and Ethinyl Estradiol tablets marketed under the Akrimax Rx Products name.

When using those pills, women take the active-ingredient white pills for 21 days followed by the pink placebo pills for 7 days. But according to Pfizer, some of the pink pills are appearing at the wrong time of month, when women are fertile. FULL POST


Lower sunlight exposure may increase stroke risk
February 1st, 2012
04:48 PM ET

Lower sunlight exposure may increase stroke risk

People who live in areas with the least amount of sunlight may have a greater risk for stroke, according to findings presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference in New Orleans this week.

Strokes occur when blood and oxygen is cut off from the brain due to a blood clot or a burst blood vessel. Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States and the number one cause of disability, according to the American Stroke Association.

What’s unique about this study, explained professor Leslie A. McClure, a biostatistician from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, is that her team used NASA satellite and ground monitor data to determine sunlight and temperature exposure and how it corresponded with the stroke risk of study participants.
FULL POST


February 1st, 2012
03:33 PM ET

Sugar industry responds to controversial idea

This week the science journal Nature published a controversial commentary from researchers Laura Schmidt, Robert Lustig and Claire Brindis titled "The toxic truth about sugar." Schmidt wrote an opinion piece on the subject for CNN as well.

In the piece, Schmidt says that the public needs to be better informed about the science of how sugar impacts our health. She and her colleagues are recommending that the United States look at how it regulates alcohol to determine how we should regulate sugar.

The Sugar Association says the commentary "lacks the scientific evidence or consensus on which the authors base their recommended policy interventions." The association's statement goes on to say:
FULL POST


Future triathlete: It's time to schedule everything
Jeff says his busy and disorganized schedule was his biggest obstacle to fitting fitness into his schedule (left). His first order of business in the Fit Nation Challenge was to spend time scheduling everything in his online calendar (right).
February 1st, 2012
12:07 PM ET

Future triathlete: It's time to schedule everything

Editor's Note: Jeff Dauler is one of 7 people selected to train for and compete in the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge.  Each participant gets all of the training and gear necessary to compete in the race, and they'll finish their journey in September at the Nautica Malibu Triathlon.  A very busy guy, Jeff is the co-host and executive producer of The Bert Show, a nationally-syndicated radio program. He has realized that time management is going to be his biggest hurdle.

Here was my Facebook status update: "Know what the hardest part of the triathlon training has been so far? Time management."

Here's an email from Matt, one of the Fit Nation producers, that I received exactly 8 minutes later: "I just saw your post on Facebook about time management. Not to add to your list, but think you could write a blog for us about that by next Monday? 300-500 words?"

And that's how it happens. Plans destroyed by something I wasn't planning on. A blog request from my Fit Nation producers. A lunch invite with a business associate. Drinks with a friend. Traffic. Weather.
FULL POST


EPA misses dioxin deadline
February 1st, 2012
11:22 AM ET

EPA misses dioxin deadline

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency missed its self-imposed deadline to complete a dioxin health assessment by the end of January. The agency, which has been working on publishing dioxin risks since the mid-1980s, on Wednesday said the report would be "finalized as expeditiously as possible."

The missed deadline prompted criticism from environmental groups.

"Shame on EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson for denying parents the information they need to protect their children from the health impacts of dioxin, said Lois Marie Gibbs, executive director of the Center for Health, Environment & Justice.

FULL POST


Sleep apnea linked to silent strokes
February 1st, 2012
09:00 AM ET

Sleep apnea linked to silent strokes

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

This week, a study was presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference that caught my eye.  It's a small study that adds further evidence to what most sleep experts already know - that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is linked with a high risk of having silent strokes.

OSA is the most common form of sleep apnea, according to the National Institutes of Health.  More than 12 million Americans are believed to suffer from this sleep disorder. People with sleep apnea stop breathing for 10 to 20 seconds or longer and this can happen at least 20 to 30 times an hour. 

In this new study, researchers at Dresden University in Germany, looked at silent strokes and the prevalence of OSA in 56 patients who had been hospitalized for a major stroke.
FULL POST


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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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