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Smoking may hasten mental decline in men
February 6th, 2012
06:45 PM ET

Smoking may hasten mental decline in men

The list of reasons to quit smoking just got longer.

A new study published today on the website of the Archives of General Psychiatry has found that smoking appears to accelerate the pace of age-related cognitive decline in middle-aged men.

The mental function of the average 50-year-old male smoker can be expected to decline as quickly as that of a 60-year-old who has never smoked, the researchers estimate, even after factors such as educational level and overall health are taken into account.

"While we were aware that smoking is a risk factor for lung diseases, cancer, and cardiovascular disease, this study shows also its detrimental effect on cognitive aging," says lead author Séverine Sabia, Ph.D., an epidemiologist at University College in London. "This detrimental effect is evident as soon as [age] 45."
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Filed under: Health.com • Men's Health • Smoking

Access to unhealthy snacks at school unchanged
February 6th, 2012
04:01 PM ET

Access to unhealthy snacks at school unchanged

About half of public and private elementary students could buy unhealthy snacks at school during the 2009-2010 school year from stores, vending machines and snack bars according to survey results released Monday.  The survey was part of a report published in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

"Given increasing attention in recent years to the problem of childhood obesity, we would have hoped to see decreases in the availability of junk food in schools over time," said study author Lindsey Turner, health psychologist at the Institute for Health Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

"Our research demonstrates the continued need for changes to make schools healthier," she added.

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A 'visual diary' of depression
February 6th, 2012
11:56 AM ET

A 'visual diary' of depression

When Marvi Lacar¹s father died in 2008, she experienced feelings she wasn¹t aware existed. Her conflicting emotions –­ those of resentment, guilt, love, yearning to forgive and yearning to not forgive - spiraled her into acute clinical depression.

Today, the CNN Photo Blog features her photographs of depression.

See her visual diary


Filed under: Depression • Psychology

Infants at greatest risk for child abuse
February 6th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

Infants at greatest risk for child abuse

Nearly 7% of abused children, who end up in the hospital die because of the abuse. And the children at greatest risk for suffering from serious physical abuse? Infants under the age of one.

A new study released today, in the journal Pediatrics, surveyed nearly 4,000, or almost 89%, of hospitals across the nation to get a sense of just how many children suffered from serious injuries due to physical abuse. This was the first national study to really look at serious injuries due to abuse.

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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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