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Family support a major weapon against suicide among gay youth
February 14th, 2012
01:01 PM ET

Family support a major weapon against suicide among gay youth

Being a teenager can be difficult. The progression from childhood to adulthood involves negotiating the difficult gauntlet of peer pressure, trying to fit in among people who aren't entirely sure of themselves, all while dealing with raging hormones.

Few people escape the teen years without emotional scars.

Not surprisingly, suicide is a major adolescent health concern - in fact, it's the third major cause of death among U.S. teens, after unintentional injury and homicide. Those numbers are even higher for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) teens.

A study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine sought to determine the risk factors and protective factors for LGBT teens and suicide, finding that love and acceptance by family and friends are key suicide preventive factors.
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Making sense of your child's health numbers
Eyeballing a child to determine a healthy weight and height can be difficult, but objective measurements can be helpful.
February 14th, 2012
09:46 AM ET

Making sense of your child's health numbers

Dr. Jennifer Shu, CNNHealth's Living Well expert doctor, is a pediatrician, mother of two and co-author of "Food Fights: Winning the Nutritional Challenges of Parenthood Armed With Insight, Humor, and a Bottle of Ketchup."

In my pediatric practice, it is sometimes difficult to look at a child and tell whether he or she is at a healthy weight for his or her height and age.

Many children tell me they think they are overweight, while parents believe their children are just right, or perhaps too thin.

This is where numbers come in handy objective measurements, including a child’s weight, height and body mass index, or BMI are useful tools when talking to families about a child’s size.

While factors such as body frame and muscle composition may make a person’s BMI higher or lower than expected, these measurements are generally more accurate than eyeballing a child to see if he or she is over- or underweight.

So, what do all these numbers mean? Weight and height are self-explanatory. BMI, a calculation that takes into consideration the height and weight, is a fairly good reflection of a person’s body fat.
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Traumatic brain injury leaves snowboarder with new mountains to tackle
February 14th, 2012
08:15 AM ET

Traumatic brain injury leaves snowboarder with new mountains to tackle

Editor's Note: Each week in The Human Factor, we bring you the story of someone who has overcome tremendous obstacles to achieve a goal.  Today we introduce you to Kevin Pearce, a professional snowboarder who was considered Olympic gold medalist Shaun White's biggest competitor. Then an accident on the Eagle Superpipe in Park City, Utah, left Pearce clinging to his life.

As soon as I awoke from the coma that was a result of my severe traumatic brain injury, I knew my goal was to get back on my snowboard.

Luckily for me, my doctor had told my parents that my recovery depended on keeping my hopes and dreams alive. So, even though I’m sure they were nervous to think I would ever go snowboarding again, they supported me and allowed me to believe this might someday be possible.

For me, the idea of getting back to the mountains, to the snow, to my friends, crew and my favorite sport gave me all the direction I needed to make my recovery a reality.

But first, I had an enormous mountain to climb, and it was nothing like the mountains where I had spent the best part of my competitive snowboarding career.
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How to prevent the Valentine’s Day blues
February 14th, 2012
07:14 AM ET

How to prevent the Valentine’s Day blues

Anthony Youn, M.D., is a plastic surgeon in Metro Detroit. He is the author of “In Stitches,” a humorous memoir about growing up Asian American and becoming a doctor.

Confession: I hate Valentine’s Day.

But I bet I’m not alone.

For the first 26 years of my life I dreaded Valentine’s Day. Every February 14 served as a reminder that no one wanted to date me.

I couldn’t stand going to restaurants and seeing all the lovey-dovey couples lost in romantic bliss. Valentine’s Day may be great if you’re in a relationship, but it can be depressing if you aren’t.
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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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