May 23rd, 2012
06:30 PM ET
Calcium supplements, widely taken by older people to prevent bone fractures, may be doing more harm than good, a large new study suggests.
Researchers tracked nearly 25,000 European adults for 11 years, and found that people who reported regularly taking calcium supplements were more than twice as likely to have a heart attack as those who didn't use any supplements.
Only the use of calcium supplements, and not overall calcium intake, was associated with an increased risk of heart attack. In fact, people who consumed higher amounts of calcium from foods, such as milk and other dairy, tended to have a lower risk of heart attacks than people who consumed less.
May 23rd, 2012
05:16 PM ET
Consumers need to check their refrigerators because some organic baby spinach is being recalled after random testing found possible salmonella contamination in a finished package of spinach, according to a recall alert published on the FDA website on Tuesday. The sample was taken at a distribution center in Terrel, Texas, by the Texas Department of Agriculture on behalf of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA has a cooperative agreement with states to conduct regular random testing of fruits and vegetables.
"They [Texas Department of Agriculture] shipped the three randomly selected samples to the Ohio Department of Agriculture labratory," Mike Jarvis, a spokesman with the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service said. "The lab in Ohio has confirmed that it's salmonella and now we're waiting for the characterization - what kind of salmonella it is."
May 22nd, 2012
05:00 PM ET
Getting personalized genetic tests that can pinpoint your risk of developing a number of diseases like cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's or heart disease are not yet "ready for prime time," according to a new recommendation Tuesday from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
ACOG says while these tests could be important tools down the road, right now they should only be used in a clinical trial setting, where experts can put the information into a proper context.
The College published their opinion "Personalized Genomic Testing for Disease Risk" in the June issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology. The advocacy group says the lack of rigorous scientific evidence that the tests are valuable and improve clinical care was the basis for the opinion.
May 22nd, 2012
11:30 AM ET
Several years after dust from the World Trade Center twin towers found its way into thousands of homes and nearly every crevice in lower Manhattan, area residents still suffered health problems, according to a new study.
People living in homes damaged after 2001's Trade Center attacks were more likely to report respiratory illness or disease years later, when compared with people whose homes were not damaged, according to a recent analysis of World Trade Center Health Registry data.
May 21st, 2012
05:28 PM ET
The United States Preventive Services Task Force issued their final recommendation on the PSA prostate cancer-screening test Monday, recommending against routine PSA exams for men of any age. The task force says the PSA exam and additional treatments that may follow, like radiation and surgery, result in far more harm than benefit.
Dr. Virginia Moyer, who sits on the task force, cited that only one out of every 1,000 men who are screened would actually benefit from the exam. Instead, most will have to deal with side effects from treatment that can range from incontinence and impotence, to stroke and death.
“Your primary care physician shouldn’t routinely offer the exam," said Moyer. "But if a patient brings it up, that doctor has a responsibility to inform them of the potential harms and risk."
May 19th, 2012
06:58 AM ET
Doctors need to be better educated about the significant long-term side effects of chemotherapy that may affect their cancer survivor patients, according to new research published Wednesday in advance of the 47th annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).
Currently there are at least 12 million cancer survivors in the United States. Some may have undergone cancer treatment as children; others may be older and only recently completed their cancer therapy.
While advances in cancer care have successfully kept more cancer patients alive, this new study finds there's room for improvement in their follow-up care. Primary care physicians and even cancer specialists need to be aware of the long-term effects of the drugs patients have taken to beat cancer.
May 18th, 2012
01:34 PM ET
It's a "silent epidemic," an "unrecognized health crisis," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And it's affecting 2.1 million baby boomers in the United States.
The CDC announced Friday that it is considering recommending Hepatitis C testing for everyone born between 1945 and 1965. Currently the CDC recommends this testing only for those who are at-risk - people who participated in intravenous drug use or had a blood transfusion before 1992, when screening was implemented.
But such events probably happened decades ago for this population, who may not recall the exposures that place them at risk, says Dr. John Ward, director of the division of viral hepatitis at the CDC. And those that do remember may not be offering up such information to their primary care physicians.
“I’m not sure everybody is going to acknowledge to their doctors that they used drugs in their 20s," says Dr. Michael Ryan, co-chair of the American Gastroenterological Association's I.D. Hep C awareness campaign.
May 17th, 2012
03:01 PM ET
Editor's note: 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 American R&B singer-songwriter-producer Charlie Wilson explains why he's talking a lot about prostate cancer.
“Mr. Wilson... you have prostate cancer.” Those words made up the most devastating phrase I had ever heard.
I have faced numerous challenges in my life and my journey hasn’t been an easy one. I walk that journey step-by-step and prayer-by-prayer. But prostate cancer was a new challenge.
I remember hearing I had prostate cancer like it was yesterday. I was convinced my life was over. I worked hard at overcoming other life challenges and had the will to return to the top of my game in the music business. I put together a good show; had a catalog of great new songs to record and perform.
Everything was just going great until I went to the doctor for a general physical in the summer of 2008.
May 17th, 2012
01:49 PM ET
Early research suggests that if a 6-month old baby has "head lag," or weak head and neck control, it may be an early sign of autism or another language/social developmental delay.
The test is simple – babies who are lying on the floor are pulled up into a sitting position. If the baby's head is not moving forward as you pull the baby up, it's a sign of weak head and neck control.
Researchers already know that head lag could be an early sign that a child's nervous system is not developing correctly. They've seen this in children with cerebral palsy and preterm infants, for example. But so far it had not been documented in children with autism.
May 17th, 2012
12:14 PM ET
"Diet and exercise" is a phrase that goes hand-in-hand with losing weight. But what you eat or drink before, during and after your workout is key to the weight loss process.
Whether you run marathons, bike to work or walk around your neighborhood a few times a week – if you really want to optimize your workout, it’s time to check in on your diet.
It’s all about moderation and balancing your food groups: protein and carbs, fruits and veggies, experts say.
So how do they all work together? FULL POST
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.