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Sharp increase in hospitalizations for children with hypertension
June 18th, 2012
04:40 PM ET

Sharp increase in hospitalizations for children with hypertension

The number of hospitalizations for children with high blood pressure more than doubled from 1997 to 2006, according to a new study.  The number rose from 12,661 hospitalizations in 1997 to 24,602 in 2006.  The study is published in the American Heart Association journal, Hypertension.

"There have been some published studies that have demonstrated an increase in frequency of hypertension among kids in the outpatient settings in the clinics," said Dr. Cheryl Tran, study author and fellow in the Department of Pediatric Nephrology at the University of Michigan.

"In our study, we found we also are seeing this trend in the inpatient setting," she said.

"It definitely was surprising- we may be seeing a reflection of that from the rise in hypertension from the outpatient setting, but I think what was also alarming was the economic burden created by the inpatient pediatric hypertension."

The cost of the hospitalizations in the 10 years reviewed reached an estimated $3.1 billion, according to the study.

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'Fatness is a political issue,' professor says
June 18th, 2012
03:23 PM ET

'Fatness is a political issue,' professor says

The U.S. obesity crisis is no secret - people around the country are getting fatter and it's costing us billions.

But obesity isn't just an American issue. According to a study published in the journal BMC Public Health this week, it's also a global health issue... and not for the reason you may think.

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine used data from the United Nations and the World Health Organization to estimate the total mass of the human population. In 2005 we, as a global society, weighed approximately 316 million tons, which is about 17 million tons overweight.

Obesity caused 3.9 million tons of that total, the equivalent of 56 million average-sized people. Even more concerning: North America accounts for only 6% of the world's population but 34% of its obesity-related mass.
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Kids taking fewer antibiotics, more ADHD meds
June 18th, 2012
07:45 AM ET

Kids taking fewer antibiotics, more ADHD meds

American children are taking fewer antibiotics now than 10 years ago, but prescriptions to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, have increased, according to a new report by the Food and Drug Administration.

FDA researchers analyzed large prescription drug databases, looking at more than 2,000 drugs, to identify the top 30 medications most prescribed to children up to age 17. 

They found 263.6 million prescriptions were filled for infant through adolescent patients in 2010 - down 7% compared to 2002.

However, a closer look at the numbers reveals that while prescriptions for some drugs went down, others were prescribed more often between 2002 and 2010. The findings were published in the journal Pediatrics on Monday.
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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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