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More kids injured playing football, soccer
Injuries from ball sports showed a slight uptick of 5.5%, with football and soccer leading the way.
March 19th, 2013
01:01 AM ET

More kids injured playing football, soccer

Football injuries among children have increased 22% in the last decade, according to a new study.  Overall, however, sports injuries among children have decreased.

The findings surprised Dr. Shital Parikh, associate professor of orthopaedic surgery at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and the study's lead author. Parikh will present his research at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ annual meeting on Thursday.

When he started analyzing the numbers from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, Parikh expected to find a big increase in kids’ injuries based on what he and his colleagues have seen in their practice.

Instead he found that the overall number of activity injuries for kids aged 5 to 14 decreased 11.3%. The researchers looked at data from bicycle, basketball, football, roller sports, playground equipment, baseball/softball, soccer and trampoline injuries.
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Why teens may be behind on vaccinations
March 18th, 2013
12:03 AM ET

Why teens may be behind on vaccinations

A new survey finds even though vaccines for certain teenage illnesses are available and are found to be safe, many parents aren't having their teens inoculated. The question is why?

Researchers looked at parent questionnaires collected through a national survey called "Reasons for Not Vaccinating Adolescents: National Survey of Teens, 2008-2010." Investigators wanted to better understand why moms and dads aren't taking their older children in for recommended inoculations.

“These vaccines are safe and effective and people should really have their teens get them," says Dr. Paul Darden, lead author of the study and professor of pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. “Parents say pediatricians are telling them about the vaccines, yet they just don’t seem to understand why they are necessary or are skeptical about their safety." FULL POST


Quit smoking: Your heart will thank you
March 12th, 2013
04:01 PM ET

Quit smoking: Your heart will thank you

Cigarette smoking increases your heart rate, narrows the walls of your blood vessels and reduces the amount of oxygen being delivered to your system, among other things. That’s why smoking is considered a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Unfortunately, obesity is also a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. And most smokers gain between 6 and 13 pounds in the six months after they quit, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The benefits of quitting smoking are well known. “Cigarette smoking has short- and long-term cardiovascular effects that are reversible shortly after cessation,” according to the study authors.

But the researchers wanted to know if the weight gain following smoking cessation would counteract the positive effects quitting has on your cardiovascular system.
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Breastfeeding may not reduce obesity risk
March 12th, 2013
04:00 PM ET

Breastfeeding may not reduce obesity risk

We've heard a lot about the benefits of breastfeeding, and the idea that it reduces the risk of a child becoming overweight or obese has been around for decades.

But a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association contradicts that idea. It suggests that though breastfeeding has many benefits, reducing the likelihood that a child becomes obese or overweight may not be one of them. The evidence to support this conclusion is strong as the study was based on a large randomized controlled trial.
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Money talks when it comes to losing weight
March 11th, 2013
01:10 PM ET

Money talks when it comes to losing weight

How'd you like to get paid to lose weight? Financial incentives can help improve your odds of dropping pounds, according to a new study.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic followed 100 Mayo employees over the course of a year as they took educational classes on how to eat healthy and lose weight.

The employees were broken up into several groups - some of which got financial incentives to shed the pounds and others that just got the classes.
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Pet frogs carrying Salmonella make kids sick
Investigators traced the salmonella outbreak to contact with African dwarf frogs.
March 11th, 2013
12:01 AM ET

Pet frogs carrying Salmonella make kids sick

Raw meat is a notorious Salmonella carrier. It can also be found on unclean kitchen counters. An investigation published this week in the journal of Pediatrics suggests we should also look for the deadly bacteria in pet frogs.

Investigators from public health agencies across the United States found that African dwarf frogs are causing a nationwide outbreak of a specific Salmonella strain in children.

A group of health professionals make up the Salmonella Typhimurium Outbreak Investigation Team, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recently, the team has been examining the effects of African dwarf frogs on people’s health.

“Amphibians and reptiles should never be kept in homes with children less than 5 years old or with people who have immune deficiencies,” said lead author and CDC public health advisor Shauna Mettee Zarecki. This includes day care settings and nursing homes, she said.
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Aspirin may cut melanoma risk, study finds
March 11th, 2013
12:01 AM ET

Aspirin may cut melanoma risk, study finds

Aspirin has long been known to provide multiple health benefits: Pain relief, heart attack prevention, and possible prevention of several kinds of cancers.

A new study from Stanford University looks specifically at aspirin's role in reducing the risk of melanoma , a form of skin cancer that is on the rise.

The study found a significant association between frequent usage of the drug and this form of cancer; aspirin users were less likely to get melanoma than those who did not take aspirin.

This is not proof, however, that aspirin is directly responsible for lowering the risk.
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Lessons about disease...from mummies
March 10th, 2013
07:58 PM ET

Lessons about disease...from mummies

Talk about a startling juxtaposition: A mummy in a CT scanner. You may be wondering: Why in the world would a mummy get a CT scan?

It turns out that preserved peoples are great study subjects, especially when you are trying to figure out the roots of health problems that span millennia.

A study released Sunday in The Lancet suggests that atherosclerosis - the disease that makes arteries go rigid, and is a leading cause of death worldwide - may have been around for thousands of years.

"We like to say that we found the serial killer that's stalked mankind for 4,000 years," said Dr. Randall Thompson, attending cardiologist at Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute, and lead author of the study.
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Electronic health records improve colon cancer screening rates
March 4th, 2013
05:01 PM ET

Electronic health records improve colon cancer screening rates

Centralized record-keeping systems may help improve rates of colon cancer screening, according to a new study.

Researchers at the Group Health Cooperative, a non-profit health care and insurance system in Washington state, used electronic health records to identify and monitor almost 5,000 patients who were due for a colon cancer screening but hadn't gotten it.

One group of patients received "normal care" - reminders from their doctor during appointments. A second group received a letter in the mail encouraging them to get screened; a third group got a call from a medical assistant on top of all of that, and a fourth group got a "patient navigator" to manage the screening process.

Each additional step increased the percentage of people who got screened, from 26% in the "normal" group to 65% in the patient navigator group.
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Women experience OCD, anxiety after childbirth
March 4th, 2013
03:01 PM ET

Women experience OCD, anxiety after childbirth

Women may experience more symptoms of anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorder following childbirth than previously thought, according to two studies published today.

One study, published in the March/April issue of The Journal of Reproductive Medicine, found postpartum is a high-risk time for women to develop these symptoms. More than 400 study participants completed screening tests for anxiety, depression and OCD at 2 weeks. At 6 months, 329 of the women completed the survey again. (The women in the study did not receive a clinical diagnosis by a psychologist.)

"Postpartum women may experience obsessive compulsive symptoms at much higher rates than at other times in their lives," said senior study author Dr. Dana Gossett, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

OCD is a sub-type of depression. In this study, researchers found the most common symptoms were being concerned about dirt or germs, and checking behaviors for fear of harming the baby. While it's not unusual for new mothers to be concerned that they are doing everything with their new baby correctly, the real question, Gossett said, is how it's affecting the mother's daily life.
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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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