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Hospitals getting better at preventing MRSA
November 25th, 2013
04:00 PM ET

Hospitals getting better at preventing MRSA

Severe MRSA infections have decreased by 54.2% in U.S. hospitals since 2005, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suggesting efforts to combat the deadly superbug are working.

MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is a type of staph infection. While about one in three people carry staph on their skin, usually without getting sick, studies show approximately two in 100 people carry MRSA.

MRSA is called a "superbug" because it is one of the bacterial infections that has developed a resistance to commonly-used medications. The CDC attributes the rise of superbugs to the overuse of antibiotics in the general population.

Since 2005, the CDC has been tracking MRSA cases in nine cities across the United States. An estimated 80,400 invasive MRSA infections occurred in 2011, compared to about 111,200 in 2005, according to the public health organization. The results were published in one of the American Medical Association's scientific journals, JAMA Internal Medicine.
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ADHD diagnoses rise to 11% of kids
November 22nd, 2013
05:54 PM ET

ADHD diagnoses rise to 11% of kids

The number of children diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) continues to climb, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There has been a 42% increase in the number of reported cases of ADHD since 2003, according to a CDC-led study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Today, 6.4 million children between the ages of 4 and 17 - 11% of kids in this age group - have received an ADHD diagnosis, according to the study, which is based on a survey of parents. That's 2 million more children than in 2007.

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5 studies you may have missed
If babies are ingesting both solid foods and breast milk, the immune system can learn the food is safe, scientists say.
November 22nd, 2013
02:26 PM ET

5 studies you may have missed

Here's a roundup of five medical studies published recently that might give you new insights into your health, mind and body. Remember, correlation is not causation - so if a study finds a connection between two things, it doesn't mean that one causes the other.

Breast milk + solid foods = allergy prevention?
Journal: Pediatrics

With up to 8% of children in the United States dealing with food allergies, many parents want to know how they can prevent this condition. A new study suggests that babies who receive solid food while they are breast-feeding may be protected from food allergies.

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Got a minute?  You could save lives
November 19th, 2013
04:29 PM ET

Got a minute? You could save lives

Think fast. If you were in a public place, and someone suddenly collapsed, would you know what to do?

According to research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2013 conference, this one-minute video could teach bystanders cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, even if they've had no previous instruction. FULL POST


November 18th, 2013
09:18 AM ET

Long-term Pill use may double glaucoma risk

Women who used birth control pills for three years or more have twice the risk of developing glaucoma later in life, according to new research.

Glaucoma is a disease that damages the eye’s optic nerve and is a leading cause of blindness in the United States.

It’s been well documented that low-estrogen levels following menopause contribute to glaucoma in women. Scientists don’t know exactly why this happens.  But years of using birth control pills, which can also lower estrogen levels, may add to the problem.

The study, conducted by researchers at University of California, San Francisco, Duke University School of Medicine and Third Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang, China, did not differentiate between women who took low-estrogen or regular birth control pills. Investigators theorize that when women are not on the pill, their natural estrogen levels go up and down, which seems to prevent the eye from developing glaucoma.  When women go on the pill, their estrogen levels are consistent, and in some cases consistently low, which could cause them to develop the condition.

This research project is the first to suggest an increased risk of glaucoma in women who have used oral contraceptives for three or more years. The researchers looked at data on more than 3,400 women aged 40 and older from across the United States, who answered questionnaires about their reproductive health and eye exams.    FULL POST


5 studies you may have missed
One expert panel says there is insufficient evidence to recommend taking vitamin or mineral supplements.
November 15th, 2013
11:05 AM ET

5 studies you may have missed

Here are five medical studies published this week that may give you new insights into your health, mind and body. Remember, correlation is not causation, so if a study finds a connection between two things, it doesn't mean that one causes the other.

Forget the vitamins - focus on food
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is an independent panel of experts that reviews current scientific evidence and makes recommendations about screenings and preventive medications. This week the USPSTF (say that five times fast) decided there is not enough evidence to support taking vitamin supplements for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and/or cancer.

The panel based its conclusion on a review of 26 studies from the last eight years. Experts say there has been relatively little research done on the link between supplements and prevention, so this recommendation could change in the future.

"In the absence of clear evidence about the impact of most vitamins and multivitamins on cardiovascular disease and cancer, health care professionals should counsel their patients to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet that is rich in nutrients," USPSTF member Dr. Wanda Nicholson said in a statement.
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Diabetes continues to spread around the world
This map shows the 10 countries/territories with the highest diabetes prevalence rates in adults aged 20 to 79, in 2013.
November 14th, 2013
12:01 AM ET

Diabetes continues to spread around the world

On World Diabetes Day, news about the disease's global impact is dire.

An estimated 382 million people worldwide have diabetes, according to a new report from the International Diabetes Federation. The IDF expects that number to rise to 592 million by 2035, when one in every 10 people will have the disease.

"Diabetes in all its forms imposes unacceptably high human, social and economic costs on countries at all income levels," the report authors begin in the executive summary. They go on to say that this latest edition of the Diabetes Atlas "carries a bitter but unavoidable message: despite the array of tools at our disposal to tackle the disease... the battle to protect people from diabetes and its disabling, life-threatening complications is being lost."
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5 studies you may have missed
As much as you may have hated practicing scales as a kid, that early music training likely benefited your brain for life.
November 8th, 2013
02:40 PM ET

5 studies you may have missed

Here are five medical studies published this week that may give you new insights into your health, mind and body. Remember, correlation is not causation, so if a study finds a connection between two things, it doesn't mean that one causes the other.

Your mom was right - music lessons rock
The Journal of Neuroscience

As much as you hated practicing scales as a kid, that early music training may have benefited your brain for life.

Researchers at Northwestern University found older adults who took music lessons when they were young responded faster to spoken words, even when they hadn't played a musical instrument in decades.

"Neural timing is the first to go in the aging adult," study author Nina Kraus said. The findings suggest musical training could help prevent this cognitive decline.
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Study: Signs of autism may show up as early as first month
As part of the study, researchers tracked babies and toddlers' responses to videos showing actresses playing a caregiver.
November 6th, 2013
02:11 PM ET

Study: Signs of autism may show up as early as first month

The first signs of autism may be visible as early as the first month of a child's life, according to a study published Wednesday in the scientific journal Nature.

"These are the earliest signs of autism ever observed," says lead study author Warren Jones.

Researchers at the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta followed 110 children from birth to age 3, at which point a diagnosis of autism was ascertained. Fifty-nine babies were considered "high risk" for developing an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) because they had siblings with autism; 51 were considered "low risk" because they did not have first, second or third-degree relatives with ASD. FULL POST


Testosterone treatment could be dangerous to the heart
A new study links testosterone therapy to an increased risk of heart problems.
November 5th, 2013
04:27 PM ET

Testosterone treatment could be dangerous to the heart

It’s become the hot new treatment for older men. “T,” or testosterone replacement therapy, has been touted as the new way to turn back a man’s body clock and improve his sexual performance.  

But there may be trouble in paradise, according to new research.  In a study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, scientists have found that men taking testosterone therapy had a 29% greater risk of death, heart attack and stroke  than those who were not on the hormone replacement.

The study included 8,709 men with low testosterone levels, who underwent coronary angiography, a procedure used to open narrow or blocked coronary arteries, in the Veterans Affairs (VA) system between 2005 and 2011. Some were found not to have blockages.

Researchers found the number of patients experiencing heart problems such as attacks and strokes three years after their angiographies, was 19.9% for those who were not on testosterone and 25.7% for those who were.  Even when scientists accounted for other factors in the patients’ health, the increase of heart events in those on testosterone therapy was significant, according to the study.

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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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