June 17th, 2013
06:23 PM ET
Cities including New York, Toronto, and San Francisco have launched public awareness campaigns to promote vaccination, but the authors also call on physicians to assess the risk to their patients and discuss the strain.
Since August 2010, 22 cases have been reported in New York City among men who have sex with men. More than half of those were already HIV positive. Seven men died. In fact, in New York City last year, men who have sex with men were 50 times more likely than the general population to be infected with the virus, according to city health officials.
June 17th, 2013
09:13 AM ET
Editor's Note: Dr. Arshya Vahabzadeh is a resident psychiatrist at Emory University's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health.
African-American and Hispanic children are far less likely to be seen by specialists - for autism, but also other medical conditions - and also less likely to receive specialized medical tests than their white peers, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
Dr. Sarahbeth Broder-Fingert and colleagues studied the records of 3,615 children with autism at the Massachusetts General Hospital, specifically looking at the rates of both referral to specialists and medical tests undertaken. They discovered that children from African-American and Hispanic families were far less likely to receive specialized care or specific medical tests such as a sleep study, colonoscopy, or endoscopy.
When compared to their white peers, African-American children were three times less likely to see a gastroenterologist or nutritionist, and half as likely to see a neurologist or mental health specialist, according to the study. The story is similar among children from Hispanic families.
June 12th, 2013
06:01 PM ET
Treating intravenous drug users with antiviral drugs may reduce their chances of HIV infection, according to a new study published Wednesday in the British medical journal The Lancet.
The Bangkok Tenofovir Study was done in Bangkok, Thailand, from 2005-2013. It was run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in collaboration with the Thailand Ministry of Public Health.
Researchers recruited more than 24,000 people at 17 sites. Half took the pill tenofovir - an antiretroviral drug – daily, while the other half got a placebo. Participants were followed for about four years. Researchers found those taking the drug cut their chances of infection by 49% almost in half - approximately 49%.
June 12th, 2013
05:05 PM ET
Poor diet and lack of exercise might not be the only factors contributing to the obesity epidemic. A new study suggests the environment may also play a role.
“Eating too much and exercising too little are important factors,” said Dr. De-Kun Li, a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California. “But they cannot explain the steep increase in the obesity rate the last three decades. We haven’t really changed our eating habits and exercise that much.”
The environmental culprit, according to the study published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE, may be bisphenol-a, a chemical commonly found in plastic and cans.
Li and colleagues studied 1,326 school-age children in Shanghai, China, and measured BPA levels in their urine. In girls ages 9 to 12, higher BPA urine levels were associated with a doubled risk of obesity. And as BPA urine levels increased, so did the girls’ obesity risk - measured using their weight in reference to weight distribution in the population. FULL POST
June 11th, 2013
10:53 AM ET
When compared to the bone-jarring crash between two football helmets, heading a soccer ball might seem almost innocuous. But those seemingly mild hits to a soccer player's head may damage the brain at a deep, molecular level, according to a new study.
"It's entirely possible that the innumerable subconcussive hits that those players have may really be a culprit (for brain injury) as well," said Dr. Michael Lipton, associate director of the Gruss Magnetic Resonance Research Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and the study's lead author.
The theory gaining ground among many concussion experts is that the unfortunately-named 'subconcussive' hits - less-forceful hits that don't cause an overt concussion - when they accumulate over time, may prove to be more damaging than their more flamboyant cousins. FULL POST
June 10th, 2013
05:21 PM ET
Chalk it up to a win for ingenuity: Doctors are crediting surgical superglue for saving the life of a 20-day-old girl in Kansas.
Ashlyn Julian was born healthy and happy on May 16. Shortly after returning home from the hospital, however, her parents noticed something was wrong with their newest addition.
“She was probably around 10 days old, and she was sleeping a lot, and I understand that babies sleep a lot, but to the point that you couldn't wake her up to feed her,” said Ashlyn’s mother, Gina Julian.
Then abruptly, her behavior changed. “We (went) from a baby that was very quiet to a baby that was screaming all the time and throwing up, and at that point we knew something was very wrong," Julian said.
June 10th, 2013
02:55 PM ET
Maybe you’re better off taking the bus.
A new study in the July issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs found that 35% of designated drivers - those responsible for driving friends who may have had too much to drink - also consume alcohol and 1 in 5 had blood-alcohol levels high enough to impair their driving.
Researchers interviewed and tested 1,100 people in the downtown area of an unnamed Southeastern college community. Of the designated drivers who drank alcohol, half had blood alcohol levels higher than .05%, the new recommended limit for drunken driving (the current limit is .08%).
“If you look at how people choose their designated drivers, oftentimes they’re chosen by who is least drunk or who has successfully driven intoxicated in the past,” says Adam Barry, an assistant professor of health education and behavior at the University of Florida. “That’s disconcerting.”
June 7th, 2013
01:30 PM ET
For the field of cancer research, a reliable blood test for colorectal cancer would be a revelation. Currently, the condition is diagnosed through stool blood tests and uncomfortable colonoscopies, but the dream is to be able to find genetic markers predictive of such cancers in order to intervene early or follow patients in their treatment.
A study published Friday in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics suggests that a blood test for colon cancer could be on the horizon. But the research is still preliminary and the test is not currently recommended as a screening tool, said Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society.
The lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is 1 in 20, and men are slightly more likely to get it than women, according to the American Cancer Society. In 2013, it is expected to cause more than 50,000 deaths.
June 3rd, 2013
05:47 PM ET
More than a third of infants who were taken to the doctor for an acute ear infection, and who were also due for a scheduled immunization, were not immunized during their sick visit and didn't go back to the doctor for a subsequent well visit, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
That put the infants significantly behind in their vaccines, compared to other infants who were immunized while sick.
"I think a lot of providers are thinking, 'We can put this off and they'll come back,'" says the study's author, Steve G. Robison, an epidemiologist with the Oregon Health Authority.
"But if you don't use this chance to give an immunization, over a third of (those patients) you're not going to see again."
June 3rd, 2013
02:11 PM ET
In some parts of the world, cancer patients are treated with some of the newest targeted cancer drugs which can cost more than$100,000 per year, while in other regions, patients don't even know they have cancer because they're not being screened.
But where pap smears are not available, there may be a decidedly low-tech way to screen for cervical cancer and reduce cancer deaths, according to a large clinical trial released Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago: swabbing a woman's cervix with vinegar.
This study out of India is one of the top five out of more than 5,300 studies presented at the conference. It was given a spotlight usually reserved for the newest blockbuster drug research. 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.