February 4th, 2013
06:32 PM ET
Semen quality is a much-discussed subject among scientists these days. Data suggests sperm concentration has been declining in Western countries over the past couple of decades - and reasons for the decline are debatable.
The lead author of a new study on the subject, Audrey Gaskins, has been studying the effects of diet and exercise on semen for several years as a doctoral candidate at the Harvard School of Public Health. Her latest research shows a lack of physical activity – and too much time in front of the television - may impact sperm count and concentration.
Previous studies have shown a link between physical activity and decreased levels of oxidative stress, Gaskins says. “Oxidative stress” is stress placed on the body as it tries to get rid of free radicals or repair the damage caused by them. Exercise may protect certain male cells from oxidative damage, Gaskins says, leading to increased sperm concentration.
Those findings led Gaskins to complete an observational study on young men’s exercise and TV habits as they relate to semen quality. The results were published online Monday in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
October 17th, 2012
10:53 AM ET
Taking a multivitamin may help prevent cancer in healthy middle-aged men, according to a new study published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Scientists at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School recruited nearly 15,000 male physicians, 50 years or older, and followed them for more than a decade. Half took the daily multivitamin Centrum Silver; the others took a placebo.
Men in the vitamin group had a modest 8% reduction in cancer cases compared to the others.
"This study suggests, at least for men, that there might be benefits to taking multivitamins in terms of cancer,” study author Dr. John Michael Gaziano said in a press release. He is the chief of the Division of Aging at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
October 3rd, 2012
04:33 PM ET
A 61-year-old Army veteran is suing the U.S. government for $10 million, claiming negligent care resulted in severe frostbite on his penis, leading to its partial amputation.
Michael D. Nash of Louisville, Kentucky, filed suit in federal court Monday. He is asking for damages for what his lawyer calls "significant mental and emotional distress and trauma as a result of his injuries."
In October 2010, Nash underwent surgery at the VA Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Doctors were removing and replacing a malfunctioning penile implant. After the surgery, according to court documents, a nurse applied ice packs to Nash's penis to reduce pain and swelling. FULL POST
September 17th, 2012
01:19 PM ET
It was hard to keep track of all the superheroes hitting the big screen this summer: Batman in "The Dark Knight Rises." Iron Man, The Hulk, Captain America and Thor in "The Avengers." Peter Parker in "The Amazing Spider-Man."
And each character seemed to have bulked up for their latest comeback.
"Over the last few decades, superheroes' bodies have become extremely muscular with body dimensions that are impossible for most men to attain," write the authors of a new study that analyzes the effects of superheroes on male body image.
Past research has shown that seeing muscular figures can make men feel badly about their own bodies, similar to the way seeing stick-thin supermodels can make women question their weight.
But the same effect may not hold true for our favorite comic book characters. FULL POST
August 21st, 2012
10:15 AM ET
As the number of American parents increasingly leave their baby boys uncircumcised, HIV and other sexually transmitted disease rates are likely to climb, according to researchers from Johns Hopkins University, and the costs associated with those diseases could reach into the billions.
"The medical benefits of male circumcision are quite clear," said Dr. Aaron Tobian, an assistant professor of pathology at Johns Hopkins and lead author of the study published Monday in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. "But while the medical evidence has been increasingly more positive, male circumcision rates in the U.S. have been decreasing."
Specifically, he says, circumcision rates had been fairly stable in the 1970s, at about 79%. By 1999, he says less than 63% of boys had the procedure, and by 2010, the rate had dropped to 55%.
July 19th, 2012
10:37 AM ET
Only one in 500 Americans is a black gay or bisexual male, but black men who have sex with men (MSM) account for one in four new HIV infections in the United States, according to a new report by the Black AIDS Institute (BAI).
Just days away from the first International AIDS Conference to be held on U.S. soil in 22 years, the BAI, a national think tank focused on African-Americans, released a somber account detailing how the virus continues to disproportionately infect and kill young black men who have sex with other men.
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 16th, 2012
12:01 AM ET
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released their annual health report for 2011 on Wednesday. The report contains more than 150 data tables on the U.S. population's well-being, with a special focus on socioeconomic status.
Here are a few of the interesting tidbits we found. For more, visit www.cdc.gov.
The Bible Belt needs more doctors. On average, there were 25 physicians for every 10,000 people in the U.S. in 2009. The Northeast, Hawaii and Minnesota had the highest ratio of doctors to patients, while states in the South and Rocky Mountain-areas had fewer than 21 per 10,000.
Your education level affects your kids' weight. The CDC collected data on childhood obesity between 2007 and 2010. Where the head of the household had a college degree, 7 to 11% of children aged 2 to 19 were obese. But when the head of the household was a high school dropout, 22 to 24% of the children were obese.
Cigarette smoking is still on the decline. In 2010, 19% of U.S. adults smoked, down 2% from 2009. Over the last decade cigarette smoking among students in 12th grade has decreased from 33% to 22% for male students and from 30% to 16% for female students.
Fewer teens are giving birth. Between 1998 and 2008, birth rates declined 27% for teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17.
May 3rd, 2012
11:00 AM ET
Given the ease with which the average person can rattle off brand names like “Viagra” and “Cialis,” or joke about “four hour erections,” it would seem that erectile-dysfunction drugs are just about as common as ibuprofen.
We take it for granted, but the little blue pill has drastically changed the way we think about erectile disorder (ED).
Once known as “impotence,” ED was originally thought to be caused by anxiety, nerves, or low self-esteem; now it’s commonly known to be a health issue that hinges on the flow of blood to the penis and taking a pill to deal with the issue is often no big deal.
Don’t get me wrong: this is not to say that Viagra and its brethren – Levitra, Cialis and the new FDA-approved Stendra – are the be-all end-all, or even that they’re unequivocally effective. It’s just that these medications have helped to spur a national dialogue (and often a debate) that has changed the way we think about sexual problems.
But now that ED has come out of the shadows, what about the other major male sexual issue — premature ejaculation (PE)?
April 30th, 2012
09:16 AM ET
Look out Viagra - there's a new erectile dysfunction drug in town.
It's called Stendra (aka Avanafil) and it's newly approved by the Food and Drug Administration, making it the first ED drug to come out in almost 10 years.
Although Stendra has not been tested against what is known as the "Little Blue Pill," drug makers say that - for some men - it may work faster.
"If things are heated up, theoretically you can get improved function earlier, within 15 minutes, with this drug," said Dr. Irwin Goldstein, director of sexual medicine at Alvarado Hospital in San Diego, and co-author of a recent study about Stendra in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
"You can argue this is the first potential on-demand drug."
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.