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Decline in circumcisions could cost billions
Declining circumcision rates in the United States could wind up costing billions later, researchers warn.
August 21st, 2012
10:15 AM ET

Decline in circumcisions could cost billions

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%.

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Fewer teens having oral sex
More than a third of teens engage in oral sex by the time they reach 17, according to the CDC.
August 17th, 2012
10:41 AM ET

Fewer teens having oral sex

Fewer teens aged 15 to 17 are having oral sex now than in 2002, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, but the number remains high.

The report, based on data from The National Survey of Family Growth, found that more than a third of teens had engaged in oral sex by the time they turned 17. That number climbed to almost 50% by age 19, and more than 80% for 24-year-olds.

The study - based on computer surveys given to over 6,000 teens - also looked at the timing of first oral sex in relation to the timing of first vaginal intercourse. It found that the prevalence of having oral sex before vaginal intercourse was about the same as those having vaginal intercourse before oral sex.

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Snoring in kids could mean other problems, doctors say
Snoring in small children may be linked to behavioral problems such as hyperactivity, researchers say.
August 13th, 2012
03:28 PM ET

Snoring in kids could mean other problems, doctors say

Everyone snores, even children. But if your little ones snore often and loudly, doctors say they may face other problems, such as hyperactivity, inattention and depression.

Researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center studied 249 children, surveying their mothers about their youngsters’ sleeping habits. The study found children who snored loudly at least twice a week at the ages of 2 and 3 had more behavioral problems than children who didn’t snore, or who snored at 2 or 3 but not at both ages.

"The strongest predictors of persistent snoring were lower socioeconomic status and the absence or shorter duration of breast-feeding," says Dr. Dean Beebe, director of the hospital's neuropsychology program. "This would suggest that doctors routinely screen for and track snoring, especially in children from poorer families, and refer loudly-snoring children for follow-up care.

"Failing to screen, or taking a 'wait and see' approach on snoring, could make preschool behavior problems worse," he says. "The findings also support the encouragement and facilitation of infant breast-feeding."

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Andy Copeland: 'I have become a better father because of Aimee'
Flesh-eating bacteria patient Aimee Copeland was released from an Augusta, Georgia, hospital on July 2.
July 30th, 2012
12:19 PM ET

Andy Copeland: 'I have become a better father because of Aimee'

The father of Aimee Copeland says while it is far from easy, his daughter is making great strides as she undergoes physical therapy. The 24-year-old woman lost part of four limbs to a flesh-eating bacteria in May after a zip line accident over a river in western Georgia.

In a post Sunday on the website Aimeecopeland.com, Andy Copeland writes about the challenges Aimee faces as she regains her strength after fighting necrotizing fasciitis

"During each of her physical therapy sessions, Aimee does 200 crunches in 7 minutes," writes Andy.  "At this point, I have to pause and ask a simple question:  How many of you can do 200 crunches in 7 minutes?"
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Does your teen have a severe anger disorder?
July 2nd, 2012
04:01 PM ET

Does your teen have a severe anger disorder?

Teenagers are often characterized as over-emotional, prone to outbursts that confuse their parents and leave teachers reeling.

But a study published in the July issue of the journal Archives of General Psychiatry says 1 in 12 adolescents may in fact be suffering from a real and severe anger problem known as intermittent explosive disorder (IED).

Study author Katie McLaughlin, a clinical psychologist and psychiatric epidemiologist, says IED is one of the most widespread mental health disorders - and one of the least studied.

"There's a contrast between how common the disorder is and how much we know about it," she said.
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Overheard: 'Waiting for our son to wake up'
Ryan can breathe on his own but has a tracheotomy tube so that his breathing isn't obstructed by his inability to swallow.
June 19th, 2012
12:49 PM ET

Overheard: 'Waiting for our son to wake up'

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Seventeen-year-old Ryan Buchanan was deprived of oxygen for almost 20 minutes after a sand tunnel collapsed on him at the beach in California. That was one year ago, and now Ryan — who is in a persistent vegetative state — is at home with his family.

The Buchanans’ decision to keep Ryan at home (and alive) has polarized CNN commenters. They expressed their strong opinions on the story, “Waiting for our son to wake up,” published this week.

Some shared personal experiences that related to what the family might be experiencing, even saying they should hold out for a miracle:

Lonnie F Parrish
My wife and I are in our 27th year of taking our son home [after a] head injur[y]. Took us a year and a half to wake him from a coma. … At the time we were strong and willing and we figured that if we didn't try nobody else would. So we did and we woke him up but during that process we became closer to our son than we ever were before and he became a part of who we were.

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June 9th, 2012
10:06 AM ET

Sleeping babies and kids make happy parents

Editor's note:  Pediatrician and bst-selling author Dr. Harvey Karp has been giving parents advice on how their children can be the "happiest babies and toddlers on the block," by providing tips on how to help them sleep better and how to better communicate with young children.  He joins Dr. Sanjay Gupta on "Sanjay Gupta, MD" at 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday and 7:30 a.m. ET Sunday, with more advice on how to help children sleep better.

According to a recent BabyCenter survey of 1,000 moms, exhaustion is their No. 1 complaint!

In fact, 29% of new moms can't remember the last time they slept 8 hours. And the problem doesn't just last a few months. One in three kids continues to fight sleep or wake up in the black of night... most nights.

Extreme fatigue is corrosive to the happiness of this time of life. Tired parents feel demoralized, angry, forgetful - and their health suffers too!
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Pregnant women who smoke may put kids at risk for severe asthma
June 1st, 2012
05:03 PM ET

Pregnant women who smoke may put kids at risk for severe asthma

One of the first questions a mom-to-be is asked by her doctor is "Do you smoke?" And while pregnant woman don't smoke in nearly the numbers they did decades ago, some still do.  

Almost 14% of American women smoke while pregnant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, causing all kinds of problems including low birth weight, premature birth and SIDS. Now add something else to the list: asthma.

An intriguing new study suggests African-American and Latino children with asthma whose moms smoke while pregnant are more likely to have severe asthma as teens, even if their moms stop smoking after they are born.
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Moms make the toughest patients
May 13th, 2012
08:01 AM ET

Moms make the toughest patients

Anthony Youn, M.D., is a plastic surgeon in metro Detroit. He is the author of “In Stitches,” a humorous memoir about growing up Asian American and becoming a doctor.

I’ve always taken my mom for granted. A lot of us do.

I never realized just how strong and selfless she is.

Then tragedy struck.

In many ways, my mother is the stereotypical Asian mom. Forty-five years ago she immigrated to the United States with my father, a physician. A classic homemaker, she spent her days raising my brother, sister, and me. In the evenings, after my dad returned home for work, she would take care of him.
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May 11th, 2012
01:46 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Breast-feeding toddlers

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

When we woke up this morning, “Time breast feeding cover” was the top trending topic on Google. Throughout the day, variations of that search have taken up four more of the top 10 spots.

What is it about the photo of a 3-year-old breast-feeding on the cover of Time magazine this week that’s caused such uproar? CNN.com readers had a lot to say about the subject.
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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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