March 29th, 2013
11:08 AM ET
Many expectant parents are wary of all the recommended vaccines their newborns are supposed to get in the first hours, days and even the first couple of years, believing that too many vaccines too soon may increase their child's risk for autism.
A new study published in the Journal of Pediatrics Friday may put them at ease. Researchers found no association between autism and the number of vaccines a child gets in one day or during the first two years of the current vaccine schedule.
The research was led by Dr. Frank DeStefano, director of the Immunization Safety Office at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Together with two colleagues, DeStefano and his team collected data on 256 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and 752 children who did not have autism. The children were all born between 1994 and 1999 and were all continuously enrolled in one of three managed-care organizations through their second birthday. FULL POST
March 21st, 2013
04:02 PM ET
Most packaged meals and snacks marketed to toddlers have more than the recommended amount of sodium per serving, meaning children as young as one are most likely eating far too much salt early in life, according to one of several studies on sodium presented this week.
The studies were presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2013 Scientific Sessions in New Orleans.
The findings were alarming to researchers since there is evidence a child's sodium intake is related to the likelihood that he or she will develop hypertension as an adult. Hypertension is a major risk factor of cardiovascular disease and the number-one killer of men and women in the United States. FULL POST
February 26th, 2013
04:02 PM ET
Diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer in women younger than 40 has increased 2% a year, every year, from 1976 to 2009, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The increase was seen in women aged 25 to 39 of all races and ethnicities, living in both rural and urban areas.
It's a devastating diagnosis, particularly because a woman younger than 40 who is diagnosed with breast cancer is more likely to have an aggressive form of the disease and face lower survival rates.
But for perspective, the overall population of women who are affected still remains small. FULL POST
November 20th, 2012
04:53 PM ET
Patient online access to doctors and medical records was associated with increased use of almost all in-person and telephone medical services, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Those services included doctor appointments, telephone consults, after-hours clinic visits, emergency room visits and hospitalizations.
Dr. Ted Palen and his team looked at members of Kaiser Permanente Colorado, an integrated health system with more 500,000 members that includes an online patient portal known as MyHealthManager (MHM). FULL POST
November 15th, 2012
01:42 PM ET
The odds are increasing that you or someone you know has Type 2 diabetes. The latest Morbidity and Mortality report (MMWR) released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that from 1995 to 2010, there was at least a 100% increase in the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes cases in 18 states. Forty-two states saw an increase of at least 50%.
"Even when you know that [the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes] is increasing, to see that level of increase was shocking to me," says Linda Geiss, a statistician with CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation and the lead author of the MMWR.
"It was the 100% figure. 100% – that's a large increase."
Predictably, states in the South where obesity levels have also steadily increased had some of the highest increases in diabetes. Oklahoma topped the list with an increase of 226%, followed by Kentucky with 158%, Georgia with 145%, Alabama with 140% and the state of Washington with 135%.
November 6th, 2012
05:02 PM ET
Add this to the list of reasons why exercise is good for you: A new study says 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity, leisure time exercise is associated with roughly 3.4 years added to a person's life.
Researchers from the National Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, and other organizations analyzed six different prospective cohort studies of more than 632,000 people ages 40 and older. The studies had a median follow-up period of 10 years, with roughly 82,000 reported deaths. Regular, moderate intensity exercise was associated with an increased life expectancy, even when the person exercising had an unhealthy Body Mass Index (BMI).
Dr. I-Min Lee, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the senior author of the study, says that not exercising but having a healthy weight was associated with 3.1 fewer years of life, compared to obese people who were active. Conversely, people who exercised 150 minutes a week and had a healthy BMI gained an extra 7.2 years of life. FULL POST
October 24th, 2012
05:31 PM ET
Imagine this scenario: a middle-aged man clutches his chest and falls to the ground in a grocery store parking lot. He's unconscious and seems to be in the throes of cardiac arrest. There are people in the parking lot around him and almost all of them saw him fall.
Will someone give this man cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)? Well, that may depend on the type of neighborhood he's in.
A new study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the rate of bystander-initiated CPR varies according to the characteristics of the neighborhood where the cardiac arrest occurred. If the man in the above scenario collapsed in a high-income, non-African-American neighborhood, the odds that someone would give him CPR are higher than if he fell in a low-income or predominantly African-American neighborhood. FULL POST
August 29th, 2012
06:35 PM ET
The prevention of multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis can be tenuous when treatment programs aren't followed properly.
In a prospective cohort study of 1,278 patients from eight countries published in the journal Lancet, researchers found that 43.7% of patients with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis also showed resistance to at least one second-line drug.
Second-line antibiotics are used in treatment when the first line of antibiotics fails. However, these drugs are more expensive, can cause more side effects and must be taken for up to two years.
Further, extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis was found in 6.7% of the patients, a figure on par with the World Health Organization's estimate that 9.4% of the global population has XDR.
"[The study] shows really clearly that messy treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis generates extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis," said Dr. Karin Weyer, a coordinator for laboratories, diagnostics, and drug resistance at the WHO's Stop TB unit.
June 26th, 2012
05:11 PM ET
That morning cup o' joe or mid-afternoon coffee pick-me-up may play a role in keeping your heart healthy, depending on how much you drink.
A meta-analysis of five previously completed prospective studies finds that drinking two 8-ounce cups of coffee a day gives people an 11% lower risk of developing heart failure, compared to people who don't consume any coffee.
The analysis, published in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation: Heart Failure, reviewed five studies conducted between 2001 and 2011 and included a total of 140,220 patients.
"Heart failure shares risk factors with other cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes are particularly strong risk factors for heart failure," explains Elizabeth Mostofsky, the first author of the analysis and a post doctoral research fellow at the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
June 11th, 2012
05:01 PM ET
If you're one of the estimated 27 million Americans with osteoarthritis, you're probably all too familiar with the feeling of aching, swollen, or stiff knees.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen may relieve those painful symptoms in most patients. But for others, doctors may prescribe a more invasive treatment that involves injecting hyaluronic acid in to the knee, called viscosupplementation.
Now, a new report questions the efficacy of this treatment for osteoarthritis in the knee.
Hyaluronic acid is a lubricating fluid that is naturally found in the knee, but degenerates over time in people with osteoarthritis. The effect of the injection used in viscosupplementation is to stimulate cells in the knee to increase production of hyaluronic acid.
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.