May 2nd, 2012
12:01 PM ET
There are few places that illustrate the fragility of life better than a neonatal intensive care unit. Premature babies, hooked up to tubes and monitors, their tiny legs sticking out of the smallest of diapers: it's a sight can bring tears to your eyes and a prayer to your lips.
One in 10 children are born prematurely every year around the world. That comes to about 15 million babies.
A new study - the first of its kind - ranks preterm birth rates around the globe. The United States comes in at 131 on the list of 184 countries.
April 17th, 2012
12:01 AM ET
There's a fascinating new parenting study out that caught our eye at The Chart. It involves the sleep habits of babies and toddlers.
Research suggests if mom is depressed, she's more likely to wake her baby up in the middle of the night, even if the baby is fine. Experts say if that happens occasionally, it's not a problem.
But if it happens often, it can lead to developmental issues.
In the study, published in the journal Child Development, researchers at Pennsylvania State University observed 45 families over the course of a week. The children ranged in age from 1 month to 2 years. Moms were asked questions about a variety of issues from how they were doing emotionally to the baby's sleep patterns.
March 28th, 2012
03:56 PM ET
Hispanics are one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the United States. By the year 2050, the U.S. Census Bureau projects Hispanics will compose 30 percent of the population. Most are Mexican-American. A new government study drills down on the changing way Mexican-Americans adults are eating and its effect on their health.
Researchers at the National Center for Health Statistics compared statistics from 1982-1984 and 1999-2006.
Among the findings:
December 12th, 2011
04:39 PM ET
The National Basketball Association has a new program designed to protect players against the long-term impact of concussions. On Monday, the league announced it has set up a concussion management program that will be run by Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, one of the world's leading experts on sports and head injuries. Among the program's protocols:
– All players will get an annual baseline neurological exam and cognitive assessment.
The program went into effect on Friday, when players reported to training camp.
Programming note: Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta has been investigating concussions in sports. Be sure to watch Big Hits, Broken Dreams, debuting Sunday, January 29 at 8 p.m. ET.
November 14th, 2011
06:30 PM ET
The "Just Say No" generation was often told by parents and teachers that intelligent people didn't use drugs. Turns out, the adults may have been wrong.
A new British study finds children with high IQs are more likely to use drugs as adults than people who score low on IQ tests as children. The data come from the 1970 British Cohort Study, which has been following thousands of people over decades. The kids' IQs were tested at the ages of 5, 10 and 16. The study also asked about drug use and looked at education and other socioeconomic factors. Then when participants turned 30, they were asked whether they had used drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and heroin in the past year.
October 19th, 2011
12:01 PM ET
Eleven percent of Americans over age 12 take antidepressants according to a report released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control. The study, compiled by the National Center for Health Statistics, looked at data from 2005 to 2008. Among the other key findings:
But it was another finding that surprised lead study author, Laura Pratt, an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control. Only one-third of people with severe depression take antidepressants. "That means many people with severe depression are not getting treated," says Pratt.
September 26th, 2011
12:01 AM ET
There is nothing quite as momentous as bringing a new baby home. There are smiles, kisses and sometimes tears, especially for families who have waited a long time for the moment to arrive. For parents who adopt children from abroad, arriving home is often extra special. The investment of time, money and travel has resulted in a homecoming for a special little person who is finally sleeping safely in Mom and Dad's arms.
In the past, experts have told parents who travel internationally to adopt children to get vaccinated against the hepatitis A virus. Now the American Academy of Pediatrics is supporting a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation that other people who may have close contact with the children in the months after they arrive in the United States also get vaccinated.
April 25th, 2011
12:50 PM ET
The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first vaccine to prevent meningitis in babies and toddlers. For years, doctors have used Menactra to vaccinate people between the ages of 2 and 55 to prevent Neisseria meningitidis, one of the leading forms of bacterial meningitis. Now, doctors have the green light to use it in patients as young as 9 months.
April 18th, 2011
12:01 AM ET
Dan Savage knows what it's like to be teased for being different. Savage, who writes the syndicated relationship and sex advice column Savage Love, remembers being mocked by his homeroom teacher in the eighth grade. Why? He loved to cook. "And of course, that was code for being homo. I felt like he was painting a bullseye on my back," recalled Savage.
Savage has been at the forefront of the movement to stop teen bullying. Last fall, after the suicides of Justin Aaberg and Billy Lucas, teens bullied for being gay, Dan and his husband, Terry Miller, created a You Tube video to encourage kids who are facing harassment. The video exploded into the It Gets Better Project.
Savage's project came to mind when I heard about a new study out in the Journal Pediatrics about gay, lesbian and bisexual kids and suicide. The headline: Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth living in places that are not supportive are 20 percent more likely to commit suicide than LGB kids living in supportive environments.
April 4th, 2011
06:21 PM ET
Moving can be hard. You have to figure out your way around a new town and get to know new people. For immigrants, it can be especially difficult. Often, you have to learn a new language. The food is different. It can be lonely being far from family and friends. You hunger for something familiar.
That seems to be especially true for people who move from Mexico to the United States. A new study finds Mexicans who migrate are far more likely to experience significant depression and anxiety than people who stay in Mexico.
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.