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Antidepressants during pregnancy don't raise infant death risk
January 3rd, 2013
02:26 PM ET

Antidepressants during pregnancy don't raise infant death risk

It's a heated question: should women take antidepressants during pregnancy? Some experts argue for it and some against, but a new study may ease the minds of women facing the decision.

Researchers say taking a common type of antidepressant does not increase the risk of having a stillborn child or losing an infant early in life. The study was published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

"It does strengthen the view that these meds are safer than we once thought," explains Dr. Jennifer Payne, director of the Women's Mood Disorders Center at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. FULL POST


Cardio burns more fat than weight lifting
December 17th, 2012
12:33 PM ET

Cardio burns more fat than weight lifting

If you want to burn fat and lose weight, aerobic exercise may be your best workout option, according to a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

It was more effective than a weight-lifting routine, and about as beneficial as workouts combining cardio and strength training, researchers found.

"If a person is going to give me three hours of exercise a week,the most effective way to lose fat is to spend that time doing aerobic training," says lead study author Leslie Willis, an exercise physiologist at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina.

If you lift weights, this doesn't mean you should stop, but if your time is limited and your main goal from exercise is to lose weight, cardio may be better than weight training, according to Willis. FULL POST


Antidepressants during pregnancy can be tricky
October 31st, 2012
11:53 AM ET

Antidepressants during pregnancy can be tricky

For years, pregnant women who suffer from depression have been told it's safer for them and their unborn child to continue taking antidepressants during pregnancy.

Now a new study is challenging that advice, suggesting the opposite is true and advocating against most women taking these drugs. If the depression is severe, however, the benefits might outweigh the risks, so it's best to check with your psychiatrist or physician.

Experts say about 13% of women take an antidepressant at some point during their pregnancy. Many drugs are called SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Taking these medicines while pregnant, however, may raise safety concerns, according to a review of existing research published Wednesday in the journal Human Reproduction. FULL POST


Multivitamins may prevent cancer in men
Researchers aren't sure that the results will be seen in other groups of people, such as women or smokers.
October 17th, 2012
10:53 AM ET

Multivitamins may prevent cancer in men

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.

The study

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.
FULL POST


Kids who sleep more cope better
October 15th, 2012
12:02 AM ET

Kids who sleep more cope better

Sleepy school children make crabby classmates, while students who get plenty of sleep are better behaved, according to a new study published this week in the journal Pediatrics.

"Extending sleep opens the door to an effective, feasible way to improve children's health and performance," says study author Reut Gruber, director of the Attention Behavior and Sleep Lab at the Douglas Research Center in Quebec, Canada.

The study

Gruber and his colleagues wanted to find out if the behavior of elementary school children was affected by how much sleep they got. The researchers, with the permission of parents, enrolled 34 students ages 7 to 11 in the study. These were healthy kids who didn't have sleep problems or behavior or academic issues.
FULL POST


Tomatoes may help reduce stroke risk
October 8th, 2012
04:01 PM ET

Tomatoes may help reduce stroke risk

Eating tomatoes in your daily salad or regularly enjoying a healthy red sauce on your spaghetti could help reduce your risk of stroke, according to research published this week in the journal Neurology. 

Tomatoes contain a powerful antioxidant that is good for brain health, the researchers say, and cooked tomatoes seem to offer more protection than raw.   

"This study adds to the evidence that a diet high in fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of stroke," says study author Jouni Karppi, of the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio. "A diet containing tomatoes... a few times a week would be good for our health. However, daily intake of tomatoes may give better protection." 
FULL POST


Too much salt spells health trouble for kids too
Too much sodium can lead to elevated or high blood pressure in kids, which can persist into adulthood, researchers say.
September 17th, 2012
12:05 AM ET

Too much salt spells health trouble for kids too

Children are eating as much salt as adults, according to a new report, and experts are concerned.

Most adults consume too much sodium and that can have serious health implications. Too much salt in a person's diet can raise your blood pressure; high blood pressure increases the risk for heart disease and stroke.

In this new study, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, researchers found that if a child is overweight and eats as much salt as an adult, the risk for high blood pressure goes up dramatically.
FULL POST


Dark chocolate may lower blood pressure
A study shows dark chocolate may lower blood pressure slightly.
August 16th, 2012
11:19 AM ET

Dark chocolate may lower blood pressure

Eating a little dark chocolate each day may be good for the heart, but only if you grab your running shoes in one hand and an apple in the other.

New research found that people who ate dark chocolate or cocoa for short periods of time saw a slight drop in blood pressure. But there is a caveat: If you eat these treats, you need to make sure you're doing all of the right things to stay healthy, such as exercising, eating right and - if you're on blood pressure medicine - taking that as well.

The study

Scientists in Melbourne, Australia, curious about the role of dark chocolate in heart health, looked at 20 studies in which adults ate dark chocolate or cocoa. More than 850 people participated in the trials that generally ran from two to eight weeks.

FULL POST


Dental fillings linked to kids' behavior problems
July 16th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

Dental fillings linked to kids' behavior problems

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in the U.S. for kids. In fact, more than half of elementary school students will have cavities by the time they're in second grade, according to the National Institutes of Health. 

Since the 1970s, dentists have been using tooth-colored fillings that contain derivatives of the controversial chemical bisphenol A (BPA), in favor of the metal amalgam fillings.

Now a new analysis on dental fillings in children suggests these non-metal fillings may contribute to behavioral problems.  The study authors caution that their results only point to an association; they say their analysis does not prove that BPA causes any behavior changes.
FULL POST


Kids taking fewer antibiotics, more ADHD meds
June 18th, 2012
07:45 AM ET

Kids taking fewer antibiotics, more ADHD meds

American children are taking fewer antibiotics now than 10 years ago, but prescriptions to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, have increased, according to a new report by the Food and Drug Administration.

FDA researchers analyzed large prescription drug databases, looking at more than 2,000 drugs, to identify the top 30 medications most prescribed to children up to age 17. 

They found 263.6 million prescriptions were filled for infant through adolescent patients in 2010 – down 7% compared to 2002.

However, a closer look at the numbers reveals that while prescriptions for some drugs went down, others were prescribed more often between 2002 and 2010. The findings were published in the journal Pediatrics on Monday.
FULL POST


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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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