January 29th, 2013
02:03 PM ET
You might think that heavy smokers make for bad lung donors. But a new a study finds donors who smoked more than a pack of cigarettes a day for more than 20 years were strong candidates for double lung transplant donors.
The study was presented this week at the annual Society of Thoracic Surgeons meeting.
Authors of the study evaluated 5,900 adult double lung transplants between 2005 and 2011 in the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) database. UNOS is the nation’s organ transplant management system. Heavy smokers made up 13%, or 766 of the double lung transplants studied.
Researchers found that the patients who received the smokers' lungs had similar short and medium term survival rates as those who received lungs from people who did not smoke heavily. FULL POST
December 10th, 2012
04:29 PM ET
A study published in this week’s Pediatrics finds that infants who experienced oxygen deprivation in utero are at an increased risk of developing attention-deficit (hyperactivity) disorder in childhood.
Prenatal exposure to oxygen deprivation conditions, known as ischemic-hypoxic conditions, can result from birth asphyxia, neonatal respiratory distress syndrome and preeclampsia.
Researchers went through the medical records of nearly 82,000 children between the ages of 5 and 11 and found that children who had experienced those conditions were 16% more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD later in childhood. FULL POST
November 28th, 2012
10:35 AM ET
Could the couch in your living room be toxic? Some scientists say yes.
A study in this week’s Environmental Science and Technology journal measured just how many toxic flame-retardant chemicals are in our furniture.
Researchers found that 85% of couches contained some combination of flame retardant chemicals in their cushion foam. Aside from upholstered furniture, flame retardant chemicals can also be found in car seats and nursing pillows, or any other product that has polyurethane foam. In addition, it can be used in carpeting and electronics. FULL POST
September 19th, 2012
03:37 PM ET
Eating rice once a day can increase arsenic levels in the body by at least 44%, according to a new study from Consumer Reports.
The study surveyed more than 60 different rice products ranging from infant cereals to rice pasta and rice drinks and found “worrisome” levels of inorganic arsenic in most of the products. Others suggest, however, the levels are not cause for concern.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, inorganic arsenic has been linked to liver, bladder, and lung cancer.
Urvashi Rangan, Consumer Reports lead scientist on the study, said the study isn’t meant to scare people from eating rice, rather “our investigation of arsenic in rice is supposed to inform consumers.” FULL POST
August 27th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
We all know that exercise and fitness are key components to healthy living. Now new research is adding further proof that it will increase your quality of life.
The study, published in this week’s Archive of Internal Medicine, finds that being fit in the middle of your life not only delays the onset of chronic diseases later in life, but also shortens the duration of disease.
“We’ve known for years that exercise is good for you, but what’s not been clear is to what extent the health benefits persist across a lifespan,” said study author Dr. Jarrett Berry, associate professor of medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
August 20th, 2012
12:01 AM ET
While surgery carries risks for anyone, “going under” can have some particular risks for the very young.
A study coming out in the September issue of Pediatrics finds that children who have anesthesia before the age of 3, are at a higher risk for developmental delay issues later in life.
The study looked at more than 2,600 children in Australia who were tracked as part of the Raine Study. Authors found that by the age of 10, children who’d been exposed to anesthesia at a young age were more than twice as likely to have developmental issues with listening and speaking comprehension.
July 28th, 2012
03:10 PM ET
In the wake of the suicide of former New England Patriot and San Diego Charger Junior Seau, the National Football League launched the NFL Life Line this week. The Life Line is an around-the-clock crisis support line to help current and former players, as well as their families, in times of need.
In a letter to NFL personnel and fans announcing the program, Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote, “There is no higher priority for the National Football League than the health and wellness of our players.”
The phone line will be independently run from the NFL, and all calls will be kept confidential.
“It’s a relief that that’s going to be there,” said Shannon Jordan, president of Gridiron Greats, a program devoted to helping retired NFL players in need get financial and medical assistance.
As talk of mental health issues become more mainstream in the football community, Jordan is sure that more players will be willing to reach out for help.
On the NFL’s Life Line website, a series of video messages from players including Michael Irvin and Brett Favre emphasize it’s OK to ask for help.
In one video, titled “To My Brothers,” Irvin says, “We have to share with one another.”
The NFL teamed up with national mental health organizations such as the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to implement the program.
Dr . Tim Lineberry, a psychiatrist with the Mayo Clinic and suicide prevention specialist, hopes the message will be felt beyond the football field. “The NFL is such a big part of American life,” he said. “I think it might have potential impact on others.”
Seau committed suicide in May. He was 43.
July 25th, 2012
06:05 PM ET
The Senate Commerce Committee bashed drug distributors for up-charging patients at a hearing Wednesday about the “grey-market” for short-supply drugs.
The “grey market” is the second-hand market, where drugs, frequently in short supply, are re-distributed and sold by various distributors and wholesalers.
It’s an already dire situation for many patients in need. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, drug shortages have increased nearly 300% since 2005. Many of the drugs on this list are cancer treatments. The “grey market” only exacerbates the price and the shortage issue.
July 16th, 2012
07:45 AM ET
It’s well-known that exercising to maintain a healthy heart also helps create a healthy mind. But several new studies suggest that when it comes to preventing dementia, not all forms of exercise are created equal.
Studies presented at this year’s Alzheimer’s Association International Conference found that resistance training was particularly beneficial for improving the cognitive abilities of older adults.
While the studies were small, all including 150 participants or less, they did seemed to indicate that resistance training – such as weight lifting or using resistance bands – could possibly be an intervention for dementia in older adults.
June 13th, 2012
08:01 AM ET
Pop Warner, the first national youth sport organization to implement concussion rules, is changing its rules regarding football practices.
The first rule change limits the amount of contact drills, such as one-on-one blocking, tackling and scrimmaging to 40 minutes per practice, or no more than a third of the total weekly practice time. Pop Warner already caps practice at 2 hours a day, 3 days a week during the regular season.
The second rule change prohibits full-speed head-on blocking or tackling with players more than 3 yards apart. Full speed drills may occur only when players approach each other from the angle, but not straight into each other.
“The purpose of this change in the rules is to limit the exposure in practice, which makes up the majority of head impact," said Dr. Julian Bailes, chairman of the Pop Warner Medical Advisory Board.
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.