May 20th, 2014
03:44 PM ET
The good news is that even if you have gestational diabetes, exercise can help.
A new study published this week in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine finds that every two hours of moderate activity (like walking or gardening) each week reduces a women's risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 9%. Women who added 2.5 hours or more of moderate activity to their weekly regimen reduced their risk for type 2 diabetes by 47%.
May 15th, 2014
05:44 PM ET
More than half of all young children in the United States attend a day care center or preschool, sometimes spending up to 50 hours a week at these facilities. Their parents should listen up:
A new study, published in the journal Chemosphere, finds these child care centers can host high levels of dangerous, flame-retardant chemicals.
Lead study author Asa Bradman recalls first learning about the dangers of some of these chemicals when he was in high school.
"You know, 35 years later, I'm surprised to find these materials in an environment where young children spend a lot of time," he said.
May 14th, 2014
02:24 PM ET
About half of all Americans take at least one prescription drug each month, and 10% take more than four, according to a new government report.
"Health, United States, 2013" is an annual report on the nation’s health prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. This year’s report includes a special section on prescription drugs.
Here are a few key facts from that section:
April 28th, 2014
09:57 AM ET
April 21st, 2014
04:24 PM ET
Every year, there are up to 870,000 prescriptions of codeine written for children in emergency rooms in the United States.
And that's a huge danger, because the narcotic can have particularly powerful effects on children. So powerful that the American Academy of Pediatrics issued guidelines against its use in 1997. Yet, despite those guidelines, a new study in the journal Pediatrics has found that little has changed in codeine prescribing habits.
Study author Dr. Sunitha Kaiser and her colleagues evaluated the National Hospital and Ambulatory Medical Care Survey database for emergency room visits of children between the ages of 3 and 17 from 2010 through 2010. They found found that in the nine years evaluated, the percentage of codeine prescriptions dropped very little - from 3.7% to 2.9%. FULL POST
April 17th, 2014
03:33 PM ET
You might want to think twice before heading out to your favorite oyster bar.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's annual report card on foodborne illnesses, vibrio infections - most frequently found in raw or undercooked shellfish - have increased by 75% since the CDC's previous analysis period, 2006-2008.
That's about 6,600 cases for every 100,000 people - and for every case that is reported, the CDC estimates there 142 more that aren't diagnosed.
The microbe that causes vibrio is found naturally in coastal saltwater. It only represents 1% of foodborne illness in the United States, according to the CDC, but that's still 35,000 cases of food poisoning each year. Vibrio infections are at their highest rate since the CDC started tracking nine foodborne illness-related microorganisms in 1996, according to the new report. FULL POST
January 7th, 2014
04:27 PM ET
Fifty years ago, Surgeon General Dr. Luther Terry made a bombshell announcement: "The strongest relationship between cigarette smoking and health is in the field of lung cancer. There is a very strong relationship, and probably a causal relationship, between heart disease and cigarette smoking."
It was the first time a surgeon general said that smokers had a 70% greater chance of death and that heavy smokers were 20 times more likely to develop lung cancer than non-smokers.
The landmark report launched one of the biggest public health campaigns in U.S. history, including warning labels on cigarettes, cigarette advertising banned on TV and radio, graphic public service announcements, and anti-smoking laws.
Now a new study in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association - which has devoted its entire issue to tobacco and smoking - estimates that tobacco control efforts since the first Surgeon General's report have added 20 years of life for 8 million Americans. Without tobacco control, half of those Americans would have died before the age of 65.
December 23rd, 2013
04:18 PM ET
While some may consider women “the fairer sex,” science says otherwise.
It’s been known that women, in general, have stronger immune systems. Researchers say males have more bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic reactions than females, as well as more severe reactions, and women have a "more robust response to antigenic challenges such as infection and vaccination," according to a new study published Monday.
Why women have stronger immune reactions hasn't always been clear. But the new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, finds it may have something to do with testosterone. FULL POST
December 10th, 2013
11:03 AM ET
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death world-wide. About half of all long-term smokers will die because of their addiction. But the good news is that nearly 70% of current smokers want to quit, says the CDC.
And using an effective treatment to help kick the habit can almost double or triple one's chance of success. Replacement therapies like the nicotine patch or gum, or medications like the antidepressant buproprion (sold as Wellbutrin or Zyban) and varenicline (commonly known as Chantix), can help reduce one's cravings to smoke and deal with withdrawal symptoms.
Headlines in recent years have questioned the cardiovascular risks of these drugs. But new research says that these drugs carry little risk of heart attack or stroke. FULL POST
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.