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Youths, violence and gun ownership
July 9th, 2013
02:52 PM ET

Youths, violence and gun ownership

Nearly one in four young adults and teenagers admitted to a Flint, Michigan, emergency department for non-sexual assault injuries say they currently possess a firearm of their own or have possessed one within the past six months, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

The estimate is higher than past studies have found. One reason, according to the researchers, is that the young people studied had been involved in violent disputes; previous research looked at all comers to the emergency room.

Only 17% of those reporting they possessed a firearm say they obtained the weapon legally. FULL POST


IVF may slightly increase mental retardation risk
A medical worker prepares to perform intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
July 2nd, 2013
06:41 PM ET

IVF may slightly increase mental retardation risk

While new research finds no significant link between autism and singleton children conceived via in vitro fertilization (IVF), a slightly increased risk of mental retardation, or intellectual disability, was found following IVF treatment including intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

ICSI involves the injection of a single sperm into an egg to fertilize it.  Researchers found when ICSI was used to overcome male infertility, the  risk for intellectual disability increased slightly compared to IVF without ICSI.

"The reasons (for an increased risk) could be the underlying infertility,” says Abraham Reichenberg, one of the study authors and a professor at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York and King's College London.

“It could be something happening in the many steps that are involved in each of the treatments, or something that's happening later in the pregnancies, or all of them combined together.  It could be any one of those steps.  In any one of them it could go wrong." FULL POST


Report: New bird flu deadlier than swine flu
June 23rd, 2013
06:35 PM ET

Report: New bird flu deadlier than swine flu

The H7N9 bird flu virus, first identified in humans earlier this year, kills about 36% of infected people admitted to hospitals in China, according to a new report published Sunday in the British medical journal The Lancet.

Far more difficult to estimate, according to the study, is how many die in the general population after becoming infected, as the most severe cases are also more likely to lead to hospitalization.

That estimate – a 0.16% to 2.8% overall fatality rate for those showing symptoms of infection – suggests that the H7N9 virus is less deadly than the H5N1 Bird Flu first appearing in 2003, and more deadly than the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic. FULL POST


Cold sores linked to cognitive decline
March 26th, 2013
10:04 AM ET

Cold sores linked to cognitive decline

The virus causing your cold sore may put you at risk for something more insidious: Lower cognitive abilities.

In a study of 1,625 people, researchers at Columbia University measured specific antibodies to common infectious agents in each person's blood, and using this information, created an "infectious burden index." Participants higher on the infectious burden index were more likely to have worse cognition, or cognitive abilities.

The study, published Monday in the journal Neurology, further suggests a link between cognitive decline and herpesviridae viral infections in particular, which previous studies have also linked to Alzheimer's disease and risk of stroke, an accompanying editorial notes. Herpesviridae is a family of viruses including HSV-1 or herpes simplex virus-1, which causes cold sores and can cause genital herpes, and HSV-2, which commonly causes genital herpes.
FULL POST


A health care tale of two counties
March 20th, 2013
07:11 AM ET

A health care tale of two counties

Two New York boroughs, Manhattan and the Bronx, are separated by just a few stops on the subway. Nonetheless, they are vastly different in key public health measurements.

The Bronx ranks dead last for health among all counties in New York, while Manhattan (also known as New York County) is near the top third. The rankings were based on rates of premature death and health-related quality of life. The list was recently compiled and updated for every county in every state by the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute.
FULL POST


CDC: 20 million new sexually transmitted infections yearly
A vaccine can help protect preteen boys and girls against some types of human papillomavirus that can lead to disease.
February 13th, 2013
05:03 PM ET

CDC: 20 million new sexually transmitted infections yearly

There are about 20 million new sexually transmitted infections (STIs) each year in the United States, costing some $16 billion in direct medical costs, according to numbers released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Young people are disproportionately affected, the agency said, with half of all new infections occurring in people ages 15 through 24.

"In general, CDC estimated the total number of infections in the calendar year, rather than the number of individuals with infection, since one person can have more than one STI at a given time" or more than one episode of a single STI, officials said. But "CDC used conservative assumptions in generating its estimates, so the true numbers of STIs in the United States may be even higher than estimated."  FULL POST

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Filed under: CDC • Conditions • HIV/AIDS • HPV • Living Well • Sex

California data shows ADHD cases rising
January 21st, 2013
04:39 PM ET

California data shows ADHD cases rising

In 10 years, diagnoses of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) increased 24% in southern California, according to a study published Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Doctors reviewed anonymized medical records for children treated at the Kaiser Permanente Southern California physicians group between 2001 and 2010 - 842,830 children in all, according to the research.

Overall, in 2001, 2.5% of children aged 5 to 11 were diagnosed with ADHD, but that number crept up to 3.1% by 2010. FULL POST


Why many would-be bone marrow, blood stem cell donors back out
Donating bone marrow is a very low-risk procedure, with only 1.3% of donors experiencing complications.
January 9th, 2013
11:37 AM ET

Why many would-be bone marrow, blood stem cell donors back out

Upon being identified as potential bone marrow or blood stem cell donors, many people choose not to participate. As result, patients with blood cancers go without life-saving treatments.

About 40% of whites and 60% of nonwhites are no longer available for whatever reason to donate when contacted for confirmatory testing by blood sample, according to data from the National Marrow Donor Program and Be The Match. Surveys from Be The Match also suggest that about 10-23% of donors are unavailable specifically because they choose to opt out.  Why? That's the question researchers attempted to answer in a recent study.

"The most consistent factor associated with opting-out of the registry across all race/ethnic groups was ambivalence about donation - doubts and worries, feeling unsure about donation, wishing someone else would donate in one's place," writes Galen Switzer, a professor of medicine and psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, in the study, published in December in the journal Blood.

FULL POST


December 11th, 2012
02:57 PM ET

HIV helps put girl's leukemia in remission

An experimental treatment in which researchers reengineer a patient's own immune system to attack cancer cells seems to have worked in a 7-year old girl named Emma Whitehead. The acute lymphoblastic leukemia that almost claimed Whitehead's life is now in remission.

Whitehead received the treatment, called T-cell immunotherapy, in April. First doctors drew Whitehead's blood, separated out white blood cells called T-cells, and then, using a disabled AIDS virus to transmit genetic material, made the T-cells capable of identifying and attacking leukemia cells.

Finally, the genetically modified T-cells were transfused back into Whitehead, where they went to work wiping out her leukemia to below the level of detection, a process that can itself be deadly. FULL POST


Pesticides in tap water, produce linked to food allergies
December 4th, 2012
01:59 PM ET

Pesticides in tap water, produce linked to food allergies

Pesticides in produce and drinking water may be playing a role in the increasing prevalence of food allergies, according to a new study.

Researchers looked at 2,211 people and found those in the top 25% for urine concentrations of chemical dichlorophenols - used to chlorinate tap water and keep pests off produce - were also 80% more likely to have a food allergy.

"Adults can develop food allergies even though they're not kids anymore," says allergist and study author Dr. Elina Jerschow. "Adult allergies to foods are on the rise. That certainly includes shellfish and fish allergies, but also peanuts. We don't know what influences this development. But having been exposed to dichlorophenols in our study suggests there could be some link." 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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