June 17th, 2010
09:20 PM ET

Opiate-caused ER visits skyrocket

By Val Willingham
CNN Medical Producer

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the most common poisonings treated in emergency departments in the United States, are caused by misuse of opioid pain medications.  It is estimated that at least 980,000 people in the United States are currently addicted to some type of opiates.

So it's no surprise that a recent study, conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found a 111 percent increase in emergency room visits involving non-medical use of prescription opioid pain relievers.


June 17th, 2010
07:51 PM ET

Should you worry about burning the oil spill?

By Caleb Hellerman
CNN Senior Medical Producer

As cleanup workers burn off oil from BP’s ruined Deepwater Horizon well, the black clouds of smoke soaring skyward are carrying questions about health risks, along with a thick helping of soot, volatile gases and other toxic byproducts.

The most immediate risk is to cleanup workers or others in proximity to the burn, according to Dr. Phil Harber, head of the division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

However, depending on the eventual scope of the burn, and length of the cleanup effort, others on shore could be affected, says Harber. “People with asthma, or who are very young, or who have cardiac disease,  are much more likely to be sensitive the released pollutants.”


June 17th, 2010
04:26 PM ET

Your questions about pain relief

By Elizabeth Landau
CNN.com Health Writer/Producer

We received an enormous reader response last week regarding the study on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and cardiovascular death. That study found that there were 769 deaths out of 1,028,437 relatively healthy people who took NSAIDs – a small but significant risk – and that the risk went up with higher doses.

CNN gave some of your questions to Dr. Eugene Viscusi, director of pain management at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Here's what he had to say:


June 17th, 2010
01:18 PM ET

Motion sickness solutions

As a feature of CNNhealth.com, our team of expert doctors will answer readers' questions. Here's a question for Dr. Gupta.

From Doan in Vietnam:

“Why do I always have car sickness and vomit a lot when I travel? Any ways to prevent this?”


June 17th, 2010
01:14 PM ET

Diabetics at higher cancer risk

By Leslie Wade
CNN Medical Producer

Type 2 diabetes may increase the risk of developing cancer, according to a joint statement released by the American Diabetes Association and the American Cancer Society.

"The evidence is very strong, about a twofold higher risk of cancer among those with diabetes: liver cancer, pancreatic cancer and endometrial cancer. And to a lesser extent, diabetes looks to be a risk factor for colorectal cancer, breast cancer and bladder cancer," says Susan Gapstur, vice president of the Epidemiology Research Program at the American Cancer Society.


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Filed under: Cancer • Diabetes

June 17th, 2010
11:55 AM ET

Should pregnant women be medical test subjects?

By Stephanie Smith
CNN Medical Producer

Citing high death rates among pregnant women during the recent H1N1 flu pandemic, researchers spelled out what they believe is an urgent need to perform clinical testing in that group, according an article in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The researchers called pregnant women "therapeutic orphans" because of their virtual exclusion from medical research.

"The importance of studying subpopulations that have previously been excluded from research is undeniable," wrote the authors. "Ironically, the effort to protect the fetus from research-related risks by excluding pregnant women from research places both women and their fetuses at great risk..." 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.