July 26th, 2010
06:48 PM ET

Childhood abuse linked to adult heart disease

Adults who were physically abused during childhood are more likely later to develop heart disease.  In fact, abused children have 45 percent higher odds of heart problems later in life compared with children who are not abused, according to new research published in the journal Child Abuse & Neglect.

"If you take two people who are identical to one another, same sex, same age, same background, and the only thing different between them is that one reports being physically abused as a child, the one who was abused has a greater odds of reporting also having heart disease," said Esme Fuller-Thomson, an associate professor of Social Work at the University of Toronto.


July 26th, 2010
05:59 PM ET

Low-risk prostate cancer gets aggressive therapy

Most men diagnosed with prostate cancer are undergoing aggressive treatment even if their prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level and risk of disease are actually low, a new study found.
PSA is a protein made in the prostate gland. It's normal for men to have a small amount of this protein in their blood, but elevated levels could be a sign of cancer or other prostate disease. Typically a PSA level below 4.0 nanograms per milliliter is considered normal and that number is used to determine whether a biopsy or further testing is necessary.

In a report in the Archives of Internal Medicine researchers looked at risk and treatment patterns of nearly 124,000 men that had just been diagnosed with prostate cancer between 2004 and 2006. Fourteen percent had PSAs 4.0 nanograms per milliliter or below. Fifty-four percent of those had low-risk disease–stage II or lower–yet prostatectomy or radiation therapy was the treatment chosen for 75 percent of the group.


July 26th, 2010
12:52 PM ET

2 new meds help beat head lice

It's almost time to go back to school, not only for children, but also for lice.  The American Academy of Pediatrics is offering new guidance on how to treat the most difficult cases of the pesky parasite.  "We're still recommending the first line products because they have an excellent track record, but making sure parents are aware of second line products most of which are available by prescriptions," says Dr. Barbara Frankowski, one of the study authors and a pediatrician in Burlington, Vermont.

According to the Mayo Clinic, lice are second only to the common cold among communicable diseases affecting schoolchildren.  Adult lice are about the size of a strawberry seed.  Often by the time they are visible they have been around for a weeks, says Frankowski.


July 26th, 2010
11:48 AM ET

Bipolar answers for kids tough to find

Dr. Charles Raison, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University, offers thoughts today on new research on diagnosing bipolar disorder in children. Every Tuesday, he answers viewer questions on mental health on CNNHealth.com.

I get a lot of reader questions on bipolar disorder, particularly bipolar in children. In fact in May we had quite an interesting conversation about whether bipolar disorder can really be diagnosed in young children and the stress and guilt that parents feel in these situations.

A new study touches upon this very issue:  How reliably bipolar disorder can be diagnosed in young people before the development of clear-cut disease symptoms (for example a full-blown mania).


July 26th, 2010
10:36 AM ET

Full face transplant patient appears in public

The world's first full face transplant recipient, identified only as Oscar, appeared in public for the first time at a press conference held at a Spanish hospital on Monday.

In March, University Hospital Vall d'Hebron performed the  transplant in an operation that took 24 hours. Oscar, whose face was severely injured in an accident, had undergone nine failed operations before being considered for the transplant. 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.

July 2010
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