August 10th, 2010
03:32 PM ET

Large waist may mean early death, even in normal weight people

Just an extra four inches on your waist may put you at greater risk of dying from heart disease, cancer or diabetes– even if you are of normal weight.

Researchers from the American Cancer Society followed more than 100,000 older people – ages 50 to 75 – for 9 years. Throughout the course of the study, participants were asked to measure their waistlines and report in.

"We found that those with biggest waistlines had twice the risk of dying than those with smaller waist size," said Eric Jacobs, an epidemiologist with the American Cancer Society, and the lead study author. "Among normal weight women, the risk of dying increased 25 percent for each additional 4 inches of waist size."


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Filed under: Cancer • Diabetes • Obesity

August 10th, 2010
03:14 PM ET

NIH begins testing dengue vaccine

The National Institutes of Health has begun human clinical testing for a vaccine to prevent dengue infection, according to a news release.

The illness is acquired through the bite of certain species of mosquitoes, primarily Aedes aegypti, but also Aedes albopictus. Around the world, about 2.5 billion people live in areas where they are at risk. FULL POST

August 10th, 2010
01:59 PM ET

Study shows testing for Alzheimer's is accurate

By Dr. Sanjay Gupta
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent

Even back when I was a medical student, we were taught Alzheimer’s disease (AD) began to cause damage in the brain years, perhaps decades before one’s memory started to fade.

The big question, of course, was how could you possibly screen for the disease before problems emerged? As things stood for a long time, the only way to know for sure if someone had AD was at the time of autopsy. In fact, the disease is named after Alois Alzheimer, a neuropathologist, who in 1906, diagnosed the disease by using special stains of the brain after a patient’s death.


August 10th, 2010
01:01 PM ET

Hormones and breast cancer: What women should consider

Over the years, numerous studies have shown that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) increases a woman's risk of developing breast cancer. But to many women, questions about side effects, hormone combinations and length of hormone use are still unanswered, causing confusion. And some continue to take hormones to relieve menopausal symptoms because they don't know where they fall in the HRT spectrum.

In an attempt to clarify the risks versus the benefits, a report published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, and conducted by researchers at the University of Southern California, looked at data from a large trial group, called the California Teachers Study. Investigators were particularly interested in the more than 2,800 women in the study who were diagnosed with breast cancer.

When looking at hormone use, investigators found women who reported using just estrogen therapy for 15 years or more had a 19 percent greater risk of breast cancer compared with women who never used hormone therapy.  And for women who used an estrogen and progestin combination or EPT for more than 15 years, their risk of developing breast cancer jumped to 83 percent.


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.