August 19th, 2010
06:46 PM ET

Lifestyle affects teen headaches

Teenagers who are overweight, got little exercise and smoked are much more likely to get headaches than teens who are healthier, according to a study reported in the medical journal Neurology.

The research conducted in Norway found that  overweight teens were 40 percent more likely to get headaches than healthier teens, 50 percent more apt to complain of headaches if they smoked and 20 more likely if they exercised very little. And if a teenager had all three negative lifestyle behaviors –  smoked, was heavy, and wasn't physically active – he or she was five times more likely to get weekly headaches than those who were healthy and fit. FULL POST

August 19th, 2010
06:11 PM ET

Smoking in movies still a hazard, CDC says

Nearly half of the top-grossing films from 2009  contained depictions of tobacco use, following an unsteady decline from the early 1990s, according to a report Thursday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The figures come two years after the National Cancer Institute warned that kids greatly exposed to onscreen smoking are two to three times more likely to start smoking than youths with lighter exposure.

The study analyzed the number of incidents of tobacco use in the highest-grossing films from 1991 to 2009. During this period, the number of incidents peaked in 2005, but has since progressively declined. The trend may be linked with a significant decrease in high school students who had ever tried a cigarette. However, the decline is not enough given the “strong scientific base that smoking onscreen causes kids to smoke," said lead author of the study, Dr. Stanton Glantz of the University of California, San Francisco. Today tobacco use remains the cause of one out of five deaths in the U.S., and approximately 1,000 youths daily become cigarette smokers.


August 19th, 2010
05:26 PM ET

New center aims to curb tooth decay in infants and toddlers

The University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital are teaming to combat the rise of childhood dental disease in the U.S. by opening the first Center for Pediatric Dentistry.  The center will not only provide modern dental care to local children but also seek to raise awareness about early intervention and  preventing disease in first place, says Dr. Joel Berg, the center’s director.

Parents and even many pediatricians aren’t aware of just how early children’s teeth can begin rotting. The center's targeting of tooth decay in infants, preschoolers and toddlers makes it unique, says Dr. John S. Rutkauskas, CEO of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD).  Rutkauskas tells CNN he believes this center could be a model for other practices.


August 19th, 2010
03:52 PM ET

How can I relieve the burning in my mouth?

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

From Karen Burns, Matawan, New Jersey

"My mouth has been on fire for two years! I have burning mouth syndrome. Could you please provide information about this disturbing syndrome?”


Filed under: Expert Q&A

August 19th, 2010
12:58 PM ET

Survey: Gang presence increasing in public schools

Nearly a third of students aged 12 to 17 in public schools say their schools are "infected" with both gangs and drugs, according to a survey by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA).

According to the report, 66 percent of high school students said their schools were drug-infected, a steep increase from last year when 51 percent said their schools had drugs. In the newest survey, one in three middle-schoolers say drugs are used, kept, or sold at their school. Last year, 23 percent of children in middle school said they had drugs in their school.


August 19th, 2010
12:11 PM ET

TEDMED: Mixing magic and placebos

Sometimes confidence in modern medicine is so strong that even a fake intervention, or some element of treatment that doesn't have medical properties itself can make you feel better. This is called the placebo effect.

Studies have found that the price, branding, and color of drugs may affect how people respond to them. Moreover, sham needles are more effective than fake pills in relieving persistent arm pain, this 2006 study found.


August 19th, 2010
03:00 AM ET

Pesticide exposure linked to ADHD

Children exposed to common pesticides are more likely to have problems with attention span, according to a new study that followed mothers and children from the time of pregnancy, to age 5.

The chemicals in question – organophosphates – have mostly been banned from household pesticides, but are widely used in agriculture. At high doses, they are known to be highly damaging to the brain and nervous system. The impact through chronic, lower doses has been controversial.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, began by measuring pesticide exposure in the womb, then followed up with the same children, years later. Using a variety of measures, they found that children with more exposure to organophosphates fared worse – both on computerized testing of attention span, and standard scales used to assess attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).


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.

August 2010
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