August 27th, 2010
06:53 PM ET

Charity's last hours: Brutal, beautiful

Five years after Hurricane Katrina battered Charity Hospital, pain and fear, hope and triumph, still echo through its walls.

The building is like a tomb, a thin film of dust covers relics from the last day the hospital was operational in 2005: patient logs, syringes, wheelchairs, gurneys, and Bibles with their pages curled and yellowing.

The hospital is pitch black on most floors, except where occasional slats of yellow light creep through unshuttered windows. It is eery, and quiet - nothing like when the hospital was open and bustling.

August 27th, 2010
05:16 PM ET

Medicare expands coverage of tobacco cessation counseling

Medicare will now pay for counseling for smokers who want to quit. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has expanded coverage of tobacco cessation counseling, removing a barrier to treatment for smokers on Medicare.
Previously, Medicare covered counseling for only  smokers that had been diagnosed with a tobacco related disease or showed symptoms of one.   The program already covers the nicotine patch and gum.  The expanded coverage allows all tobacco users to get counseling from a qualified doctor or a "Medicare-recognized practitioner."  FULL POST

August 27th, 2010
01:46 PM ET

Teens and texting: What you told us

This week's Empowered Patient column took a look at the lingo some teens may use in chat rooms and instant messages, and how understanding those messages can be an important tool for parents in alcohol and drug abuse prevention. What a response!

Hundreds of commenters weighed in. Many who said they were teenagers found the examples to be “outdated” or “so 1990s,” to say the least.


August 27th, 2010
12:45 PM ET

YouTube used to push tobacco, study says

Pro-tobacco videos have a significant presence on YouTube, a study published Thursday in the journal Tobacco Control found.

Researchers in New Zealand searched on the popular video site for the five leading, non-Chinese tobacco brands in the world: Marlboro, L&M, Benson and Hedges, Winston and Mild Seven, on YouTube. From the results, they selected the "most viewed" videos and analyzed the English language videos for content on how it seemed to frame tobacco (positive, negative, complex, unclear or neutral light).

According to the study, 71.2 percent of the 163 videos analyzed had pro-tobacco content, using themes like celebrities and movies, sports, music or archival footages (such as an ad using the Flintstones smoking Winston cigarettes). Of these videos, 71.2 percent contained the brand name of the tobacco product in the title. FULL POST

August 27th, 2010
11:30 AM ET

Afraid of being laughed at?

It's a funny name for a concept about laughter: gelotophobia is the fear of being laughed at. "Gelo" means laughter and "phobia" means fear in Greek.

But the concept is not a mere amusement for researchers, who are developing tools to study a fear that, in extreme form, can lead to real social isolation. A new study in the European Review of Applied Psychology looked at the French version of short questionnaire for identifying gelotophobes, finding it a useful and reliable tool for finding people who fear the laughter of others.


August 27th, 2010
10:00 AM ET

BPA raising testosterone in men?

Bisphenol A or BPA, the controversial chemical widely found in plastic products, can increase testosterone in men, a new study says.

The research, published in the Environmental Health Perspectives, analyzed data from an Italian study of 715 adults between the ages of 20 and 74 years. They measured the amount of BPA excreted in daily urine samples. On average the daily BPA exposure level was more than 5 micrograms a day. Similar researchers said, to exposures seen in the general adult U.S. population.


August 27th, 2010
08:12 AM ET

How can I get rid of 'man boobs'?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Fridays, it's physician nutrition specialist Dr. Melina Jampolis.

Question asked by Michael, Michigan: I have a question regarding for lack of a better word, "man boobs." I've been trying to get rid of them for quite some time. They've been a problem since I was in high school. The rest of my body was not extremely overweight– 175 pounds and 6 feet tall. 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.