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Banned pesticides linked to endometriosis
The EPA now restricts the use of organochlorine pesticides, along with the United Nations’ Stockholm Convention.
November 5th, 2013
11:49 AM ET

Banned pesticides linked to endometriosis

Women with higher levels of pesticides in their blood are also more likely to have endometriosis, according to a new study published Tuesday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Endometriosis is a chronic condition in which tissue normally lining the uterus’ interior walls also grows outside the uterus, commonly to the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or pelvis –- causing pelvic pain and infertility.

“It affects women during their reproductive years and it could be that as many as 10% of women during reproductive ages have endometriosis,” says Victoria Holt, a researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington and lead study author.

More than 5 million women have endometriosis, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Women's Health.

“What we know about endometriosis is that it's an estrogen-driven disease. Women who have more estrogen are more likely to have it," Holt says.

Once in the body, some organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) are believed to mimic estrogen, possibly contributing to endometriosis. FULL POST


Improved brain injury survival furthers organ shortage
Safety measures like seat belts prevent new injuries from occurring and prevent existing injuries from progressing to brain death.
November 4th, 2013
01:37 PM ET

Improved brain injury survival furthers organ shortage

More hospital patients are surviving traumatic brain injuries - which is good news, except for those waiting on donated organs for transplants. Improved survival rates have resulted in fewer transplant organs being available, Canadian researchers found.

A study published last week in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CAMJ), examined the recovery outcomes of 2,788 adult patients admitted to regional intensive care units in Alberta, Canada, over a 10.5 year period.

“Prior to the study, we had noticed a decline in the number of deceased organ donors in Southern Alberta,” said Dr. Andreas Kramer, lead author of the study. “Since we were seeing fewer patients with brain injuries, we thought we would find fewer patients progressing to neurological death.”

Researchers looked at ICU patients with various types of brain injuries. They found the greatest increase in survival rates were among traumatic brain injury patients. FULL POST


A single dose of HPV vaccine may be enough
November 4th, 2013
10:27 AM ET

A single dose of HPV vaccine may be enough

Just one dose of the HPV vaccine Cervarix appears to provide enough of an immune response to protect women from two strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) and ultimately cervical cancer, according to a new study published Monday.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI), according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The infection, transmitted through genital contact, is the primary cause of cervical cancer, which affects about 10,300 women in the United States each year.  It causes about 275,000 deaths annually worldwide and is a leading cause of cancer deaths among women in low-income countries, according to the World Health Organization.

“Cervical cancer is a major cause of public health concern, especially in less developed countries where about 85% of cervical cancer occurs,” says study author Mahboobeh Safaeian. “The reason for that is mainly because of lack of screening infrastructure offered.” FULL POST

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Filed under: Cancer • HPV • Living Well • Sex

5 studies you may have missed
The app you're using to track your calories may not be as effective as you think, a new report shows.
November 1st, 2013
01:32 PM ET

5 studies you may have missed

Here are five medical studies published this week that may give you new insights into your health, mind and body. Remember, correlation is not causation, so if a study finds a connection between two things, it doesn't mean that one causes the other.

Babies could learn melodies in the womb
Journal: PLOS ONE

Turns out your baby could be "Born this Way" - or at least born a Lady Gaga fan.

In this study, moms who played "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" to their fetuses had babies who showed more brain activity in response to the song after birth than those whose moms didn't play the nursery rhyme.

"These results show that babies are capable of learning at a very young age, and that the effects of the learning remain apparent in the brain for a long time," cognitive brain researcher Eino Partanen told The Guardian.

Read more from The Guardian

That health app may not help
Released by IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics

The IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics analyzed data from 40,000+ health care apps to determine if the industry is using mobile technology to the best of its ability.

Unfortunately, what they found wasn't very favorable. More than 50% of the apps had been downloaded less than 500 times, and the majority came without any kind of medical guidance.

"Healthcare apps available today have both limited and simple functionality - the majority do little more than provide information," the authors concluded.

Read more from TIME.com

We're more moral in the morning
Journal: Psychological Science

Hoping to have an open and honest conversation with your partner? Better schedule it for the early a.m.

Ethics researchers Maryam Kouchaki and Isaac Smith noticed that experiments they did in the morning seemed to produce fewer instances of unethical behavior. So they decided to test that variable.

The researchers asked college students to choose which side of a computer screen had more dots - left or right. Instead of being paid for the correct answer, the students knew they would be paid more if they chose the right side of the screen. Participants tested in the morning were less likely to select the wrong side for more money than those tested in the afternoon.

The researchers concluded that we're more likely to cheat or lie in the afternoon because our self-control is diminished over the course of the day.

Or maybe college students are just broke.

Read more from ScienceDaily

Excessive noise hurts more than our hearing
Journal: The Lancet

We know that listening to loud music can damage our ears, potentially causing hearing loss long-term. But researchers in Europe wanted to know if excessive noise can also cause other health problems.

They concluded that "noise exposure leads to annoyance, disturbs sleep and causes daytime sleepiness, affects patient outcomes and staff performance in hospitals, increases the occurrence of hypertension and cardiovascular disease, and impairs cognitive performance in schoolchildren."

Read more from ScienceDaily

11 new Alzheimer's genes identified
Journal: Nature Genetics

Researchers with the International Genomics of Alzheimer’s Project announced this week they have doubled the number of known genes linked to Alzheimer's disease. They identified the 11 new genes by collecting genetic information from 25,500 Alzheimer’s patients and 49,038 people without the disease from 15 countries.

"This exciting discovery of genes linked with Alzheimer's disease opens up new avenues to explore in the search for treatments for the condition," Dr. James Pickett, head of research for the Alzheimer's Society, said in a statement. "We now need continued global investment into dementia research to understand exactly how these genes affect the disease process."

Read more from the University of Miami


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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.

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