Have you had the 'sext' talk with your kids?
June 30th, 2014
01:33 PM ET

Have you had the 'sext' talk with your kids?

It’s called sexting, the act of sending and/or receiving sexually explicit text or photo messages via your mobile phone. And one in five middle school-aged students are doing it, according to a new study published in the medical journal Pediatrics.

Among the 1,285 Los Angeles students aged 10 to 15 surveyed for the study, 20% reported having received at least one sext, while 5% reported having sent at least one sext.

“Very frequently it’s the image or the sex, that is finding its way to the middle schooler first, prior to any sort of conversation or education" by parents, said Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and father to two boys. "That makes it even more confusing (for kids).”

The study authors also looked at how sexting relates to sexual behavior among these adolescents. The survey showed that those who reported receiving a sext, were six times more likely to report being sexually active than teens who hadn't received a sext. Those who sent a sext were about 4 times more likely to report being sexually active.

Online access associated with uptick in doctor visits
November 20th, 2012
04:53 PM ET

Online access associated with uptick in doctor visits

Patient online access to doctors and medical records was associated with increased use of almost all in-person and telephone medical services, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Those services included doctor appointments, telephone consults, after-hours clinic visits, emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

Dr. Ted Palen and his team looked at members of Kaiser Permanente Colorado, an integrated health system with more 500,000 members that includes an online patient portal known as MyHealthManager (MHM). FULL POST

6 tips for minimizing cell phone radiation
June 8th, 2012
03:26 PM ET

6 tips for minimizing cell phone radiation

Editor's note: Last summer, this article was one of the most popular on the Chart. We're republishing to share these important tips again with you.

Scientists at the World Health Organization list mobile phone use in the same "carcinogenic hazard" category as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform.

There haven't been enough long-term studies to make a clear conclusion if radiation from cell phones is safe, but there was enough data to persuade the WHO of a possible connection to make them upgrade the category in May 2011.

Cell phones use non-ionizing radiation, which doesn’t damage DNA the way ionizing radiation does. The cell phone radiation operates more like very low power microwaves, but nobody really likes to think of leaning their face on a low-powered microwave.

If the WHO’s labeling of cell phone use as "possibly carcinogenic to humans" has you alarmed, here are some quick basic tips to limit your exposure.

FCC to allocate spectrum for wireless medical monitoring
May 17th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

FCC to allocate spectrum for wireless medical monitoring

The Federal Communications Commission says it plans to allocate spectrum bandwidth for use of body sensors that would monitor a patient's vital signs wirelessly.

The spectrum will work specifically with MBAN (medical body area network) sensor devices. Similar in size and shape to a Band-Aid, the sensors would be disposable and include a low-power radio transmitter, according to an FCC official.

The primary function is to monitor a patient's temperature, pulse, blood glucose level, blood pressure and respiratory health wirelessly.

"The benefits are clear: increased mobility, better care and lower costs," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski tells CNN.

NIH launches program to spur new drug therapies
May 4th, 2012
07:08 AM ET

NIH launches program to spur new drug therapies

Countless Americans are suffering from thousands of diseases for which there are no treatments.

In an effort to develop new therapies for them, the National Institutes of Health launched a new program Thursday. The program is designed to match their researchers with experimental compounds currently not in further development from drug companies.

"Americans are eagerly awaiting the next generation of cure and treatments to help them live longer and healthier lives. To accelerate our nation's therapeutic development process, it is essential that we forge strong, innovative and strategic partnerships across government, academia and industry," said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Could electronic medical records add costs?
March 5th, 2012
04:01 PM ET

Could electronic medical records add costs?

Electronic streamlining of medical records has been touted as a way to save money, against the backdrop of a health care system that is characterized as wasteful. Electronic medical records (or "Health IT") are supposed to save billions of dollars by eliminating duplicate or unnecessary testing.

But a new study is saying just the opposite: Health IT may actually add cost to health care instead of curbing it.


Injuries while walking with headphones tripled, study finds
January 16th, 2012
06:31 PM ET

Injuries while walking with headphones tripled, study finds

Crossing a busy street while blasting music into your headphones doesn’t exactly enhance your awareness.

The number of serious injuries and deaths occurring to pedestrians who were walking with headphones has tripled in seven years in the United States, according to a report published in Injury Prevention.

Dr. Richard Lichenstein and co-authors from the University of Maryland School of Medicine reported 116 crashes involving pedestrians who were wearing headphones between 2004 and 2011.  Eighty-one of them resulted in deaths.  It started with 16 cases between 2004 and 2005 and rose to 47 by 2010 and 2011. FULL POST

Hearing loss affects 1 in 5 Americans, study finds
November 14th, 2011
06:07 PM ET

Hearing loss affects 1 in 5 Americans, study finds

If you think hearing loss is just an inevitable part of aging, think again.

More than 48 million Americans over age 12 have trouble hearing in one or both ears, according to a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. And the way we listen to music is partly to blame.

“Aging and genetics do sometimes play a role, but what we know now is that environmental exposures - like listening to music too loudly - can contribute to long term hearing damage over time,” says Dr. Frank R. Lin, lead study author and assistant professor of otolaryngology-head  and neck surgery and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. “It’s a growing concern.”


June 20th, 2011
07:33 AM ET

Is it normal to feel an X-ray?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Mondays, it's pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Shu.

Asked by Karen from Ontario, Canada

I have had several dental x-rays within the past 3 to 4 years, as I have had braces, and other dental problems that have needed x-rays in order to deal with the problems. When I had my 3-D scan last summer I felt fuzzy for at least a day after the x-ray. Now again I had an X-ray three days ago, and I still feel very fuzzy and not all there. Is it normal to actually feel the effects of an x-ray?

That's Dr. Watson, to you
May 23rd, 2011
04:00 PM ET

That's Dr. Watson, to you

Instead of man versus machine (like the Jeopardy showdown), the makers of Watson, the supercomputer, are toying with how machine can help man - at the hospital.

After defeating his human rivals champions Ken Jennings and  Brad Rutter on Jeopardy earlier this year , Watson, the trivia-question answering supercomputer, is on a new task.

Watson, which has been in development for years, has the processing power of 2,800 "powerful computers," as a major advancement in machines' efforts to understand human language.   It juggles dozens of lines of reasoning at once and tries to arrive at a smart answer.

Medical staff at Columbia University Medical Center and the University of Maryland School of Medicine are seeing if Watson could interact with health workers to help with the diagnosis and treatment of patients.   FULL POST

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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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