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Are Today's Teens Putting the Brakes on Adulthood?

Posted 2 days 7 hours ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 19, 2017 – Parents may still marvel at how fast their kids grow up, but a new study finds that U.S. teenagers are maturing more slowly than past generations. In some ways, the trend appears positive: High school kids today are less likely to be drinking or having sex, versus their counterparts in the 1980s and 1990s. But they are also less likely to go on dates, have a part-time job or drive – traditional milestones along the path to adulthood. So is that slower development "good" or "bad"? It may depend on how you look at it, the researchers said. According to "life history theory," neither fast nor slow development is inherently good or bad, said study author Jean Twenge. Still, there are "trade-offs" to each path, explained Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University. "The upside of slower development is that teens aren't growing up before they ... Read more

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8 Ways College Women Can Protect Their Health

Posted 10 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 11, 2017 – The start of college means it's time for young women to take charge of their health. Dr. Aparna Sridhar, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California, Los Angeles, offers several tips in a university news release. Know your health status. Talk to your parents and your doctor to make sure you're up-to-date with health screenings, shots and prescriptions. Ask about the status of allergies and other health issues. Guard against HPV. Sridhar said college students should make sure they have been immunized for human papilloma virus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection. "It can cause cervical cancer but can be prevented by the HPV vaccination and screening with pap smears," she said. Know how to get health care on campus. Find out the location of the closest health center that accepts your insurance. Keep track of menstrual ... Read more

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Could Folic Acid Fight a Cause of Autism?

Posted 13 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 8, 2017 – By taking folic acid around the time of conception, mothers-to-be may reduce their child's risk of pesticide-related autism, a new study suggests. "We found that if the mom was taking folic acid during the window around conception, the risk associated with pesticides seemed to be attenuated," said study first author Rebecca Schmidt. "Mothers should try to avoid pesticides. But if they live near agriculture, where pesticides can blow in, this might be a way to counter those effects," said Schmidt. She is an assistant professor of public health sciences at the University of California, Davis. It's estimated that one in 68 U.S. children has an autism spectrum disorder, which can range from mild to severe. There is no single cause, but research suggests a combination of genetic and environmental influences plays a role, according to the U.S. National Institutes of ... Read more

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There May Be a Big Medical Upside to Being Short

Posted 16 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 5, 2017 – There may be at least one advantage to being short: a lower risk for dangerous blood clots in the veins, a new study shows. These clots, called venous thromboembolisms, include blockages known as DVTs (deep vein thrombosis), which typically start in the legs and can travel to the lungs, raising a person's odds for stroke. Sometimes DVTs occur after long-haul flights, so they've been dubbed "economy class syndrome." But new research suggests a slight advantage for shorter people in avoiding the clots. Why the effect? "It could just be that because taller individuals have longer leg veins there is more surface area where problems can occur," theorized study lead author Dr. Bengt Zoller. "There is also more gravitational pressure in leg veins of taller persons that can increase the risk of blood flow slowing or temporarily stopping," noted Zoller, an associate ... Read more

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6 in 10 of America's Single Guys 'Take Responsibility' for Contraception

Posted 31 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 31, 2017 – About six in 10 sexually active single men in the United States are taking responsibility for birth control, government health officials say. When they have sex, these unmarried males are using a condom (45 percent), vasectomy, "withdrawal," or a combination, according to a new report released Thursday from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For the study, the researchers surveyed about 3,700 unmarried and sexually active men, aged 15 to 44. The researchers found that use of any male birth control method rose from about 52 percent in 2002 to more than 59 percent by 2011-2015. Male-method contraception was highest (75 percent) among men who had never married, followed by formerly married men (55 percent) and men currently living with their partner (36 percent), said study lead author Kimberly Daniels. Daniels is a statistician with the CDC's ... Read more

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Zika May Not Last in Semen as Long as Thought

Posted 18 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 18, 2017 – Zika virus might not remain in the semen of some infected men as long as previously thought, a small study suggests. The researchers said Zika may only be present in semen for about a month. Previous research had suggested that Zika virus can be found in semen for as long as 188 days after the onset of symptoms. The new study included 12 men in French Guiana who had Zika virus. Four of the men never had any detectable Zika in their semen. One excreted Zika virus in his semen for at least three days. And seven had Zika-laced semen for at least a month, the researchers reported. The maximum duration of detectable Zika in semen in the study was 45 days. "These data suggest that not all men who are symptomatically infected with Zika virus will have Zika virus RNA detectable in semen," Dr. Franck de Laval, of the Military Center for Epidemiology and Public Health in ... Read more

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Americans Injuring Themselves Grooming Pubic Hair

Posted 16 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 16, 2017 – Should you consider trimming or shaving "down there," proceed with care – a new study finds injuries tied to pubic hair grooming are more common than you might think. Cuts, burns and infections are reported more than a quarter of the time, according to the online survey of more than 7,500 U.S. adults. "In another study, we found that 3 percent of all adults who were seen in the emergency room for urinary injuries had injuries related to pubic hair grooming," said lead researcher Dr. Benjamin Breyer. He's an associate professor of urology and epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco. In this latest report, Breyer and his team found that nearly 67 percent of men and 85 percent of women said they groomed their pubic hair. Among those who did so, nearly 26 percent said they had injured themselves in the process. Injuries were ... Read more

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Only About One-Third of Americans Use Condoms: CDC

Posted 10 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 10, 2017 – Condoms can help prevent pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), but only about a third of Americans use them, a new federal report shows. "The use of condoms is a public health issue," said report author Casey Copen, a statistician at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. "STDs can lead to long-term consequences, such as infertility," she said. "Condoms, when used consistently and correctly, reduce the risk of HIV and STDs." About 20 million new cases of STDs are diagnosed each year in the United States, the CDC said. These infections include human papillomavirus (HPV), gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, hepatitis and HIV. The choice of whether to use a condom or not is influenced by a number of factors. These include: a woman's desire to get pregnant, one's experience using other ... Read more

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Teen Birth Rate Drops Again to All-Time Low: CDC

Posted 30 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 30, 2017 – Teen births in the United States dropped to a record low last year, falling 9 percent from 2015, U.S. health officials reported Friday. The overall birth rate declined, too, dropping 1 percent between 2015 and 2016, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The total number of births in 2016 was 3,941,109. Moreover, the fertility rate declined to 62 births per 1,000 among women of childbearing age – a record low for the nation, researchers found. Births among 15-to 19-year-olds have declined dramatically since 2007 – more than 50 percent, said lead researcher Brady Hamilton, a statistician at CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. "It's really quite astounding for a demographic rate in an age group to decline that much," he added. The teen birth rate was 20.3 births per 1,000 female teens in 2016, compared to ... Read more

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Many U.S. Teens Still Denied 'Morning After' Pill at Pharmacies

Posted 30 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 30, 2017 – Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has lifted age restrictions on the use of the "morning after" pill, new research suggests that many teens may still have a tough time trying to get the emergency contraception. In the study, researchers posing as teenagers were often told erroneously by pharmacies that they needed a prescription for the over-the-counter pill or they were denied it altogether because of their age. "In 2013, the FDA lifted the age restrictions for emergency contraception, and a lot of people thought, 'Great, we won, it's over, and now it's available and acceptable to anyone without any identification,' " said study author Dr. Tracey Wilkinson, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine. "But knowing a little about what happens to my patients, and understanding that just because there were a lot ... Read more

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Most U.S. Teens Aren't 'Doing It'

Posted 22 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 22, 2017 – Sex is everywhere in the media, and so you may be convinced that today's teens are always looking to "hook-up." But new federal research says it's just not so. Instead, the study found that most teenagers in high school aren't sexually active. "The myth is that every kid in high school is having sex, and it's not true," noted Dr. Cora Breuner, a professor of pediatrics at Seattle Children's Hospital, who reviewed the findings. "It's less than half, and it's been less than half for more than 10 years," she said. The study found that only 42 percent of girls and 44 percent of boys aged 15 to 19 reported having sex at least once. And Breuner said that finding is nothing new. Going back to 2002, fewer than half of older teens told researchers that they are sexually active, federal data show. Further, most teens who choose to go all the way wind up losing their ... Read more

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U.S. Teen Births Hit Historic Low in 2014: CDC

Posted 30 May 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 30, 2017 – Teen births continue to decline in the United States, with health officials reporting a 9 percent drop from 2013 to 2014. Births to 15- to 19-year-olds fell to a historic low of 24 births per 1,000 women in 2014, said Sherry Murphy, a statistician at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. At the same time, the proportion of births to women 30 and older increased, said Murphy, lead author of the report. Mothers 30 and older accounted for 30 percent of births in 2014 – up from 24 percent in 2000, the researchers found. There were other changes in U.S. birth patterns as well. "The number of overall births increased 1 percent in 2014 to about 4 million, compared with 2013," Murphy said. The infant mortality rate decreased slightly in 2014 to a historic low – about six infant deaths per 1,000 births, the ... Read more

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Government Funding Could Save Canadians $4 Billion on Medicines

Posted 27 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 27, 2017 – A new report suggests that Canada would reap savings of more than $4 billion a year if the government funded nearly 120 types of "essential" medications. "Adding an essential medicines list is a pragmatic step toward universal pharmacare," said Steven Morgan, in a news release from the Canadian Medical Association. "It would ensure all Canadians have access to the most commonly required medicines while saving patients and private drug plan sponsors over $4 billion per year," Morgan said. He's a professor at the University of British Columbia. The report authors listed 117 drugs as essential medications. This list included antibiotics, insulin, birth control and antidepressants. These drugs made up 44 percent of all prescriptions filled at Canadian retail pharmacies in 2015. When "therapeutically similar" drugs were included in the list, that figure was as high ... Read more

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Pediatricians Revise Guidelines for Teen Victims of Sexual Assault

Posted 27 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 27, 2017 – Pediatricians should be comfortable with treating and screening for sexual assault – and they should know where to send their teenage patients for any additional help they might need. Those are some of the major points in updated recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on helping teens who've been sexually victimized. The last time the group published guidelines on the issue was 2008. Since then, the problem of sexual assault – particularly on college campuses – has gained more public attention, explained Dr. Elizabeth Alderman, lead author of the new recommendations. In 2014, she noted, a White House task force issued a report calling on colleges to ramp up efforts to combat sexual assaults. Of course, sexual assault is not limited to college campuses, said Alderman, who is an adolescent medicine specialist at Children's Hospital at ... Read more

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For a Fun and Safe Tropical Getaway, Plan Ahead

Posted 17 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 17, 2017 – If you're planning a tropical getaway, be sure to pack old standbys like bug spray and sunscreen – and maybe a lot more, a doctor advises. "In places like the Caribbean and South and Central America, where it is already summertime, people can potentially be exposed to health risks that they may not have at home," said infectious disease specialist Dr. Christopher Ohl. He is head of the International Travel Clinic at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. In the Caribbean and Central America, you can get sunburned in as little as 10 minutes. Wear sunscreen and a T-shirt or cover-up during the middle of the day when the sun is strongest, Ohl advised in a center news release. Be especially careful on the beach or at poolside where the water reflects sunlight. Also, be careful about what you eat and drink to reduce the risk of diarrhea. Safest ... Read more

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