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Are Today's Teens Putting the Brakes on Adulthood?

Posted 1 day 9 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 15 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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Alternative Medicine Alone as Cancer Treatment Linked to Lowered Survival

Posted 17 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 17, 2017 – People who choose alternative medicine over traditional cancer treatments for curable cancers have a higher risk of dying early, researchers report. "We now have evidence to suggest that using alternative medicine in place of proven cancer therapies results in worse survival," said study lead author Dr. Skyler Johnson from Yale School of Medicine and Yale Cancer Center. "It is our hope that this information can be used by patients and physicians when discussing the impact of cancer treatment decisions on survival," Johnson said in a school news release. Steve Jobs, co-founder and former CEO of Apple, is likely the most famous person who initially chose alternative medicine as a sole treatment. He eventually turned back to conventional medicine when the alternative medicine treatment didn't keep his pancreatic cancer at bay. But at that point, the cancer had ... 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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Treatment Costs Can Be Another Blow to Cancer Patients

Posted 27 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 27, 2017 – The emotional and physical costs of cancer can be staggering. But the financial side of cancer is also a great burden, with many patients in the United States struggling to pay for treatment, new research reveals. "The current health law has greatly improved access to meaningful health coverage for cancer patients, survivors and all those with chronic diseases," Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, said in a network news release. "Yet costs remain a challenge for those facing cancer. Our country and our lawmakers should come together to find bipartisan solutions that begin to address patient costs without sacrificing the quality of coverage," he urged. Researchers surveyed financial navigators at 11 hospitals in nine states. Financial navigators – typically trained social workers or nurses – help cancer patients ... Read more

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Doctors' Group Offers Ideas for Easing Cancer Costs

Posted 19 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 19, 2017 – New cancer drugs routinely cost $100,000 a year or more, and older cancer drugs are rising in price, too. Now, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has some suggestions for easing patients' money woes. The proposals include allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, legalizing the importation of drugs, and adopting bundled, or group, payment programs. In the new policy statement, ASCO also says it supports creation of a panel of "stakeholders" in health care to determine the effectiveness of its proposals. Such a group might also outline a uniform approach for assessing the value of drugs. "In what, undoubtedly, is one of the most difficult times in their lives, individuals with cancer should be focused on getting the best care possible, not worrying about financial strain on their families," said Dr. Clifford Hudis. He's CEO of ASCO, a leading ... Read more

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Most Breast Cancer Patients Have Help Choosing Treatments

Posted 10 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 10, 2017 – Most women who've been diagnosed with breast cancer don't go it alone. Many breast cancer patients depend on family and friends to help them make treatment decisions, get to doctor appointments and seek out other resources. A new study finds half of women rely on three or more people to help them through it. "People just diagnosed with cancer are often scared and overwhelmed. Having another person to help them process information is important," said study lead author Lauren Wallner, an assistant professor of general medicine and epidemiology at the University of Michigan. "Physicians need to recognize that women involve other people in their treatment decisions," she added in a university news release. "These people represent an important group to provide information about treatment options." For the study, the researchers surveyed about 2,500 women who had ... Read more

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FDA Widens Access to 'Cooling Cap' to Stop Hair Loss in Cancer Patients

Posted 5 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 5, 2017 – More cancer patients may be able to ward off hair loss during chemotherapy treatment. A cooling cap approved in 2015 for use in breast cancer patients has won expanded approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The DigniCap Cooling System can now be used for patients with solid tumors, the FDA announced. The computer-controlled cap contains liquid that circulates and cools the scalp, narrowing blood vessels. This reduces how much of the chemotherapy drugs reach hair follicle cells, the FDA said. Cooling also decreases activity of hair follicles and slows cell division. The result: Chemo drugs don't affect them as much, according to the FDA. Hair loss is a common side effect of chemotherapy, especially during treatment of most solid tumor cancers. Hair may fall out all at once, little by little or become thin. It's usually temporary – and upsetting. ... 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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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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