About half of American teens still aren't getting recommended HPV vaccinations
Preterm and low birth weight babies are more likely to become socially-withdrawn adults
Twenty percent of new mothers report they're not getting crucial advice from their doctors
Here’s the fascinating research we’re watching from around the world. CNN Health & Wellness has gauged these studies’ potential impact on our health.
About half of teens still not getting HPV vaccine shot
The number of American teenagers getting vaccinated against HPV is increasing in some states, but millions are still not vaccinated.
HPV stands for human papillomavirus, and it’s the most common sexually transmitted infection. In a telebriefing Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that four out of 10 adolescent girls and six out of 10 adolescent boys still haven’t started the recommended HPV vaccine series, leaving them at risk of developing cancers caused by HPV infections.
Currently, more than 79 million Americans are infected with HPV, and about 14 million more get infected each year, according to the CDC.
To get the protection they need, the CDC recommends boys and girls get the HPV vaccine at ages 11 and 12. In total, the vaccine consists of three separate shots spread out over several months.
“I want to stress to clinicians and parents that 11- and 12-year-olds are recommended to get (the) HPV vaccine,” Dr. Anne Schuchat said during the CDC briefing. “That’s not too young to start the series. That’s strongly recommended at that age rather than waiting until your child is 16 or 17.”
Preemies may grow up to be socially-withdrawn adults
Babies born very prematurely (“preemies”) or with a birth weight of less than 1,500 grams are more likely to grow into “socially withdrawn” adults. Researchers from the United Kingdom compared the personality traits of 200 adults born at less than 32 weeks, with 197 adults born full-term at a healthy weight.
The findings, published in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, showed preterm and low birth weight babies had higher overall levels of autistic features, introversion, neuroticism and agreeableness, as well as lower levels of risk-taking. Such features characterize a “socially withdrawn personality,” representing people who are easily worried, less socially engaged, less interested in taking risks and worse at communication.
Researchers suspect these personality traits result from a preemie’s time in neonatal intensive care, a special unit for at-risk newborns. The extra stress on a baby of surviving outside of the womb can alter brain development, researchers say. The study also suggests that early births might lead to overprotective parenting, which has a major influence on personality development.
New moms aren’t being warned about baby safety
Do you know the recommended sleeping position for your newborn? How about instructions for breastfeeding? Twenty percent of mothers report they’re not getting this crucial advice from their doctors, according to a new study published in the medical journal Pediatrics.
The survey, funded by National Institutes of Health, included responses from more than 1,000 mothers with infants ages six months to two years old;. Fifty percent of these women also said they didn’t get information from doctors on sleep location or pacifier use.
Black and Hispanic mothers and first-time mothers were more likely to report having received advice from their physicians than were white women and mothers of two or more children, according to the study, which also acknowledges that self-reporting is built on “perceived” receipt of advice, rather than actual advice given.
Five types of prostate cancer
There are five different types of prostate cancer, according to a new study published in EBioMedicine this week. Researchers analyzed the DNA of 259 men with this type of cancer and found 100 genes which distinguished patients’ cancer into one of five different types. These “signature” genes were also found to predict relapse-free survival, according to the study.
But does the study point to there being “types” of other forms of cancer? “We’ve already seen publication of this in breast cancer,” says Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society. He says as gene testing becomes more prevalent, the number of types will continue to evolve, but this study is different than previous research since it objectively defines five distinct categories.
The study says these findings will help doctors with early detection of aggressive cancers, as well as inform treatment options based on low, intermediate or high risk categories.
A balloon to beat obesity
There’s the LAP band, the gastric band and the Maestro rechargeable system, but now there’s a new option for treating obesity.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a fourth nonsurgical device called the ReShape Dual Balloon. According to the FDA announcement, this weight loss device inflates to occupy space in the stomach to trigger feelings of satiety. Adult obese patients – with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 – can opt for the outpatient procedure, which only takes 30 minutes under mild sedation.
“This new balloon device provides doctors and patients with a new non-surgical option that can be quickly implanted, is non-permanent, and can be easily removed,” says Dr. William Maisel, acting director of the Office of Device Evaluation at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.
According to the study, patients kept off an average of 9.9 pounds of the 14.3 they initially lost after removal of the weight loss device.