Health

The results are in: Children with allergies have higher blood pressure

Updated 2133 GMT (0533 HKT) July 8, 2016
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Children with common allergies such as asthma and hay fever have a higher rate of high blood pressure and cholesterol than their peers with no allergies, according to a new study. This puts them at a much greater risk for a heart attack or stroke later in life. Given the high numbers of kids with allergies, "future studies are needed to determine the mechanisms of association between pediatric allergic and cardiovascular disease," said Dr. Johnathan Silverberg, lead author of the Northwestern University study. The survey included 13,275 children from infants to 17 year olds. -- Lauren Sennet

Click through the gallery to see additional recent studies.
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There is good news in the United States' long battle against diabetes, according to new data from the CDC. "From 2009 to 2014, the number of new cases of diabetes decreased significantly to approximately 1.4 million," said the study, which spanned 34 years (from 1980-2014) and specifically looked at adults between the ages of 18 and 79. The study also found that newly diagnosed cases of diabetes in the United States have tripled since the 1980s. "[As] rates of Type 2 diabetes increase in many countries around the world, we urgently need preventive action," said Dr. Petra Wilson, CEO of the International Diabetes Federation. -- Lauren Sennet Shutterstock
New data show that reports of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder increased 43% from 2003 to 2011. Researchers looked at parent-reported diagnoses of ADHD, determined through a telephone survey in which parents were asked, "Has a doctor or health care provider ever told you that [your child] had ADD or ADHD?" The research detected that between 2003 and 2011, ADHD diagnoses in females rose 55%. While further research needs to be done, there is a tendency to over-diagnose, according to lead researcher Sean D. Clearly. The current findings by George Washington University and Mathematica Policy Research, show "rising rates of ADHD overall and very sharp jumps in certain subgroups," such as females, adolescents and Hispanics, Clearly said. "With greater awareness, education, and more understating of symptoms, more parents have their children assessed," he added. -- Lauren Sennet Shutterstock
With every bite, you might not think about the potential exposure to foodborne pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, toxins or chemicals. Those pathogens, which can contaminate our food, sicken 600 million people around the world every year, according to the World Health Organization's first global report on foodborne disease. And 420,000 of these individuals die annually; 125,000 of these deaths are children younger than 5. They're particularly vulnerable to risk of foodborne diarrheal diseases, which can be caused by eating undercooked or raw meat, eggs or contaminated produce and dairy products. They can also lead to delayed physical and mental development. "Until now, estimates of foodborne diseases were vague and imprecise. This concealed the true human costs of contaminated food. This report sets the record straight," said Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of the WHO. "Food safety is a shared responsibility," the WHO said, and it urges more education and training to help government, industry and individuals prevent food-related disease deaths and make every bite safe. -- Viola Lanier Shutterstock
Despite the commonly known viral consequences of working while sick, many people still do it, and researchers wanted to know why. After mining data from 61 previous studies, Dr. Mariella Miraglia, a lecturer from the University of East Anglia Norwich Business School, believes that people who show up to the workplace in spite of poor health conditions may do so because of the demands of their role, perceived discrimination if absent, and the perceived impact of their work on clients, students or patients. But at the same time, high job satisfaction and a strong sense of commitment to an organization were also motivators for the sick to show up at the office. The studies included more than 175,960 participants and also concluded that if an illness is not debilitating or contagious then attending work while under the weather may be positive and self-affirming for people who suffer from chronic illnesses such as migraines or depression. -- Viola Lanier

Click through the gallery to see additional recent studies.
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It may be easier to pick up drive thru or eat out, but now there is more evidence that dining in is the healthiest choice. Researchers from Harvard University found preparing home cooked meals lowers a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The study involved a simple questionnaire for participants (female nurses and male health professionals over 36 years old) and asked, "How frequently do you eat lunch and dinner prepared at home?" After following the patients for two years, "we found those who prepared meals at home were at less risk of developing diabetes," said Qi Sun, co-author of the study, which was presented at the annual Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association conference. -- Lauren Sennet Shutterstock/CNN illustration
The number of moles on a person's body can be an important marker for risk of skin cancer, but counting them all can be tough and time consuming. Researchers at King's College London found that tallying the number on a smaller "proxy" area of the body -- especially the right arm - can make it easier to estimate the total number of moles and identify those most at risk. Researchers reviewed information on 3,694 white female twins who were part of the TwinsUK study. The researchers said, "We demonstrated that arm naevus count of more than 11 is associated with a significant risk of having more than 100 naevi, that is in itself a strong predictor of risk for melanoma." -- Lauren Sennet
Your teen's foul mood is completely normal and transitory, say researchers at EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, in the Netherlands. They examined teenagers' moods through a study that lasted five years in which 13 to 18 year olds used internet diaries to rate their daily moods of happiness, anger, sadness and anxiety. As the years progressed, fortunately, so did their moods. While adolescents learn how to cope with angst in the halls of their schools, "temporary mood swings during early adolescence might actually be normal and aren't necessarily a reason to worry," according to the study published in the journal Child Development. -- Lauren Sennet Shutterstock
Commonly used teething toys restrict tongue movement and can interfere with a baby's ability to distinguish between two different sounds, according to a study published by the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences. Listening to sounds is not the only driving factor of speech perception and language acquisition for infants, the research showed. Six-month-old infants who had free tongue movement, as opposed to infants who were given teethers that restricted the movement, were able to make better distinctions of speech sounds. It seems that baby talk is beneficial for infants beyond the joy of babbling. -- Viola Lanier Shutterstock
Falls have been the leading cause of zip line injuries seen in emergency rooms across the United States, followed by colliding into a tree or other anchoring structure. In 2012 (the last year covered in a recent report from the American Journal of Emergency Medicine), the rate reached an average of 10 zip line-related injuries a day in emergency rooms across the country. Popularity for the activity has skyrocketed in recent years: in 2001 there were only 10 commercial zip lines, to now more than 200 being offered in the U.S. The Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital report found that 45% of injuries were found in children under the age of 10. But if you must zip, you might as well do it at one of the "coolest" places for them. -- Viola Lanier Shutterstock
An estimated 4.6 million American middle and high school students are current users of tobacco products, according to the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey, and of those young smokers, 70% reported using at least one flavored tobacco product in the past 30 days. "Flavored tobacco products are enticing a new generation of America's youth into nicotine addiction," Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a news release. For the 18% of all high school students who have used at least one flavored tobacco product in the past month, e-cigarettes were most common, followed by hookah, cigars, menthol cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and finally, pipes. Some studies have shown that early, regular cigarette smoking means higher risk for heavier use, long-term use and greater difficulty quitting. There is major concern about harmful effects that tobacco use has on the developing teen brain, which is hardwired for risky business. -- Viola Lanier
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At work, you should kick, but don't scream. A study published in September in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine reports, "an increased risk of mortality from sitting for long periods was only found in those who consider themselves very occasional fidgeters." For those of us confined to our desks all day, the recent study suggests our sedentary lifestyle might be life-threatening, but fidgeting might be the answer. The current study of more than 12,700 women presents a workplace dilemma: "While further research is needed, the findings raise questions about whether the negative associations with fidgeting, such as rudeness or lack of concentration, should persist if such simple movements are beneficial for our health," said University of Leeds professor Janet Cade, one of the study's authors. Fortunately, there are other ways to help you take a stand against the sedentary life. -- Lauren Sennett
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Pregnant women are imbibing and it's not just a few innocent sips, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The state-based, randomly dialed, telephone survey found one in 10 pregnant women reported they consumed at least one alcoholic drink within 30 days of being surveyed. One-third of those said they had at least one experience binge drinking, defined as consuming four or more drinks at a time, within the past 30 days. Cheryl Tan, the lead author of the new report and an epidemiologist with the CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, said this is surprising and scary. Alcohol use during pregnancy can lead to birth defects, developmental disabilities and pregnancy complications, including miscarriage, prematurity and still birth. "There is no safe amount, no safe time, no safe type of alcohol to drink during pregnancy. It's just not worth the risk," Tan said. -- Debra Goldschmidt Shutterstock
Older adults who continue to work tend to be much healthier than their retired counterparts, a 15-year study suggests. Among 83,338 participants over the age of 64, employed individuals were deemed to have the least risk of a poor health. This is according to University of Miami researchers who used the National Health Interview Survey data to obtain socioeconomic and health characteristics. The data also found that blue-collar workers have fewer chronic conditions and functional limitations in comparison to counterparts with white-collar jobs, possibly because of greater lifetime physical activity in the workplace versus the primarily sedentary work-life of those in white-collar occupations. That said, if you work longer, make sure the job is low stress: Workplace stress is as bad for you as secondhand smoke. -- Viola Lanier Shutterstock
A needle-free vaccine has proven to protect monkeys against the Ebola virus. According to The Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers successfully vaccinated monkeys against the Zaire ebolavirus, responsible for the current outbreak in West Africa. It is the first published test of aerosol delivery for an Ebola vaccine, which uses a nebulizer to change liquid into a mist that's inhaled into the lungs. While the vaccine was effective in protecting primates against Ebola, there's no guarantee it will work as well in humans.
The next step? A clinical trial in humans, according to the study's authors. Since training isn't necessary for administering an inhaled vaccine, a successful version would be especially useful in remote areas that lack adequate health systems. -- Liza Lucas and Ben Smart
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Middle and high school students are starting their school day too early, according to data published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The CDC and U.S. Department of Education researchers reviewed data from the 2011-2012 academic year and found that among the nearly 40,000 schools surveyed, 17.7% of public schools started school at the recommended time of 8:30 a.m. or later. Students in Louisiana had the earliest average start time (7:40 a.m.) while Alaska started latest (8:33 a.m.). Read more here. -- Liza Lucas and Ben Smart Shutterstock
No need to wait until your next vacation to recharge -- improving your brain chemistry could be as easy as taking a nature walk. In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, researchers randomly assigned 38 people to take a 90-minute walk in either a natural or urban setting near Stanford, California. Before and after their treks, participants were evaluated by a questionnaire and brain scan, measuring activity in the prefrontal cortex. Afterward, the nature walkers showed a decrease in self-reported rumination — or repetitive negative thought — and lower brain activity in areas linked to rumination. While the study was small, it suggests a nature experience might positively influence mental well-being. -- Liza Lucas and Ben Smart Shutterstock