August 2012

Adolescents and Vaccinations

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends pre-teens ages 11 to 12 to get the following vaccines: one dose of tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccine, two doses of meningococcal conjugate vaccine, three doses of human papillomavirus vaccine and a yearly influenza vaccine.  With the school year approaching, this may be the ideal time to go as many teens will require physicals.

Pre-teens may also need to catch up on missed vaccines or vaccines that require multiple dosages.  The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendation for preteens can be found  at

Women underuse aspirin to prevent heart disease

For years we criticized heart researchers for not including women in the early studies that recommended aspirin to prevent heart disease.  We asked:  How can you recommend aspirin in women when all the studies took place in males!  In 2007, after additional studies that included females, the American Heart Association released guidelines for the CVD preventive care in women including aspirin. Their recommendations:

Health Reform across the Border

The U.S. can learn from Mexico’s recent efforts at health reform, especially as it relates to transferring care from specialists back to primary care physicians, researchers said.

Mexico created its national health insurance program, called the Seguro Popular in 2003, and achieved universal coverage for its 100 million citizens earlier this year, Felicia Knaul, PhD, of Harvard Medical School and colleagues wrote in the Aug. 16, 2012 edition of The Lancet.    The program now provides coverage to 52 million previously uninsured Mexicans, they noted.

Massage as a Compliment to Physical Therapy

Those with chronic or acute injury may not be confined to rehabilitation.  Massage therapy may be beneficial as well for those suffering from chronic or acute injuries.  Benefits include decreased pain and anxiety, increased endorphins, decreased insomnia, less muscle spasms, decreased tension headaches, and an increased sense of well-being and relaxation.

Should hospitals lock up baby formula to urge new mothers to breastfeed?

A clear majority of MedPage Today readers do not want hospitals to lock up infant formula as a way to encourage new moms to breastfeed.

The 1,600-plus vote tally was 72% against and 28% for hospitals keeping infant formula out of sight. The prompt for their survey was a story about some 27 New York City hospitals that plan to stow away the formula in an effort to promote breastfeeding.    The voluntary program was launched by the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Meditation, exercise and acute repiratory infections

According to a recent study, exercising or practicing meditation may be effective in reducing acute respiratory infections. Acute respiratory infections, which are caused by influenza and other viruses, are very common illnesses and account for millions of doctor visits and lost school and work days each year. Previous research has suggested that enhancing general physical and mental health may offer protection against these illnesses. Findings from this NCCAM-funded study were published in the journal Annals of Family Medicine.

The Low-Glycemic Index Diet may be best

It is no wonder why the weight-loss industry is a $20 billion per year industry.  Dieters spend money on diet books, diet drugs and weight-loss surgery.  108 million people in the United States are on diets and typically attempt four or five diets a year.  85% of dieters are women.

Women who are obese before pregnancy put child at risk

Women who are obese before they become pregnant may be putting their child at a disadvantage. New research shows that reading and math scores for kids ages 5 to 7 were lower if the mother was obese before she got pregnant. Obesity can alter how a baby receives nutrients and grows inside the womb.

“Fetal period is known as a critical period of brain development, where any disruption in the development during this sensitive period may cause sustained or permanent changes in structures or functions,”  says Rika Tanda at Ohio State University.