Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that more than 65 percent of American teenagers do not get enough sleep each night (“enough” sleep is defined as 8 hours or more). In a new study published online in the journal Preventative Medicine, the chronic lack of sleep is linked with a list of behaviors that are risky to teens’ health. Specifically, teens who didn’t get enough sleep:
- Drank soda or pop 1 or more times per day (not including diet soda or diet pop)
- Did not participate in 60 minutes of physical activity on 5 or more of the past 7 days
- Used computers 3 or more hours each day
- Had been in a physical fight 1 or more times
- Practiced current cigarette use
- Practiced current alcohol use
- Practiced current marijuana use
- Practiced currently sexually active
- Felt sad or hopeless
- Seriously considered attempting suicide
“Public health intervention is greatly needed, and the consideration of delayed school start times may hold promise as one effective step in a comprehensive approach to address this problem,” said Lela McKnight-Eily of the CDC’s Division of Adult and Community Health in a statement.
(image via: http://topnews.net.nz/)
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Friday, August 26th, 2011
Just under half of American teenage girls have gotten even one dose of the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine, a new Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report says, and only one-third have received all three doses required to establish immunity against the sexually-transmitted virus, which can cause cervical cancer.
A CDC doctor told The Associated Press that the low vaccination rates are “very disappointing,” especially considering that around two-thirds of girls have received other recommended vaccines, including meningitis, tetanus, whooping cough, and diphtheria. The CDC’s Dr. Melinda Wharton attributed the low HPV vaccination rate to the expense of the shot, plus poor public education about its value and intention
“If we don’t do a much better job, we’re leaving another generation vulnerable to cervical cancer later in life,” Wharton told the AP. Further:
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Girls are supposed to start the series when they are 11 or 12 — before most girls become sexually active. The vaccine only works if a girl is vaccinated before she’s first exposed to the virus.
But some parents may misunderstand, thinking their daughters don’t need it at such a young age because they aren’t sexually active. Others may believe that it would require a discussion about sex and sexuality — a talk they may not feel ready to have, some experts said.
The government needs to be more aggressive about changing those perceptions with a major education campaign, Jeff Levi, executive director of the Trust for America’s Health, a Washington, D.C.-based research group, said in a statement.
(image via: http://www.impactlab.net)
Wednesday, July 20th, 2011
Teenagers who live in a household where someone smokes cigarettes has an 83 percent greater chance of developing hearing loss, according to a study published in the journal Archives of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. The findings build on previous research that has linked second-hand smoke exposure with respiratory problems, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and asthma.
As The Boston Globe reported:
The study authors, from New York University Lagone Medical Center, noted that teens aren’t routinely screened for hearing loss but that the finding may now warrant screening for those who are exposed to secondhand smoke.
“Health care providers (ie, physicians and nurse practitioners) should add SHS exposure to the list of risk factors for hearing loss and refer these young adults for complete audiologic evaluation to identify early hearing loss,” the researchers wrote, given that 82 percent of the study participants with hearing loss didn’t recognize that they were having difficulty hearing.
More recent news on smoking:
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