Health Updates 17 October 2011

  • Preschoolers as young as 4-years-old may get ADHD drugs: “The recommendations, the first in a decade, expand the age range of kids who may be prescribed the drugs from preschoolers through 18-year-olds.  Earlier guidelines included children ages 6 to 12.  ADHD affects about 8 percent of children and youth and is the most common neurobehavioral disorder in kids, according to the American Academy of  Pediatrics.” (Bloomberg)
  • California doctors urge the legalization of pot: “The doctor group questions the medical value of pot and acknowledges some health risk from its use but urges it be regulated like alcohol.  A law enforcement official harshly criticizes the new stance.” (LA Times)
  • More evidence against vitamin use: “Two new studies add to the growing body of evidence that taking extra doses of vitamins can do more harm than good.  A study of vitamin E and selenium use among 35,000 men found that the vitamin users had a slightly higher risk of developing prostate cancer, according to a report published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. A separate study of 38,000 women in Iowa found a higher risk of dying during a 19-year period among older women who used multivitamins and other supplements compared with women who did not….The findings are the latest in a series of disappointing research results showing that high doses of vitamins are not helpful in warding off disease.” (Tara Parker-Pope, NY Times)
  • Babies born with low birth weight are at higher risk of developing autism: “The rate seen in the study is ‘quite striking’ and underscores the importance of screening all children – especially those who are born at a low birth weight – for ASD at a young age, says lead researcher Jennifer Pinto-Martin, PhD, the director of the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, in Philadelphia.” (

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