Health Updates 24 January 2012

  • Text4baby: “Being pregnant or a new mom carries a lot of new responsibility, and often a lot of questions.  But answers can fit into a woman’s cellphone.  A program called Text4baby sends free text messages to phones.  The messages have health tips for pregnancy and for caring for a baby up to 1 year old, and they’re timed so they match where the woman is in her pregnancy or the baby is by age.  Text4baby is supported by the US Department of Health and Human Services and other partners….it’s easy for moms to get involved.  ‘Users sign up on their cellphones by texting ‘baby’ – b-a-b-y – to the shortcode 511411′.”  Learn more at  (HHS Healthbeat)
  • Only 1 in 4 young teens uses sunscreen regularly, study finds: “Despite the fact that sunburn in childhood greatly raises a person’s lifelong risk for skin cancer, just 25 percent of 14-year-olds in a new US study said they used sunscreen regularly.  What’s more, behaviors linked to risky sun exposure increased as kids got older, with older teens reporting more time in the sun and less use of sunscreen than when they were young.”  Experts hope that continued educational outreach during adolescence and the teen years will help see kids make healthier choices and prevent skin cancer over their lifetimes. (HealthDay/Pediatrics)
  • Co-occurring disorders may explain change in autism diagnosis: “Many children with autism also have other developmental or psychiatric conditions, including learning disabilities, speech delays, attention or seizure disorders and anxiety.  According to new research, some of those co-occurring conditions may explain why autism diagnoses often change as children get older.  In a survey by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, more than one-third of parents with children between 6 and 17 years old reported that their child’s diagnosis of autism had changed over time….Autism is a neurodevelopment disorder characterized by problems with social interaction, communication and restricted interests and behaviors.”  (HHS/HealthDay)
  • Milk powder cuts gout flares.  “Daily consumption of enriched skim milk could prevent gout flares, a proof-of-concept study suggested.  Compared with patients randomized to receive control treatment with simple  powdered lactose, those given enriched skim milk powder had greater reductions in flares of gout during a three-month period….Previous work also has suggested that increased intake of skim milk or milk protein can help lower serum urate.”  The average age of the participants was 56, most were white men, their gout was inadequately controlled and they received treatment via vanilla-flavored shakes, administered daily. (Nancy Walsh, MedPage Today)

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