Health Buzz: 'Dry Drowning' and Other Health News

Dealing with stress, heartworm drug back on the market, and gaining weight while falling in love

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'Dry Drowning' Kills Boy More Than an Hour After Leaving Pool

A 10-year-old boy in South Carolina drowned Sunday more than an hour after leaving the swimming pool, MSNBC.com reports. It was the boy's first time swimming and while he apparently got water in his lungs at some point, his mother says he seemed fine after his time in the pool. The boy walked home from the pool with his mother and sister, the Web site reports, and later complained of being sleepy. His mother found him unresponsive in bed a short time later. About 10 to 15 percent of the approximately 3,600 people who drowned in the U.S. in 2005 died due to "dry drowning," according to MSNBC.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information about how to prevent water-related injuries. And U.S. News offers tips for keeping kids safe around water.

Heartworm Drug Returns to Market

ProHeart6, an injectable heartworm drug for animals, will make a limited return to the market, the FDA announced yesterday. The medicine was taken off the market because of such serious reactions as lethargy, loss of appetite, seizures, vomiting, difficulty walking, jaundice, bleeding disorders, and allergies. As part of the limited availability program, the drug's maker— Fort Dodge Animal Health—is requiring veterinarians buying the medication to register with the company and take part in an online training program. ProHeart6 protects against heartworm disease, which is serious and potentially fatal for dogs. The parasite that causes the illness is transmitted through a mosquito bite. Earlier Health Buzz reported that pets may be regularly exposed to toxic chemicals. And U.S. News recently explained why owning a pet may be good for your health.

Stress Is Not Always a Bad Thing

Stress has a bad reputation, given the wreckage it causes: headaches, stomach pain, high blood pressure, and insomnia, Deborah Kotz reports. But it also has an unheralded upside. In normal doses, adrenaline and other "fight or flight" hormones improve performance and seem to even protect health. These hormones increase alertness and motivation by quickening your heartbeat, improving blood flow to the brain, and enhancing vision and hearing. And in small amounts, studies suggest, they boost the immune system and may protect against age-related memory loss by keeping brain cells active.

Kotz describes how mindfulness meditation and biofeedback may help you, and she recently revealed whether a flotation tank helped her relax.

How to Avoid Weight Gain When Falling In Love

Does being in a relationship mean gaining weight? Research has shown that eating a meal with another person, no matter the relationship to you, can boost the amount of food eaten by 33 percent, Katherine Hobson reports. One study presented last fall at the annual meeting of the Obesity Society found that young women who were dating gained an average of 15 pounds over five years, those women who were cohabiting but not married gained 18 pounds, and the newly married gained 24 pounds. (The men saw a similar upward trend, albeit with no difference between the dating and cohabiting groups.) Meantime, according to the "obesity is contagious" study published last year in the New England Journal of Medicine, if one spouse becomes obese, the other is 37 percent more likely to do so, too.

Hobson offers seven ways to avoid weight gain while in a relationship. Earlier, she reported on whether blaming people for being fat can help curb obesity.

—January W. Payne