Use of Medications for Chronic Conditions Increasing in Children
The use of type 2 diabetes medicines more than doubled among teens and tweens between 2002 and 2005, according to a new study of 3.5 million insured young people ages 5 to 19, published in Pediatrics. There were also increases in medications used to treat high blood pressure and cholesterol, attention-deficit disorder and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, and asthma. "Our study findings indicate that these increased levels of chronic medication use are symptoms of broader underlying issues affecting children today," lead study author Emily R. Cox, senior director of research at Express Scripts, said in a prepared statement. "These trends are worrisome given that many of these therapies are treating conditions with modifiable risk factors and if not addressed, many of these children will carry these chronic conditions into adulthood."
Sex Problems Common in Women
Four in every 10 women in the United States report having problems with sex, but only 12 percent say they're distressed because of those issues, Bloomberg reports. Those ages 45 to 64 were more likely to report unhappiness than women who were older or younger, researchers report this month in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology. Also, 1 of every 8 women ages 45 to 64 said she was unhappy because she was experiencing a lack of desire; 1 of 15 said she was distressed because of problems with orgasm or arousal.
In September, U.S. News explained how to make the most of the new sexual revolution and described how therapy can help your sex life. We also reported on the science of aphrodisiacs and offered advice on how to cope with five common sexual problems.
Gluten-Free Diet: a Cure for Some, a Fad for Most
In not quite 1 percent of Americans, consuming gluten damages the small intestine and impairs its ability to absorb nutrients, Adam Voiland reports. For such people, whose condition is known as celiac disease, doctors prescribe a gluten-free diet. Yet surveys show that about 15 to 25 percent of consumers report looking for gluten-free products, apparently far eclipsing the number put on the diet by their doctors, says Cynthia Kupper, a dietitian and the executive director of the Gluten Intolerance Group. While there's no firm evidence that the diet is helping those consumers, most nutritionists say there's nothing particularly risky about it either.
Last month, Voiland listed 10 things the food industry doesn't want you to know.
Half of STD Infections Occur in Teens, Young Adults
The latest estimate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that there are approximately 19 million new STD infections each year, with almost half of those occurring in teens and young adults ages 15 to 24. Since sexually transmitted diseases often are announced only by nonspecific signs (like abdominal pain and fever), they may easily be mistaken for other illnesses—and that means the number of cases may actually be much higher, Lindsay Lyon reports. If undiagnosed or untreated, certain STDs can wreak havoc, bringing serious and even life-threatening consequences, experts say.
Last month, Lyon discussed how people can use an E-card to inform sexual partners of STD exposure.
—January W. Payne