Study Finds 1 in 5 Youngsters Lacking in Vitamin D
A new study finds that about 20 percent of U.S. children between ages 1 and 11 aren't getting enough vitamin D, the Associated Press reports. Researchers looked at vitamin D blood levels in almost 3,000 children recorded between 2001 and 2006. The researchers also applied a higher cutoff for deficiency that showed close to 90 percent of black children and 80 percent of Hispanic children may be vitamin D deficient, according to the AP. Earlier research has suggested a link between vitamin D deficiency in kids and health problems such as high blood pressure and high cholesteroland has also shown that many U.S. teens are lacking enough of the nutrient. Health professionals do not have a single set of guidelines to determine the level at which a child is considered deficient, the AP reports. The latest study appears in the journal Pediatrics.
Think You Have the Flu? These 3 Websites Will Help You Evaluate the Symptoms
Think you have the flu? A handful of websites can help you find the answer from the comfort of home, U.S. News's January Payne writes. The newest is AMAfluhelp.org, launched Thursday by the American Medical Association in partnership with Healthy Circles (which offers free personal health records) and Microsoft.
Other options include online tools offered by the Mayo Clinic and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The goal is to help you figure out whether you need to see a doctor, and U.S. News put each site to the test.
The Health and Human Services Department's Flu.gov includes a self-evaluation specifically for H1N1 flu. (The tools offered by the AMA and the Mayo Clinic focus more broadly on flu symptoms in general, regardless of strain.) The questions are intended for adults ages 18 and older. Plugging in that you feel feverish, have a cough or sore throat, have chest pain, feel confused, and are having trouble breathing produces the following result: "People who answer like you did might be very sick." The site advises that people feeling this way should call their doctor to determine if they need to be seen, or consider going to an urgent-care clinic or hospital emergency room. Read more.
In Sign of the Times, New York City Marathon Takes H1N1 Precautions
On Sunday, November 1, some 42,000 runners will share the experience of running the ING New York City Marathon. But marathon organizers are taking special measures to make sure they won't also be sharing the flu—specifically, the H1N1 virus, aka swine flu, U.S. News's Katherine Hobson reports.
For the first time, marathoners' goody bags—customarily filled with things like minipacks of pain relievers and samples of energy bars—will include small hand sanitizer sprays printed with the logo of the New York Road Runners, the organization that puts on the race. The official marathon program says hand sanitizer will be available at the prerace expo and the race's start. Race organizers also advise people not to run the race if they come down with the flu during marathon week, since the effort will make symptoms worse and could spread the virus to other runners, Hobson writes. Read more.
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