Induced labor, c-sections may not HELP babies
Some hospitals induce labor and perform caesarean sections far more frequently than others, but a new study finds these differences may not affect how newborns fare. Dr. J. Christopher Glantz, a professor of obstetrics at the University of Rochester, reviewed records of almost 30,000 births from 10 upstate New York community hospitals without specialized neonatal intensive care units. He looked at whether a child was moved to an intensive care hospital; needed immediate assisted ventilation; and received a low Apgar score, an overall health evaluation. "I'm not saying that no interventions should be the goal," Glantz said. "But when you see the difference in rates of these interventions with no difference in outcome, it leads me to believe that we can get by with fewer of them." The study is in the current issue of the Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine.
Kids' screen time may affect vessels
Children who spend more time in front of TV and computer screens and less in outdoor physical activity have narrower blood vessels in their eyes, a new study has found. In adults, constricted blood vessels in the eyes have been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Scientists in Australia studied 1,492 6-year-olds randomly selected from 34 schools in Sydney and had their parents complete questionnaires about their children's habits. Next up: deciphering what narrower blood vessels will mean as the children grow up. "We have to follow them for much longer," said Dr. Paul Mitchell, a professor of ophthalmology at the University of Sydney and lead author of the study. The study is in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.
Heart patients get boost from tai chi
Tai chi may help those with chronic systolic heart failure improve mood, daily activity and quality of life, according to a new study published online in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital looked at 100 patients with the condition. Half were placed in a 12-week tai chi exercise program; half attended a 12-week program where they were taught about low-sodium diets and heart-rhythm problems. The tai chi group saw their vigor and depression-related mood score improve, while the other group's got worse. Mood and vigor are considered key to coping with systolic heart failure, which can cause such symptoms as fatigue and nausea.
Wandering a risk for autistic kids
Half of children with autism are prone to wandering, sometimes for hours — a dangerous behavior pattern that can start before kindergarten, a national survey has quantified. Conducted by the Interactive Autism Network, an online autism research project overseen by the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, the survey of 856 parents of children with an autism spectrum disorder is the first to attempt to quantify the problem. The institute is affiliated with Johns Hopkins University. Two out of three parents reported their children had a "close call" with a traffic-related incident. One-third said a child nearly drowned. Fifty-eight percent reported wandering as the most stressful of all autism-related behaviors. In 2010, 10 children with autism died in the United States after wandering off, according to the Krieger institute.