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More teens suffering slight hearing loss, study finds

More teens are suffering slight hearing loss

One in five teenagers suffers from at least slight hearing loss, compared with only one in seven a decade ago. The new study, published Wednesday in The Journal of the American Medical Association, analyzed data on 1,771 youngsters ages 12 to 19 who participated in a national survey in 2005-06, compared with data from 1988-94. Those with at least slight hearing loss — which many might not notice — increased to 19.5 percent from 14.9 percent. The number with greater impairment — called mild hearing loss — went from one in 30 teenagers a decade ago to one in 20 teens in 2005-06. At that level, you might not be able to hear a person whispering in your ear. Researchers say youngsters may not understand that they are listening to music at dangerously high levels.

A bit of chocolate may help women

When it comes to chocolate's health benefits, less may be more. Swedish women who ate one to two servings of dark chocolate (30 percent cocoa) a week had almost one-third fewer cases of heart failure than those who didn't eat it, a new study reports, but the results suggest that there was no protective effect for women who ate chocolate every day or almost every day. The study, published in Circulation: Heart Failure, examined heart failure rates in 31,823 Swedish women ages 48 to 83 from 1998 through 2006. The authors speculated that chocolate might lower blood pressure; other studies suggest the flavonoids in cocoa may benefit blood vessels and reduce inflammation. But too much chocolate can cause weight gain, offsetting its benefits, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health wrote.

Silver screen cuts back on smoking

There's a lot less smoking in the movies these days, a new report shows. Tobacco use on the silver screen peaked in 2005 and has been on the decline since, according to research that looked at the most popular films from 1991 to 2009. Last year more than half of the 145 top movies released didn't show any smoking at all. That's a record for the past two decades. For films aimed at children or teens, the percentage was even higher — 61 percent. However, 54 percent of the movies rated PG-13 did show tobacco use. The report was released in a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publication. Public health advocates have been pressuring movie studios for years to cut out smoking in movies marketed to children and teens. Since 2007, the Motion Picture Association of America has considered smoking as a factor in its rating system.

Recent pacemaker recipients wanted

We are looking for people on Medicare who recently received a pacemaker or cardiac defibrillator. If you're willing to discuss your experience, please contact Kris Hundley at khundley@sptimes.com or (727) 892-2996.

Times wires

More teens suffering slight hearing loss, study finds 08/25/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 25, 2010 5:20pm]

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