Health Highlights: Aug. 6, 2013

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Sports Injuries Sent 1.35 Million U.S. Kids to ER Last Year: Report

About 1.35 million American children were seen in hospital emergency departments for sports-related injuries in 2012, according to a new report.

The leading causes of sports injury-related ER visits by children ages 6-19 were sprains and strains, fractures, cuts and scrapes, and concussions, Safe Kids Worldwide said. The non-profit advocacy group noted that the cost of treating such injuries is more than $935 million a year, USA Today reported.

In 2012, concussion accounted for 12 percent of youngsters' sports injury-related trips to the ER, which works out to about one concussion-related visit every three minutes. Athletes ages 12-15 accounted for 47 percent of concussion-related visits.

Overall, one in five children who go to an ER for treatment of an injury is there for a sports injury, according to Kate Carr, Safe Kids president and CEO, USA Today reported.

"Far too many kids are arriving in emergency rooms for injuries that are predictable and preventable," Carr said.


Living to 120 Doesn't Appeal to Many Americans: Poll

Scientists are striving to extend people's lives, but 56 percent of Americans say they aren't interested in living to 120, a new survey finds.

Most respondents in the Pew Research Center poll said they consider the ideal life span to be between 79 and 100 years, with a median of 90 years, the Associated Press reported.

Current treatments to slow the aging process work in some laboratory animals, but it's not clear if they would work in people.

The average lifespan of Americans born today is nearly 79, according to the AP.


Whooping Cough May Shorten Life Expectancy: Study

Being born during whooping cough epidemics may shorten people's life expectancy, according to a new study.

Researchers analyzed birth and death records from 1813 to 1968 in five rural parishes in Sweden. They found that the risk of premature death was 40 percent higher among men born during whooping cough epidemics and 20 percent higher among women born during these epidemics, The New York Times reported.

Women born during whooping cough epidemics were also at increased risk for miscarriages and of having children who died in infancy, the Lund University researchers found.

They said that lung infections such as whooping cough during infancy may cause permanent damage that makes lung infections during adulthood more dangerous. The long-term dangers of whooping cough should be studied and women who had it in infancy should be monitored in pregnancy, said study lead author Luciana Quaranta, The Times reported.

Last year, the United States had its largest whooping cough outbreak in 60 years, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Illegal Buttock Injections a Problem in U.S.

A number of deaths have been reported among the growing number of American women who have illegal injections to make their buttocks bigger.

In some cases, home-improvement materials such as silicone are being injected by people with no medical training, the Associated Press reported.

Deaths from these types of illegal buttock injections have been reported in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Nevada and New York. In Mississippi, an interior decorator faces trial in the deaths of two women who were injected at her house.

There is little data on the procedures or injuries they cause, but doctors and officials say there are a growing number of them. Online forums used to set up illegal buttock injections have thousands of responses, the AP reported.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

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