Toxins blamed for baby boys declining in U.S. & Japan

NEW YORK - Mother Nature has always ensured that male births outnumber female ones, but the gap has been steadily narrowing over the past three decades in the U.S. and Japan, according to a new study.

Researchers believe the decline in male births can be enlightened, at least in part, by fatherly exposure to environmental toxins, such as certain pesticides, heavy metals, solvents or dioxins - chemical byproducts produced during ignition or the manufacture of other chemicals.

Traditionally, it’s been estimated that for every 100 girls born, there will be about 105 boys. This balances out the higher death rate among male fetuses and infants. But since 1970, the U.S. and Japan have knowledgeable a descending shift in this male-to-female birth ratio, researchers report in the online edition of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

In the U.S., the share of boys dropped from 105.5 per 100 girls in 1970 to 104.6 in 2001; in Japan, the male-to-female ratio dropped from 106.3 boys for every 100 girls to just fewer than 105 per 100.

The changes may seem small, but the study authors suspect they are one manifestation of the effects of environmental poisons on the male reproductive system.

These other signs, she told Reuters Health, include lower testosterone levels and sperm counts, as well as boosts in testicular cancer, a disease that most frequently affects young men.

Environmental toxins may be a common denominator here, according to Davis and her colleagues. Such exposures may specifically lower rates of male, rather than female, births for a few reasons. They may, for example, affect the viability of sperm that bear the Y chromosome, which determines male sex — or the viability of male fetuses.


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Biracial Parents may invest extra in Kids

Parents who are of different races, such as a white father and an Asian-American mother, spend more time and money on their kids than parents who are both of the same races, new research shows.

So-called biracial (aka interracial or multiracial) parents are more likely than their "monoracial" counterparts to provide their children with a home computer, private schooling and educational books and CDs and to make sure they partake in reading activities, dance, music or art lessons outside of school and get trips to the zoo, library and other cultural venues.

The "biracial advantage" only holds for comparisons with same-race couples from the two racial groups represented by the parents - for illustration, if a Latino and white couple is compared with a Latino-Latino couple or a white-white couple. The finding vanishes if all biracial couples, regardless of racial pairing, are compared with the entire pool of same-race couples (combining all couples that are white-white, black-black, Latino-Latino and so forth).

The benefit, or upper investment, can be enlightened as a counterweight or reaction to the social challenges faced by interracial couples, who only gained legal approval in the United States in 1970 when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a state law in Virginia that forbidden whites from marrying non-whites, said study author Brian Powell at Indiana University Bloomington.

The judgment canceled related bans in 15 other states.

The number of biracial couples has since more than tripled, yet many couples still face displeasure and discrimination, Powell said.

"They face challenges in being a couple," he said in a prepared speech. "They're aware of the challenges their children will be facing. In turn, they try to compensate for this."

Powell said he was not amazed by the finding that the biracial nature of families may signify a source of advantage, rather than hardship, for children.

The study, detailed in the American Journal of Sociology, examined data composed in 1998–1999 as part of a large national survey of U.S. families, with a focus on those with kindergartners. A total of 1,599 couples were part of the new analysis.

Powell and his colleague Simon Cheng at the University of Connecticut found one exemption to the "biracial advantage." Black father/white mother families have a propensity to invest fewer resources into kids than do black monoracial couples and white monoracial couples.

This could be because families in which one of the parents is black likely know-how better prejudice and displeasure from their extended families than do non-black interracial couples, Powell and Cheng wrote. Also, there seem to be greater social challenges faced by couples in which a non-white man is involved with a white woman, they wrote.

The study also highlighted the great disparity in U.S. biracial couples. Couples with one black parent and one white parent made up the smallest set — just 143 couples, compared to 601 in which one parent was Latino and the other white. There were 174 white and Asian couples and 191 couples who were white and "other," which referred to Native Americans, among others.

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Cavities rise in baby teeth

ATLANTA- Tooth dissociating in young children baby tooth is raise, a terrible propensity that indicated the preschool child is consume too much sugar, according to the largest government study of the nation’s dental health in more than 25 years.

Specialist is give consideration to the cavity occurrence in baby tooth of various children ages 2 to 5. It enlarged to 28 percent in 1999-2004, from 24 percent in 1988-1994, according to the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For the last 40 years there had been a cut in the amount of tooth decay in young kids, based on statistic of federal health statistics. Different study have projected the receding could have stop, but fresh report have the original statistically significant data proof the trend has wrong way up, dental experts said.

"When you have more decay in your baby teeth, there’s a greater likelihood you’ll have decay in your adult teeth," the study’s lead author, Dr. Bruce Dye of the National Center.

"If you don’t have healthy teeth, your bodies not healthy," says Dr. Mary Hayes, a Chicago pediatric dentist and representative for the American Dental Association. "When you get started in a harmful way, you're susceptible to loss of teeth, you're susceptible to infection."

The study also illustrious a drop in the amount of non-elderly adults who have visited a dentist in the past year - a potential sign of declining dental insurance.

But there was some good news: Older children have lesser cavities and adults have fewer periodontal sicknesses than in the past, and more of the mature are retaining their teeth.

Cavities in young children can look very rapidly, and parents should start bringing their children to the dentist at age 1, said Dr. Joel Berg, chairman of the University of Washington’s Department of Pediatric Dentistry.

Parents also must help their young kids brush correctly. “Preschoolers don’t have the deftness to really clean their teeth,” Berg said.

Baby teeth obviously fall out as children age, but dentists say crude decay can extend and is too dangerous to go untreated.

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The Important of Ear tubes for Toddlers?

Most toddlers with common ear infections don’t need ear tubes to conserve normal learning and behavior through primary school, according to a study challenging one big motive for these common procedures.

Frequent ear infections - even some colds - can leave a fluid buildup that specialists long feared would reduce hearing and slow language and other learning. However, it now shows the hearing loss is too short-lived and mild to interfere with learning, at least in the vast common of children.

“Children are basically pretty resilient and can withstand ... that little amount of problem,” said study leader Dr. Jack L. Paradise, a pediatrician at the University of Pittsburgh.

This was first exposed true at age 3 by the same team of Pittsburgh-based researchers in 2001. Their later research found the same thing true into early school age. In 2004, specialized groups eased the guidelines that had long dictated fast surgery to clear accumulated fluid.

Implanting ear tubes in most toddlers with frequent infections will make no dissimilarity in their learning or behavior through primary school, according to a study challenging one big reason for these common procedures.

The Pittsburgh group now makes the equal finding for ages 9-11 in a government-funded study of 391 children. The work was being available Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“People were always worried: Are there late effects?” said Dr. Stephen Berman, a University of Colorado pediatrician who wrote an accompanying editorial. He said this study is “very, very supportive” that there aren’t.

Berman believes tens of thousands of surgeries could now be measured unnecessary each year. However, a minority of children with severe hearing loss will remain applicants for the surgery. Also, many tubes are implanted to cut down on the infections themselves, rather than fluid. They can lessen pain, and that justification remains valid.

The study was backed by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and drug makers GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer.


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Religious Challenge Newborn Blood Test Laws

WAHOO, Neb. - Ray and Louise Spiering wanted to observe a phase of silence after their daughter Melynda’s birth, but what they got was uproar.

To the Spierings, Nebraska’s condition that newborn babies undergo blood screening within 48 hours of birth is a contravention on their religious beliefs and their right to make a decision what’s best for their four children.

The couples attend a fundamental Christian church and go after some teachings of the Church of Scientology. Louise Spiering said they wanted “that balance of our beliefs included into the births of our children.”

It’s taken them and another set of parents to the Nebraska Supreme Court and the Legislature in a force to construct the newborn screening law more flexible.

The mandatory test, in which a small number of drops of blood are drawn from a baby’s heel, screens for dozens of rare congenital diseases, some of which can cause severe mental retardation or death if left unobserved.

Screening may disclose serious defects

Many of the diseases covered in the bill are deficiencies, and one, phenylketonuria, can effect in severe mental retardation without diet restrictions starting at birth.

One in every 837 babies born last year tested positive for one of the 34 diseases the state tests for, said Julie Miller, manager of Nebraska’s Newborn Screening Program. But the incidence is much minor for the eight most serious diseases, with one in 112,000 having biotinidase deficiency, which can cause developmental stoppages.

The Spierings say changing the law will give parents improved options, whatever their opposition to the tests.

“We just want to lay the groundwork so that other parents have better options than we did,” Ray Spiering said. “We weren’t so much against the test. We just wanted a short delay. In a sense, we kind of won when the judge decided the eight-day delay.

But, Louise Spiering said: “There was a very steep cost in terms of the intrusion on our private lives.”


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FDA will Approve the Sanofi Pasteur Vaccine

WASHINGTON - A five-in-one vaccine that might cut the number of jabs children accept is both safe and effective, federal health advisers said Thursday. The endorsement makes it more likely the Food and Drug Administration will approve the Sanofi Pasteur vaccine, called Pentacel.

The FDA is not required the follow the advice of its external advisers but regularly does. The vaccine is destined to prevent diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio and bacterial infection caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b, or Hib. Hib disease can cause meningitis, pneumonia and arthritis.

The approval came even though several FDA advisers questioned the efficacy of the Hib element of the vaccine. The panel recommended follow-up studies on the vaccine if it wins approval.

If approved, the vaccine might eliminate seven of the 23 federally recommended injections kids now must endure through age 18 months, according to Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines business of Paris-based Sanofi-Aventis. The vaccine would be given in four doses, at 2 months, 4 months and 6 months and finally at 15 months to 18 months.

The vaccine was earliest sold in Canada in 1997 and is now offered in eight other countries, the company said.


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Many Kid Require Additional Treatments

NEW YORK - Only about one quarter of kids who have their tonsils and adenoids detached to relieve obstructive sleep apnea syndrome have a total response, according to researchers. “We should not assume that all children undergoing tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy for obstructive sleep apnea will be healed,” senior investigator Dr. David Gozal told Reuters Health. “Only a small percentage will.”

Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is when individual wakes up repetitively during the night because airways become blocked for brief phases and breathing stops, also referred to as apnea. The condition can lead to daytime sleepiness and harmed attentiveness.

In the Journal of Pediatrics, Gozal and colleagues at the University of Louisville, Kentucky explain their study of 110 children who were evaluated using a polysomnograph, a tool to identify sleep disorders, before and after the surgery was completed.

Following surgery, only 25 percent of the kids had one or no episodes of breathing stoppage per hour of sleep, 46 percent had as many as four episodes per hour; and 29 percent had five or more episodes per hour of sleep.

Five or more apnea episodes per hour were significantly more ordinary in obese children than in non-obese children (36.4 percent versus 17.6 percent), and significantly less obese than non-obese children had one or no episodes per hour.

Overall, 25 percent of the children had complete normalization of sleep after surgery.

Given the quite low response rate, Gozal said, “it is essential, and particularly so in more severe cases or in the presence of obesity, to repeat the sleep study after surgery to identify those children who may need additional interventions.”

He suggests these might include handling to reduce inflammation or continuous positive airway pressure, a method in which a face mask fitted over the nose is worn at bedtime to supply air pressure in the throat so the airways don’t collapse when the patient inhales during sleep.






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