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Risk Factors

NEWS
July 11, 2011 | By Melissa Healy/For the Booster Shots blog
Autism seems to have a powerful genetic component, but a family history of the disorder isn't the whole story. The circumstances of a baby's birth may also predispose a child to developing autism, says a new study. Babies who come into the world after a difficult delivery, who have to be coaxed or sometimes pulled out of the birth canal, who have gotten tangled in the umbilical cord or whose first days are characterized by feeding problems, anemia or jaundice, these children face higher odds of developing autism than those whose births were more uneventful, says the study , published Monday in Pediatrics.
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NEWS
January 25, 2012 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots blog
They're called “risk factors” for a reason - people with high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and/or a smoking habit are much more likely to have heart attacks, strokes and other manifestations of cardiovascular disease, including death. A new study coming out in Thursday's edition of the New England Journal of Medicine analyzed health data on more than 250,000 adults to confirm that those who had any of these risk factors were in greater peril than those who didn't.
SCIENCE
November 18, 2009 | Thomas H. Maugh II
CT scans of Egyptian mummies, some as much as 3,500 years old, show evidence of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, which is normally thought of as a disease caused by modern lifestyles, researchers said Tuesday. The study, presented at the American Heart Assn. meeting in Orlando, Fla., was conceived by Dr. Gregory Thomas, a cardiologist at UC Irvine, after he read about Pharoah Merenptah at the Egyptian National Museum of Antiquities in Cairo. When he died at age 60 in 1203 BC, Merenptah was plagued by atherosclerosis, arthritis and dental decay.
BUSINESS
July 15, 2010 | By Duke Helfand, Los Angeles Times
David Axene was flat on his back in a hospital bed with a swollen left leg. His kidneys had shut down. His blood pressure had plunged. Doctors pumped him with potent antibiotics to stave off a deadly infection. Yet there he was sifting through spreadsheets on his laptop, cradling his cellphone to his ear, waving off doctors to finish another conference call. California's top insurance watchdogs had hired Axene to scour Anthem Blue Cross' files for any flaw in the voluminous paperwork that accompanied its rate hikes of up to 39%. Anthem's plan to impose higher premiums March 1 had outraged consumers and politicians alike.
NEWS
July 20, 2010 | By Tami Dennis, Los Angeles Times
Add sepsis to your list of post-surgery worries. Or, if you're so inclined, to your list of worries in general. First, we'll look at the hospital picture. Researchers at Methodist Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical College, set out to document the incidence, mortality rate and risk factors for sepsis and septic shock after general surgery. And what they found wasn't pretty. Using data from 363,897 patients, they established that sepsis, a life-threatening blood infection, occurred in 2.3% of those patients and that septic shock, dangerously low blood pressure from said blood infection, occurred in 1.6%.
NEWS
May 17, 1991 | From United Press International
A survey of more than 3,000 surgeons shows that none appear to have been infected with the deadly AIDS virus from a patient, federal health officials reported Thursday. Dr. Augusto Sarmiento, president of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, called the results encouraging for both physicians and the public.
NEWS
July 20, 2010
Health screenings — they might be tedious, expensive, and time-consuming, but they also can be worth it, even if you're a healthy young adult. Take the case of cholesterol screening. Even though today approximately two-thirds of young adults have one or more risk factors for coronary heart disease, less than 50% of them are screened for high cholesterol, according to a study published in the July-August issue of the Annals of Family Medicine . Coronary heart disease, also known as coronary artery disease, is a buildup of calcium, plaque and fatty material in the arteries that restricts the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart and can lead to a heart attack.
NEWS
February 1, 2011 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
One out of every three adult Americans has high cholesterol levels and two-thirds of them do not have it under control, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday. Similarly, one out of every three adults has high blood pressure and half of them do not have it under control. High blood pressure and high cholesterol are two of the major risk factors for heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular diseases, which are the leading cause of death in the United States, killing 800,000 people every year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 22, 1999 | From Associated Press
Should you take a statin? It depends on whether you already have heart disease, how high your cholesterol is and whether you have other medical problems that put you at risk. Many people already know their total cholesterol. But to make a decision about statins, it's also necessary to measure the levels of the two major types of cholesterol, LDL and HDL. (LDL is the artery-clogging variety that causes heart trouble; HDL helps prevent it.
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