Monday, November 23, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
More than 1 in 100 American children and teenagers may have autism, Asperger’s syndrome or a related developmental problem, although such diagnoses often do not hold up, according to a government report released on Monday.
The estimate, based on a telephone survey of some 78,000 households and published in the journal Pediatrics, is the highest yet of the prevalence of so-called autism spectrum disorders, which include everything from severe autism to milder social difficulties to “pervasive developmental disorder,” a description given to many troubled children.
Nearly 40 percent of the children in the study who were given such a diagnosis grew out of it or no longer qualified for it, the study found. The estimate is based on those whose parents said they were currently struggling with one of the disorders.
Prevalence estimates for autism-related disorders have increased so quickly over the past decade — to 1 in 150 in 2007, from 1 in 300 in the early 2000s — that researchers have debated whether the disorder is in fact becoming more common or is simply diagnosed more often.
The new survey is not likely to settle the question. “This is an excellent study, but what it looks at is the prevalence of the diagnosis, not the disorder,” said Dr. Susan L. Hyman, a pediatrician at Golisano Children’s Hospital in Rochester. “The next step scientifically is to see whether those diagnoses are being made accurately.”
Huh. Funny how this big news just didn't get me all fired up. We've known this is rising and we all talk about it constantly. We live it, but amongst ourselves. Until a friend got me thinking about this "news", I figured I should post something from an acceptable media outlet like the New York Times. Reminds me of the feeling I had watching Autism Speaks or Jenny McCarthy get plastered all over the news the last few years. A little invasive into my personal world. Especially the recovery part, it made me a bit paranoid. A good invasion of course!
It's "the" talk for now. What will, if anything, people DO about it? What will change? 1 in 150 wasn't rock bottom. Will 1 in 94 be?
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Swimming in a chlorinated pool may boost the odds that a child susceptible to asthma and allergies will develop these problems, a study released today indicates.
"These new data clearly show that by irritating the airways of swimmers chlorination products in water and air of swimming pools exert a strong additive effect on the development of asthma and respiratory allergies such as hay fever and allergic rhinitis," Dr. Alfred Bernard, a toxicologist at the Catholic University of Louvain in Brussels, Belgium, noted in an email to Reuters Health.
"The impact of these chemicals on the respiratory health of children and adolescents appears to be much more important -- at least by a factor of five -- than that associated with secondhand smoke," Bernard noted.
Taken together with his team's prior studies, he added, "There is little doubt that pool chlorine is an important factor implicated in the epidemic of allergic diseases affecting the westernized world."
In the current study, Bernard and colleagues compared the health of 733 adolescents, 13 to 18 years old, who swam in chlorinated outdoor and indoor pools for various amounts of time with that of 114 "control" adolescents who swam mostly in pools sanitized with a concentration of copper and silver.
In children with allergic sensitivities, swimming in chlorinated pools significantly increased the likelihood of asthma and respiratory allergies, the researchers report in the journal Pediatrics.
Among "sensitive" adolescents, the odds for hay fever were between 3.3- and 6.6-fold higher in those who swam in chlorinated pools for greater than 100 hours and the odds of allergic rhinitis were increased 2.2- to 3.5-fold among those who logged more than 1000 hours of chlorinated pool time.
For example, among children and teens who swam in chlorinated pools for 100-500 lifetime hours, 22 children out of 369 (6.0%) had current asthma, compared with those who had spent less than 100 hours (2 of 144, 1.8%). The proportions with asthma rose with longer exposure, to 14 out of 221 (6.4%) who had been swimming for 500-1000 hours, and 17 out of 143 (11.9%) who swam for more than 1000 hours.
The risk of asthma and allergy was not influenced by swimming in copper-silver sanitized pools and children without allergic tendencies were not at increased risk of developing allergies.
"The only plausible explanation" for these observations, the researchers argue, is that the chlorine-based toxic chemicals in the water or hovering in the air at the pool surface cause changes in the airway and promote the development of allergic diseases.
"It is probably not by chance," Bernard told Reuters Health, "that countries with the highest prevalence of asthma and respiratory allergies are also those where swimming pools are the most popular."
The current findings, he and colleagues conclude, "reinforce" the need for further study on the issue and to enforce regulations concerning the levels of these chemicals in water and air of swimming pools.
SOURCE: Pediatrics, October 2009.
So interesting how all this environmental associations to illness are now being reported in mainstream media.