Author Archives: Janice Carter

Children of mothers who have taken snus during pregnancy show higher blood pressure.

A research team found that children between the ages of five and six whose mothers had used snus during pregnancy had higher systolic blood pressure. The new study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Snus is a moist powdered tobacco for oral use that was banned in the European Union as early as 1992 after World Health Organization studies found it to be carcinogenic. However, this tobacco is very popular in some countries, such as Sweden, and is still available in the United States (although it is currently processed by the FDA in that country).

The snus is placed between the gums and the upper lip and essentially provides nicotine. The advantage of using such tobacco would be that it does not include the by-products of burning classic cigarettes. Another advantage is that it is not necessary to spit, as is the case with most common chewing tobacco cards.

This study shows that the intake of nicotine during pregnancy, whether from cigarettes, chewing tobacco or snus, is not safe and can have negative effects on the unborn child, as Felicia Nordenstam, a paediatric cardiologist at the Karolinska Institute University Hospital in Stockholm and lead author of the study, explains.

The researcher analyzed data from children born to 21 women who used only snus during pregnancy and compared it with data from 19 children whose mothers did not consume tobacco products during pregnancy.

Researchers found that systolic blood pressure in children in the first group was 4.2 mmHg higher than in children in the second group.



Pregnant with twins? Here are the weight gains recommended by a researcher

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh sets new guidelines for weight gain in pregnant women who expect twins. Unlike non-partners, the guidelines for twin pregnancies are not always as precise, which is why the doctors at the Graduate School of Public Health have decided to remedy the situation.

The researchers who published their study on Obstetrics & Gynecology analyzed statistical data on 27,723 pregnancies and twin births (with two children) between 2003 and 2013. This data was then compared with those of the mother, in particular with height and weight both before pregnancy and at birth.

They then worked out three upper and lower recommended weight gain limits for three types of pregnant twin women: Underweight or normal, overweight or obesity.

According to the results presented in the press release of the study, there was an increased risk of poor birth results if the weight gain was:

  • Less than 31 pounds or more than 60 pounds in underweight and normal-weight women;
  • Less than 24 pounds or more than 62 pounds in overweight women;
  • Less than 14 pounds or more than 57 pounds for obese women.

“We are not saying that an increase within these weight ranges is necessarily better for the health of the mother and her children, but simply that an increase above or below them poses a greater risk of poor health. Women should talk to their doctors to determine safe weight gain for them,” says Lisa Bodnar, lead author of the study and professor at the University of Pittsburgh.



Children exposed to lead may have poorer neurocognitive abilities

Children and adolescents exposed to lead, an environmental pollutant, may have more difficulty falling asleep, according to a new study by the University of Michigan.

According to Erica Jansen, one of the authors of the study, children exposed to lead may have poorer neurocognitive abilities.

It is also known that sleep is associated with neurocognitive problems in children: “This highlights the possibility that sleep can play an intermediate role between exposure to lead and cognitive outcomes,” the researcher says in the press release.

The researcher herself states that she has found links between increased exposure to lead in early childhood and inadequate sleep in adolescence.

The children tested, who fell in 25% of those with the highest blood lead content, slept on average 23 minutes less than 25% of those with the lowest level.

This clearly shows a correlation between blood supply and sleep quality. The study used data from 395 participants included in a cohort study of people from Mexico City observed for up to 25 years.

The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.



Snacks and fatty foods can slow down testosterone production

Eating fast food can have a negative impact on testicular performance related to testosterone production, especially in obese and overweight men. This is the result of a research group at Flinders University that published their study on andrology.

The researchers focused in particular on the effects of dietary fat on testicular function and found that a meal taken in high-fat fast foods can lead to men who are already overweight or obese, reducing testosterone by up to 25% within an hour of eating the meal itself.

According to Kelton Tremellen, gynecologist and professor of reproductive medicine at Flinders, who co-authored the study with UniSA’s Karma Pearce, the observed decreases are probably more significant in obese or elderly men with low basal testosterone levels: “These men are likely to be put into a continuous hypogonadic state during waking hours when they frequently eat high-fat meals and snacks. This will clearly have a negative effect on their mental and physical well-being and probably also on their fertility potential.”

The same researchers, therefore, suggest minimizing the intake of fats and avoiding snacks between meals, especially if you intend to have children.



More than 9000 children per year are injured by lawn mowers in the USA

There are more than 9,000 children in the United States who are treated in hospitals for lawnmower accidents. The latter is a very important tool to speed up the work of shaving the grass, but being an object with mechanically operated blades can be dangerous in the presence of children.

According to recent research presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) conference, this type of injury is more common in rural areas than in urban areas. Ronit Shah, a medical student at the University of Toledo, annually takes or treats thousands of children in hospital emergency rooms for injuries and injuries caused by lawnmower accidents.

The researcher analyzed injuries to patients aged 1-18 years from 2005 to 2017 caused by lawnmower injuries in 49 U.S. hospitals. Accidents included relatively high amputation rates and complications such as surgery and infection.

The researcher also found that children under 10 years of age had a higher amputation rate than children over 10 years of age. According to the researchers, further public communication efforts are needed to combat this type of accident, which is clearly underestimated.