Lack of immunization common for pregnant, lactating travelers

A study in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology found some women and health care providers may decline to use vaccines and antimicrobials to prevent infections such as malaria and yellow fever during travel due to a lack of research on their effects on pregnancy and breastfeeding. Women who were pregnant or breastfeeding were about half as likely as other women to receive vaccines for typhoid and hepatitis A, according to an analysis of data on women seeking care before travel.

Reuters (11/23)


Gestational diabetes, high BP tied to adverse health outcomes in women

Canadian researchers found that women with gestational diabetes, hypertension or both conditions during pregnancy were at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, as well as increased CVD mortality risk, later in life, compared with those without any of the conditions. The findings in the American Journal of Epidemiology, based on 63,438 couples, revealed that the average time to the outcome of CVD among women with a history of both gestational diabetes and hypertension was 10.8 years, compared with 11.4 years among those with a history of either condition and 11.5 years for those without any of the conditions.

Medscape (free registration) (11/21)


Guidelines call for broader screening, vaccination for hepatitis B

The American College of Physicians and the CDC issued new guidelines calling for broader screening and vaccination for hepatitis B to stop transmission of the disease in the US. Researchers wrote in the Annals of Internal Medicine that, because of barriers to vaccination, there may need to be a vaccination strategy that is not based on risk.

MedPage Today (free registration) (11/20)


Counseling needed before freezing eggs, study says

More counseling should be made available to women who are considering whether to freeze their eggs, according to a study in the Journal of Women’s Health. Researchers said education is needed about age-related pregnancy risks and the potential for adverse events with fertility drugs and retrieval procedures.

ABC News (11/21)


Danish study ties hormonal birth control to suicide rates

An analysis of data for women in Denmark in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that suicide rates were higher among women using hormonal contraceptives. The absolute risk was still low, but the findings merit further research.

TIME online (11/21)


Many young adults suffer from arthritis, study finds

Researchers reviewed data for over 33,600 adult participants in the 2015 US National Health Interview Survey and found that almost one-third of those with arthritis were younger than 65 years. The findings, published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, also showed that among young adults, the incidence of joint pain was nearly 17% for women and 19% for men.

HealthDay News (11/27)


CDC: Pregnancy spacing linked to ASD risk

CDC researchers found that second- or later-born babies of mothers who conceived less than 18 months or more than 60 months after their previous birth were more likely to develop autism spectrum disorder. The findings in the journal Autism Research didn’t link overly long or overly short pregnancy spacing with other developmental disabilities. (Canada)/RelaxNews (11/22),  Business Standard (India) (tiered subscription model)/Asian News International (11/25)


Wis. midwives support women during delivery

Midwives at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse, Wis., promote practices that foster vaginal delivery. “We encourage women to be mobile and upright during labor and to use various positions which can help labor progress naturally. We also encourage women to be patient at the end of pregnancy and to wait for labor to start on its own and induce labor only if medically indicated,” said Amy Belling-Dunn, CNM.

La Crosse Tribune (Wis.) (11/27)


Review finds insufficient evidence for prenatal vitamin D

A systematic review in The BMJ found inconclusive evidence that prenatal vitamin D supplementation had an effect or maternal or infant health. Research showed reduced risk of offspring wheeze but inconclusive data on gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and preterm birth.

Forbes (11/30),  Medical Xpress (11/29),  MedPage Today (free registration) (11/29)


Review: Prenatal exposure to armed conflict may increase low birth weight risk

Four of nine studies found that maternal exposure to armed conflict during pregnancy was significantly tied to low birth weight in infants, with a low bias risk, UK researchers reported in BMJ Global Health. The findings, based on a systematic review of 13 studies involving mothers in 12 countries, didn’t show a clear link between maternal war exposure during gestation and other adverse neonatal outcomes such as stillbirth and preterm birth.

MedPage Today (free registration) (11/28)


Study supports 5-year cervical cancer screening interval for some women

A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found women who had at least one negative result from one or more combination tests with HPV and cytology screening for cervical cancer may only need screening every five years. The findings, based on almost 1 million women in northern California, showed that for every five-year combination of negative test results, the likelihood of cervical cancer dropped, and a similar decrease in risk was detected with the HPV test without results from a Pap test.

Healio (free registration) (11/27),  HealthDay News (11/27)


CDC reports increasing self-harm prevalence among US girls

The rate of emergency department visits for self-harm treatment among US girls ages 10 to 24 rose by 8.4% annually between 2009 and 2015, with the rate of ED visits for self-harm among those ages 10 to 14 increasing by 18.8% annually during the same period, according to a CDC study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The findings should prompt increased efforts aimed at curbing self-injury among youths, researchers said.

Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (11/21),  STAT (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press (11/21)


Report: 42% of cancer cases linked to 17 modifiable risks

An American Cancer Society study showed 42% of all cancers diagnosed in 2014, along with more than 45% of cancer deaths, were associated with 17 modifiable risk factors, with the top three being smoking, excessive weight and alcohol use. The study published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians found 85.8% of lung cancer cases, more than 70% of liver cancer cases, nearly 55% of colorectal cancer cases and almost 29% of breast cancer instances were linked to modifiable risk factors.

Medical News Today (11/21)


Study to test long-acting injectable for HIV prevention

GlaxoSmithKline launched a study to test the effectiveness of a drug injected every two months to prevent HIV infection among sexually active women in Africa.

Reuters (11/30)



Number of low birth weight infants dropped after EPA curb on PFOA

A study in the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health estimated that 10,000 to 17,000 fewer low birth weight infants were born annually after the 2006 agreement between the Environmental Protection Agency and US manufacturers to reduce and stop production of perfluorooctanoic acid, which is used in nonstick coatings, by 2015. The findings were based on 2003 to 2014 national study data involving blood samples from new mothers.

The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (11/28)


About the Author

Jaelin Stickels

Jaelin married her high school sweetheart (Ted) in 1984 and is the proud mother of 3 grown children (2 boys & a girl). She has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas, a Master’s Degree from Georgetown and holds several other professional certifications related to health and wellness; currently, she is working on her Doctorate degree. Jaelin works as a Midwife and Nurse Practitioner with her business partner Andie Wyrick at Holistic Heritage Homebirth in the Woodlands Texas.