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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Sophia tops the list of names for American baby girls for the second year in a row, while King and Messiah are becoming increasingly popular names for boys, the U.S. Social Security Administration said on Thursday.
Jacob has become a standby for boys’ names, topping that category for the 14th straight year. Liam and Elizabeth broke into the Top 10 at No. 6 and No. 10 respectively, the SSA said in a statement.
But rising on the list are a couple of less traditional, but more attention-grabbing names. Messiah was the fourth fastest-growing name for boys, rising to 387th in 2012 from the 633th spot in 2011, according to the federal agency.
King became the seventh fastest-growing boy’s name, reaching the 256th most popular spot in 2012, compared with 389th the year before, the agency said.
“Bold names for boys are very hot right now,” said Laura Wattenberg, creator of the website BabyNameWizard.com.
“So for people who are appalled by the idea, most of us are not appalled by names like Emmanuel, which is very common today, and it wasn’t that long ago that the name Emmanuel was shocking to a lot of people,” she said.
That is partly because a passage in the Bible’s Book of Matthew links the ancient Israelite name to Jesus Christ, which Wattenberg said was seen in the past as too jarring an allusion for a baby name.
The name Major ranked as the fastest-growing boy’s name on the SSA list, jumping to 483rd most popular in 2012 from 988th in 2011.
“I have no doubt Major’s rising popularity as a boy’s name is in tribute to the brave members of the U.S. military, and maybe we’ll see more boys named General in the future,” Carolyn Colvin, acting commissioner of the SSA, said in a statement.
For girls, the fastest-growing name was Cataleya, Wattenberg said. It jumped to 479th in 2012 from 1,680 the previous year, she said, adding that could be attributed to actress Zoe Saldana playing an alluring assassin with that name in the 2011 film “Colombiana.”
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Peter Cooney)
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Study finds slow, steady increase, but experts say condition remains uncommon
WebMD News from HealthDay
By Kathleen Doheny
FRIDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) — The number of testicular cancer cases continues to climb slowly but steadily in the United States, according to new research.
While the cancer is still most common among white males, the greatest increase is among Hispanic men, according to Dr. Scott Eggener, an associate professor of surgery at the University of Chicago.
Eggener tracked the statistics on testicular cancer from 1992 through 2009, looking at data from a nationwide epidemiology database.
“The incidence of testicular cancer appears to be increasing very slowly but steadily among virtually all groups that we studied,” he said. “The novel finding is that the most dramatic increase is in Hispanic men.”
Eggener can’t explain the increase. He is due to present his findings Monday at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association, in San Diego. The data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases supported the study.
Testicular cancer is known as a young man’s cancer, as half of the cases affect men aged 20 to 34, according to the American Cancer Society. However, older men can also be affected.
This year, the American Cancer Society expects 7,920 new cases of testicular cancer in the United States. About 370 men are expected to die of it.
“It still remains an uncommon cancer,” said Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society. He reviewed the new findings. “It’s important that we become aware of the situation [of rising numbers of cases], but not become alarmed by it.” Hispanic men, he noted, still have a lower rate of the cancer than do white men.
In his study, Eggener found that the incidence of testicular cancer rose from 1992 through 2009. In 1992, for instance, 5.7 of every 100,000 men had testicular cancer. By 2009, that number had risen to 6.8 men for every 100,000.
Hispanic men had the largest annual percentage increase. In 1992, four of every 100,000 Hispanic men were affected. By 2009, it was 6.3 men of every 100,000, the investigators found.
For men affected, the outlook is generally good, experts agreed. “It has the highest survival rate of any solid tumor,” Eggener said. The overall five-year survival rate, he noted, is 95 percent or higher.
Symptoms can include a painless lump on a testicle, an enlarged testicle or an achy feeling in the lower belly.
Few risk factors have been identified. One known risk factor is having an undescended testicle — one that does not move down into the scrotum at birth. In the United States, those born with an undescended testicle commonly have corrective surgery, Eggener said.
Reasons aren’t known, but researchers found racial, age and income differences
WebMD News from HealthDay
By Steven Reinberg
THURSDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) — The number of American children who suffer from food and skin allergies has increased dramatically in recent years, a new government report shows.
Interestingly, the prevalence of food and respiratory allergies rose with income: Children living in families that made more than 200 percent of the poverty level had the highest rates, the statistics showed.
“The prevalence of food and skin allergies both increased over the past 14 years,” said report co-author LaJeana Howie, from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “This has been a consistent trend.”
With food allergies, the overall rate went from 3.4 percent in 1997 to 5.1 percent in 2011. With skin allergies, the overall rate increased from 7.4 percent in 1997 to 12.5 percent in 2011. The prevalence of respiratory allergies remained constant, at 17 percent, between 1997 and 2011, although it remained the most common type of allergy affecting children, according to the NCHS report published May 2.
Pediatric allergists noted that they have been seeing the trend in their own practices.
Dr. Vivian Hernandez-Trujillo, director of allergy and immunology at Miami Children’s Hospital, said: “We are certainly seeing increases in food and skin allergy in pediatric patients.”
However, why these allergies are on the rise remains a mystery, another expert pointed out.
“We do not know why there has been an increase, but the theories include the ‘hygiene hypothesis’; that reduced infection and reduced exposure to germs has left our immune systems ‘looking for a fight’ and attacking innocent proteins,” explained Dr. Scott Sicherer, chief of the division of pediatric allergy and immunology at the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.
In addition, there are theories about insufficient vitamin D, unhealthy fats in the diet, the obesity epidemic and processed food, none of which have been confirmed with hard science, he noted.
These increases are real, Sicherer added. “They speak to a need for more research toward prevention and cures,” he said.
“We and others are undertaking studies to try to better understand the risk factors and opportunities for prevention, while aggressively doing research on multiple means to treat those with food allergies,” Sicherer said.
Racial differences did emerge in the data.
The researchers found Hispanic children had the lowest prevalence of food, skin and respiratory allergies, compared with other groups.
And black children were more likely to have skin allergies than white children (17.4 percent versus 12 percent, respectively), but less likely to have respiratory allergies (15.6 percent versus 19.1 percent, respectively).
Adverse reactions to popular sleep meds rose almost 220 percent between 2005 and 2010, study finds
WebMD News from HealthDay
By Mary Elizabeth Dallas
WEDNESDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) — There has been a dramatic increase in the number of emergency-room visits related to sleep medications such as Ambien, according to a new U.S. study.
Adverse reactions to zolpidem — the active ingredient in the sleep aids Ambien, Ambien CR, Edluar and Zolpimist — rose almost 220 percent between 2005 and 2010, researchers from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found.
The study authors concluded that use of these drugs for the short-term treatment of insomnia should be carefully monitored. Zolpidem, which has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has been used safely and effectively by millions of Americans, but adverse reactions to the medication have increased. Most of these cases involved people aged 45 and older, the researchers said.
“Although short-term sleeping medications can help patients, it is exceedingly important that they be carefully used and monitored,” SAMHSA administrator Pamela Hyde said in an agency news release. “Physicians and patients need to be aware of the potential adverse reactions associated with any medication, and work closely together to prevent or quickly address any problems that may arise.”
Possible adverse reactions from medications containing zolpidem include:
- Daytime drowsiness
- Drowsiness while driving
After analyzing findings from a public health surveillance system that monitors drug-related illnesses and deaths, the researchers found that emergency-room cases involving medications such as Ambien increased sharply from about 6,000 in 2005 to more than 19,000 in 2010.
Women were more often affected than men. The findings revealed that during the study time frame, there was a 274 percent increase in the number of women who went to the emergency room due to a reaction involving zolpidem, compared to a 144 percent increase among men. In 2010 alone, women accounted for 68 percent of all trips to the emergency room for an adverse reaction related to zolpidem, the researchers said.
The study authors also noted that adverse reactions to these sleep aids could be worsened when the medication is taken with other substances, such as certain anti-anxiety drugs and narcotic pain relievers.
The SAMHSA report said that in 2010, half of all emergency-room visits related to zolpidem involved its interaction with other drugs. Moreover, 37 percent of all emergency visits resulted from the combination of these sleep aids and drugs that depress the central nervous system.
In response to the increase in adverse reactions, in January 2013 the FDA required drug manufacturers to cut the recommended dose for women in half. The FDA also recommended that drug companies reduce the dosage for men.
By Robert Preidt
MONDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) — More women are getting arm lifts, according to newly released statistics, with the number growing from about 300 procedures in 2000 to about 15,000 in 2012.
This type of cosmetic procedure can include removal of fat by liposuction or surgery called brachioplasty, in which loose skin is removed from the back of the arms.
The rise is being driven by sleeveless fashions and celebrities — including first lady Michelle Obama — who have ultra-toned arms, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
There were nearly 15,500 arm-lift procedures done in the United States last year, an increase of 3 percent from 2011. Women accounted for 98 percent of the arm lifts in 2012.
Arm lifts are most popular among people over age 40. Last year, 43 percent of patients were aged 40 to 54, while 33 percent were over age 55. The average cost is nearly $ 4,000 and the total spent on arm lifts in 2012 was $ 61 million, according to the ASPS.
“Women are paying more attention to their arms in general and are becoming more aware of options to treat this area,” ASPS president Dr. Gregory Evans said in a society news release. “For some women, the arms have always been a troublesome area and, along with proper diet and exercise, liposuction can help refine them. Others may opt for a brachioplasty when there is a fair amount of loose skin present with minimal elasticity.”
People need to carefully consider the pros and cons of having an arm lift, particularly a brachioplasty, said Dr. David Reath, chairman of the ASPS public education committee.
“It’s a trade-off. We get rid of the skin, but we leave a scar,” Reath said in the news release. “As long as there’s enough improvement to be made in the shape of the arm to justify the scar, then it’s a great procedure.”
Another expert offered an explanation for the trend.
“I’m not surprised by these numbers, given that I work in a bariatric practice (where we perform over 450 weight-loss surgery cases per year),” said Sharon Zarabi, a nutritionist and fitness trainer at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “Many patients lose over 100 pounds, resulting in excess skin around their arms, waist and thighs. As the number of [bariatric] surgeries increase, so will the number of brachioplasties and reconstructive surgery.”
Zarabi added that women should think carefully before choosing arm lifts.
“Surgery should be [the] last resort, only after coupling an exercise program with proper diet limiting salt, carbohydrates and eating high protein and nutrient-dense foods,” she stressed.