Life

Roundup: 1 in 3 Adults Have 'Warning Stroke' But Don't Seek Help; Babies in Own Room Sleep Longer, New Study Says

A new survey finds that one in three American adults have had symptoms of a transient ischemic attack (TIA), which can be a warning sign that an individual has a high risk for having a stroke. But only 3 percent take appropriate action, according to the survey from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

TIAs are often labeled “mini-strokes” or “warning strokes” because they can be relatively benign in the short term. However, patients with TIA have an elevated risk for a stroke within the next 90 days, according to the American Stroke Association (ASA). The survey was part of the ASA’s Together to End Stroke campaign and included 2,040 respondents.

According to the survey, 35 percent of respondents reported having at least one symptom of a TIA. The most common symptom reported was sudden severe headache (20 percent), followed by trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance or coordination (14 percent).

A person with such symptoms should call for emergency help, yet a very small portion of respondents took that action, the survey found. The most common reason respondents called 911 was trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, or sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg (5 percent).

“Officially, about 5 million Americans, or 2.3 percent, have had a self-reported, physician-diagnosed (transient ischemic attack), but as this survey suggests, we suspect the true prevalence is higher because many people who experience symptoms consistent with a (transient ischemic attack) fail to report it,” Mitch Elkind, MD, chair of the ASA, said in a press release.

An ischemic stroke, the most common type, occurs as a result of an obstruction within a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain. It accounts for nearly 90 percent of all stroke cases and can potentially be treated with tPA, the clot-busting drug, if treated promptly.

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Babies in Own Room Sleep Longer, New Study Says

Babies who sleep in their own rooms by age nine months sleep 40 minutes more a night than infants who share a room with a parent, a new study says.

Researchers at Penn State College of Medicine surveyed nearly 300 mothers who delivered at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. They found that room-sharing at ages 4 and 9 months is associated with less nighttime sleep, shorter sleep periods and unsafe sleep practices.

The new data, published in the medical journal Pediatrics, is contrary to the recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics that parents share a room with their babies for the first six months to up to one year, in large part to help prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Study participants were divided into three groups of sleepers. Four-month old babies who slept in their own room were identified as “early independent sleepers” and made up 67 percent of the participants. “Later independent sleepers,” babies who learned to sleep alone between four and nine months, represented 27 percent of participants. The third group was infants who still slept with their mothers at nine months old, which covered 11 percent of the participants.

“Our findings showing poorer sleep-related outcomes and more unsafe sleep practices for babies who room-share beyond early infancy suggest that the American Academy of Pediatrics should reconsider and revise the recommendation pending evidence to support it,” said Dr. Ian Paul, professor of pediatrics at Penn State College of Medicine and lead study author. Evidence to support room sharing after age 6 months is lacking from the AAP recommendation, Dr. Paul added.

The study also concluded the benefits of babies sleeping in their own rooms extend beyond the first year of life. At 30 months, babies who were independent sleepers at four and nine months slept an average of 45 minutes longer a night than those who had room-shared.

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CDC: 5% of Women With Zika in U.S. Territories had Babies With Birth Defects

Five percent of women who had confirmed Zika virus infections during pregnancy had a baby or fetus with Zika-related birth defects, says a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The report, published on Thursday, covers Zika-related cases throughout U.S. territories, which include Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Marshall Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Nearly 2,550 cases of women with possible Zika virus infection were reviewed. The cases included women who gave birth, miscarried or experienced stillbirth — from Jan. 1, 2016 to April 25, 2017.

About 1,500 of these women had a Zika infection actually confirmed by laboratory tests.

“As these latest findings illustrate, Zika virus poses a serious threat to pregnant women and their babies, regardless of when the infection occurs during the pregnancy,” said CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat, M.D., in a statement. “Women in the U.S. territories and elsewhere who have continued exposure to mosquitoes carrying Zika are at risk of infection. We must remain vigilant and committed to preventing new Zika infections.”

The CDC says that these findings from U.S. territories are consistent with a recent CDC report of primarily travel-associated Zika virus infections from the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The previous report found that 5 percent of completed pregnancies within the U.S. with possible Zika virus infection resulted in an infant with a possible Zika virus-associated birth defect.

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