Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:
Study Looks at Tracking of Extremely Low Birthweight Infants
States that fail to follow up on the status of extremely low birthweight infants may be underestimating their infant mortality rates, concludes a study in this week's issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In the study, Ohio Department of Health researchers analyzed data on infants born from January to June 2006. They found that seven percent of deaths of infants weighing 750 grams or less were unregistered.
Due to their small size and sometimes very short lifespans, deaths in extremely low birthweight infants may go unregistered, according to background information in the study. Under-registration of these deaths results in an under-estimation of the overall infant mortality rate, the team said.
Accurate infant mortality rates are important for a number of reasons, including identification of health disparities and emerging trends, and the development of prevention strategies.
Folic Acid Intake Falls Among Some California Women
Folic acid supplement intake is decreasing among Hispanic women and those with lower levels of education, according to findings from the California Women's Health Survey.
Targeted and evidence-based strategies for increasing folic acid intake among these groups of women are needed, recommend the authors of a study in this week's issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
When women of child-bearing age consume 400 micrograms of folic acid every day, they're 80 percent less likely to have infants with serious neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly.
The survey's finding that Hispanic women and those with lower levels of education are of particular concern, since Hispanic women in the state are twice as likely as white women to have neural tube-affected pregnancies, the study authors said.
Lead Concerns Spur More Toy Recalls
A number of new recalls involving children's toys and novelty items that may have high levels of lead were announced Thursday by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. In all cases, consumers should immediately stop using the products.
The recalls include:
Children May Be Especially Prone to Bird Flu: Study