May 14 2012

Public Health News Roundup: May 14

Fitness in Middle Age Can Mean Lower Health Costs Later On

Physically fit, healthy middle-aged adults have significantly lower health care costs as they age, compared to their less physically fit counterparts, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Research 2012 Scientific Sessions.

The study tracked Medicare coverage in 20,489 healthy people, who had not had a prior heart attack, stroke or cancer over a ten year period. Compared to people in the lowest fitness category, those in the highest categories at age 51 had significantly lower healthcare costs after age 65. Read more on physical activity news.

Young People Still Getting Sunburns and Indoor Tans

Young adults are increasing their risk for developing skin cancer, according to two studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute.

One study, of people aged 18-29, found that 50 percent reported at least one sunburn in the past year, despite an increase in protective behaviors such as sunscreen use, seeking shade, and wearing long clothing to the ankles. Another report found that indoor tanning is common among young adults, with the highest rates of indoor tanning among white women aged 18 to 25 years. Read the latest on cancer prevention.

Prenatal Smoking Linked to Worse Asthma in Kids

Children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy may have more uncontrolled asthma, according to a new study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The study was conducted on nearly 2,500 largely black and Latino children ages eight to 17. Close to 20 percent of mothers of Black children, and 5.5 percent of Hispanic mothers, smoked while pregnant and the study found that those children had a harder time controlling asthma symptoms. Read up on asthma.

Tags: Asthma, Cancer, News roundups, Physical activity