ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
Awareness of Alternative Therapies May Be Lacking
Naprapathy: A Hands-On Approach to Pain Management
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Beware of Dog Bites
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
Almost Half of Adults Will Develop Knee Osteoarthritis by 85
Most Kids With Type 1 Diabetes Lack Vitamin D
CANCER
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
U.S. Reported 25,000 Cases of HPV-Related Cancers Annually
CAREGIVING
Late-Life Fatherhood May Lower Child's Intelligence
Child's Food Allergies Take Toll on Family Plans
Mom's Smoking May Lead to SIDS
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
DENTAL, ORAL
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
DIABETES
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
'Standard' Glucose Test May Be Wrong One for Obese Children
DIET, NUTRITION
Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
Decline of Underweight Children in U.S. Continue to Fall
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Vest Monitors 'Individual' Air Pollution
Green Areas Lower Health Inequities Between Rich, Poor
Former Inmates at Increased Risk for High Blood Pressure
EYE CARE, VISION
Don't Lose Sight of Halloween Safety
Unconscious Learning: In the Eye of the Beholder?
Antioxidant-Rich Diet May Protect Against Eye Disease
FITNESS
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
Fall Cleanup Is a Prime Time for Accidents
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
U.S. Prepares for Possible Return of Swine Flu in Fall
Sun, Smoke, Extra Weight Add Years to Skin
Simple Holistic Approach to Fight the Common Cold
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Too Many Infants Short on Vitamin D
3 Home Habits Help Youngsters Stay Slim
MEN'S HEALTH
Countdown to Hair Loss
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
A Simple 'Thank You' Brings Rewards to All
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
The Unmedicated Mind
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
SENIORS
Seniors Who Volunteer May Live Longer
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth
Supportive Weigh-In Program Keeps Pounds Off
Iodine in Prenatal Vitamins Varies Widely
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Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest

While a decade of efforts to reduce air pollution in the United States has improved air quality in many cities in the Northeast and Midwest, 175 million people are still exposed to dangerous levels of smog and soot, a new report reveals.

The survey, from the American Lung Association, credits a considerable overall drop in air pollution nationwide to a shift towards cleaner fuels and engines, along with curbs on coal-fired power plant emissions. Along with recent industrial clean-up efforts, the result has been a drop-off in both particle pollution (fine specks of soot, dust and aerosols) and ozone pollution, the report suggests.

However, the organization's analysis also indicates that improvements in air quality have not been spread evenly across the nation, with many urban areas in the Western part of the country seeing poor air quality. That means that 58 percent of Americans still breathe dirty air.

"Air doesn't just get cleaned up by itself," said Janice Nolen, assistant vice president of national policy and advocacy for the lung association. "We have a history of knowing that you have to put some control equipment on things that produce pollution in order to get results."

"So, certainly we're pleased to see that the air control measures we worked for a long time to put in place are working," she stressed. "There are improvements. But we want people to know that while there are good trends we've still got a lot more clean-up to do. This isn't a done deal."

Nolen highlighted the findings during a recent press conference co-hosted by Dr. Norman H. Edelman, chief medical officer for the lung association.

Essentially an air quality "report card," the latest annual analysis is based on air pollution data collected between 2006 and 2008 from thousands of official air-quality monitors distributed across the country.

After crunching the numbers, the analysts were able to grade cities and regions on the basis of their air quality.

Some locales demonstrated considerable air quality improvements. Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, New York City, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore all experienced a drop in both smog and soot levels, the researchers found.

In terms of exposure to short-term "spikes" of particle pollution, Alexandria, Louisiana topped the list as the nation's "cleanest city." In terms of year-round particle pollution exposure, Cheyenne, Wyo., came out on top.

Others were not so fortunate. Overall, one-quarter of Americans (more than 70 million) currently live in places where such short-term spikes render the air they breathe "unhealthful," the report found, while one in 10 Americans (nearly 24 million) are exposed to year-round particle pollution.

The metropolitan Phoenix/Mesa/Scottsdale perimeter of Arizona topped the list of "most polluted" urban jurisdiction in terms of year-round particle pollutant exposure. In terms of short-term particle pollutant spikes, Bakersfield, Calif., ranked as the city with the most days per year of unhealthy air quality.

With respect to the ozone pollution that stems from vehicle and industrial emissions, the upside appeared to be a drop in the number of "unhealthful" days experienced in 14 of the 25 most polluted urban areas.

Bismarck, N.D., got the top "A" grade for least ozone exposure, with several cities in Texas, Idaho, Wisconsin, Hawaii, Nebraska, Florida and South Dakota also faring well.

On the downside, the report indicated that some cities actually demonstrated a worsening of air quality over the prior 10 years; most of those were located in California.

Los Angeles topped the list for worst ozone pollution. Nevertheless, the current report struck a hopeful chord by noting that the city, nonetheless, recorded its second-lowest ozone levels since 2000.

Edelman pointed out that certain groups are more vulnerable to air pollution than others. The elderly, the very young, and those suffering from heart and/or lung disease are the most vulnerable to smog, he noted.

In the lung association's first look at how economic status affects air pollution exposure, the report found that poor Americans form a specific high-risk group that faces a relatively greater hardship -- such as an increased risk for premature death -- than the general population as a result of chronic air pollution exposure. When it comes to air pollution, said Edelman, "it's bad to be poor."

Meanwhile, Frederica P. Perera, a professor in the department of environmental health sciences with the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York City, expressed little surprise with the report.

The mention in the report of the risk to children from such air pollutants is particularly relevant, added Perera, who also serves as director of the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health. "With our work, we have found that the very young are particularly vulnerable to the effects of air pollutants."

SOURCES: Janice Nolen, assistant vice president, national policy and advocacy, American Lung Association, Washington, D.C.; Norman H. Edelman, M.D., chief medical officer, American Lung Association; Frederica P. Perera, Ph.D., professor, department of environmental health sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, and director, Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health, New York City; American Lung Association's State of the Air 2010 Report Published on: April 28, 2010