ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Cranberries May Help Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
Pharoah's Wine Jar Yields Medicinal Secrets
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Almost Half of Adults Will Develop Knee Osteoarthritis by 85
Pain More a Cause of Arthritis Than a Symptom
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
CANCER
Vitamin D May Lower Colon Cancer Risk
Researchers ID Genetic Markers for Esophageal Cancer
Green Tea May Help Prevent Oral Cancer
CAREGIVING
Undoing the 'Big Baby' Trend
Critically Ill Patients Lack Vitamin D
Study Casts Doubt on Influential Hospital Safety Survey
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
COSMETIC
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
DENTAL, ORAL
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
DIABETES
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Eating in America Still Unhealthy
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
10 Beginner Tips for Fast Weight Loss, the Low-Carb Way!
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Pilots May Face Greater Cancer Risk
Cleaning House May Be Risky for Women With Asthma
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
EYE CARE, VISION
Americans Losing Sight of Eye Health
Just Like Skin, Eyes Can 'Burn' in Strong Sun
Green Tea May Ward Off Eye Disease
FITNESS
Barefoot Best for Running?
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
As Temperature Plummets, It's Still Safe to Exercise
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Health Gains From Lowered Smoking Rates in Jeopardy
When Healing Becomes a Commodity
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Psychiatric Drugs Might Raise Cardiac Death Risk
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
More Calcium And Dairy Products in Childhood Could Mean Longer Life
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
Plastics Chemical Tied to Aggression in Young Girls
MEN'S HEALTH
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
MENTAL HEALTH
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Drink Away Dementia?
Positive Brain Changes Seen After Body-Mind Meditation
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
SENIORS
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Calcium Helps Ward Off Colon Cancer
Natural Therapies for Menopause
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Baby's Sleep Position May Not Affect Severity of Head Flattening

FRIDAY, March 27 (HealthDay News) -- Sleeping position doesn't affect the extent of head flattening in infants, U.S. researchers say.

They examined risk factors for the severity of asymmetrical head shape, known as deformational plagiocephaly (DP), in a study involving 434 infants with the condition.

Since the early 1990s, parents have been encouraged to place babies on their backs to sleep to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Since then, there's been an increase in DP, which affects as many as one in six infants, according to background information in the study.

Previous studies have looked at possible risk factors -- including sleep position, prematurity and development delay -- for the development of DP, but the influence of each of those factors on the degree of asymmetry has not been clarified. That was the goal of the new study, by researchers at Hasbro Children's Hospital and Children's Hospital Boston, who found that sleep position does not affect the severity of head flattening.

"We found a trend toward less flattening in infants who slept prone [face downward], or in positions that were alternated," Dr. Albert Oh, a professor of surgery at the Alpert Medical School at Brown University, said in a Hasbro Children's news release. "Interestingly, however, while supine [on the back] positioning has been a well-established risk factor for the development of plagiocephaly, we were not able to demonstrate a logical correlation to indicate more severe flattening from the supine position."

The researchers did find that lower gestational age was associated with more severe flattening and that boys were more likely than girls to have severe flattening. They also found an association between multiple-birth pregnancies and the degree of head asymmetry.

"In our study, infants with DP who were the product of a multiple-birth pregnancy were disproportionately higher than in the general population and greater than in previous studies," Oh said. "This was the only pregnancy-related variable we found to be associated with the severity of DP of the eight different variables we assessed."

There was no evidence that special devices to prevent or treat DP had an effect on head flattening, which calls into question the use of the devices, the researchers said.

The study was published in the March issue of The Journal of Craniofacial Surgery.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has more about head flattening.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: Hasbro Children's Hospital, news release, March 2009

Last Updated: March 27, 2009

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