ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
New Insights Show Ginseng Fights Inflammation
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Rheumatoid Arthritis a Threat to the Heart
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Majority of College Students Report Backpack-Related Pain
CANCER
Well Water Might Raise Bladder Cancer Risk
Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth
Vitamin D May Lower Colon Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
High Rate of Rehospitalizations Costing Billions
Undoing the 'Big Baby' Trend
Falls Are Top Cause of Injury, Death Among Elderly
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
DIABETES
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Fructose-Sweetened Drinks Up Metabolic Syndrome Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
Quick Weight Loss May Be Best for Long-Term Success
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Pollution Particles Impair Blood Vessel Function
Sunken, Unexploded Bombs Pose Cancer Risk
Gas Cooking Might Up Your Cancer Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Decorative Halloween Eye Lenses May Pose Serious Risks
Americans Losing Sight of Eye Health
High Temps Degrade Contact Lens Solution: Study
FITNESS
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Exercise Keeps the Brain Young
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
What you need to know about swine flu.
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Implanted Defibrillators Boost Long-Term Survival
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
MEN'S HEALTH
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Countdown to Hair Loss
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
MENTAL HEALTH
Love Hormone May Ease Discussion of Painful Topics
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
How to Attack Holiday Stress Head-On
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
SENIORS
Want Better Health in the New Year, Add Exercise to Your Day
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
How Much Fish to Eat While Pregnant?
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
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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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