ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
Bone Density Predicts Chances of Breast Cancer
CANCER
Vitamin D May Improve Melanoma Survival
Mineral May Reduce High-Risk Bladder Disease
Vitamin D May Lower Colon Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Caregivers Face Multiple Strains Tending Older Parents
Stressed Health Care Workers Battle 'Compassion Fatigue'
Babies Born in High Pollen Months at Wheezing Risk
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
DIABETES
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
DIET, NUTRITION
TV Food Ads Promote Bad Diets
Atkins Diet Tougher on Heart After Weight Loss
Myrrh May Lower High Cholesterol
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Most Mt. Everest Deaths Occur Near Summit During Descent
Topical Drugs May Pollute Waterways
Gene Explains How High-Fructose Diets Lead to Insulin Resistance
EYE CARE, VISION
Ordinary Chores Cause Half of All Eye Injuries
Brain Adapts to Age-Related Eye Disease
Just Like Skin, Eyes Can 'Burn' in Strong Sun
FITNESS
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
MRSA Infections Can Bug Fitness Buffs
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
Study Supports Swine Flu's Pandemic Potential
Soluble Fiber, But Not Bran, Soothes Irritable Bowel
Showerheads Harbor a Bounty of Germs
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Implanted Defibrillators Boost Long-Term Survival
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
6 Million U.S. Kids Lack Enough Vitamin D
MEN'S HEALTH
Countdown to Hair Loss
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
MENTAL HEALTH
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
Breast-Fed Baby May Mean Better Behaved Child
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
SENIORS
Martial Arts Training May Save Seniors' Hips
Seniors Who Volunteer May Live Longer
Any Old Cane Won't Do
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
Green Tea May Help Treat Uterine Fibroids
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
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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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