ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
Ginger Can Ease Nausea From Chemotherapy Treatments
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
More Faces Being Spared in Motor Vehicle Accidents
Alcohol Abuse Can Damage Bones
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
CANCER
Vitamin D May Lower Colon Cancer Risk
Yoga Eases Sleep Problems Among Cancer Survivors
Study Cites Gains in Gall Bladder Cancer Treatment
CAREGIVING
High Rate of Rehospitalizations Costing Billions
Study Casts Doubt on Influential Hospital Safety Survey
Reduce Suffering, Urge Heart Failure Patients and Caregivers
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
COSMETIC
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
DIABETES
Fructose-Sweetened Drinks Up Metabolic Syndrome Risk
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
DIET, NUTRITION
Trans-Fat Ban In New York City Is Proving successful
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
Main Ingredients in Household Dust Come From Outdoors
Common Pesticide Tied to Development Delays in Kids
EYE CARE, VISION
Music Can Help Restore Stroke Patients' Sight
Nearly 18 Million Will Have Macular Degeneration by 2050
Drinking Green Tea May Protect Eyes
FITNESS
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
Being Active an Hour a Day Puts Brakes on Weight Gain
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
Standard IQ Test May Underestimate People With Autism
Most Fast-Food French Fries Cooked in Unhealthiest Oil
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
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
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
Years of Heavy Smoking Raises Heart Risks
Coffee Is Generally Heart-Friendly
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
More Calcium And Dairy Products in Childhood Could Mean Longer Life
Don't Leave Your Kids In The Car !
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
MEN'S HEALTH
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
MENTAL HEALTH
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
SENIORS
Seniors Cope With Sleep Loss Better Than Young Adults
Any Old Cane Won't Do
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Air Pollution Slows Women's Marathon Times
Supportive Weigh-In Program Keeps Pounds Off
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
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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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