ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Traditional Chinese Therapy May Help Ease Eczema
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Body Fat, Muscle Distribution Linked to RA Disability
'Snowbirds' Beware the Climate Changes
CANCER
Selenium, Omega-3s May Stave Off Colorectal Cancer
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
HPV Vaccine Has Higher Allergic Reaction Rate
CAREGIVING
U.S. Mental Health Spending Rises, But Many Still Left Out
Moms Who Breast-Feed Less Likely to Neglect Child
Exercise During Pregnancy May Help Baby
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
DIABETES
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Updated
'Standard' Glucose Test May Be Wrong One for Obese Children
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Myrrh May Lower High Cholesterol
'Soda Tax' Wins Health Experts' Support
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Fertilizer Ban Makes a Difference
Exposure to 9/11 Fumes Tied to Chronic Headaches
Heavy Traffic Can Be Heartbreaking
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids' Eye Injuries From Golf Clubs Rare But Severe
Impotence Drugs Don't Harm Vision: Study
Drinking Green Tea May Protect Eyes
FITNESS
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Run for Your Life
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Vitamin D Best Taken With Largest Meal of Day, Study Finds
Have Fun But Put Play It Safe on the 4th
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
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
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Boosting Kids' Stroke IQ May Save Lives
Traffic Seems to Make Kids' Asthma Worse
3 Home Habits Help Youngsters Stay Slim
MEN'S HEALTH
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
MENTAL HEALTH
Keeping a Healthy Holiday Balance
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
SENIORS
Rapid Weight Loss in Seniors Signals Higher Dementia Risk
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
Natural Childbirth Moms More Attuned to Babies' Cry
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Mom's Smoking May Lead to SIDS

WEDNESDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- Smoking by mothers has replaced infants sleeping on their stomachs as the greatest modifiable risk factor for sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, Australian researchers suggest.

They found that when mothers smoke, the sleep arousal process of infants, which awakens them in response to a life-threatening situation, is altered, increasing the risk for SIDS.

The study included 12 healthy, full-term infants born to mothers who smoked an average of 15 cigarettes a day. The infants' arousal responses during daytime sleep were compared with those of 13 healthy infants of nonsmoking mothers. All the children were assessed three times: at 2 to 4 weeks of age, 2 to 3 months, and 5 to 6 months.

The results showed that infants who had been exposed to smoke had reduced sub-cortical activation to cortical arousal. They also had lower rates of full cortical arousals from sleep and higher rates of sub-cortical activations than infants of nonsmoking mothers.

The study also identified a dose-dependent relationship between cortical activation rates and levels of infant urinary cotinine, a nicotine metabolite. Infants with the highest levels of smoke exposure had the lowest levels of cortical arousal.

Decreased cortical arousals from sleep have been observed in infants who later died of SIDS, noted senior investigator Rosemary Horne, scientific director of the Ritchie Centre for Baby Health Research at Monash University in Melbourne.

"Our study suggests that maternal smoking can impair the arousal pathways of seemingly normal infants, which may explain their increased risk for SIDS," Horne said in a news release from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

The study is in the April 1 issue of the journal Sleep.

More information

The Nemours Foundation has more about SIDS.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: American Academy of Sleep Medicine, news release, April 1, 2009

Last Updated: April 01, 2009

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