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Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Know Your Asthma Triggers
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Acupuncture May Not Help Hot Flashes
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Beware of Dog Bites
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Fruits and Veggies May Strengthen Bones
Majority of College Students Report Backpack-Related Pain
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
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Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk
Breast Self-Exam Rates Go Up With Counseling
Get to Know the Pap Test
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Many Alzheimer's Caregivers Admit to Abusive Behavior
For Dialysis Patients, More Pills = Lower Quality of Life
Weekend Admission May Be Riskier for GI Bleeding
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Health Tip: After Liposuction
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
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Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
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Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Olive Oil May Be Key to Mediterranean Diet's Benefits
Pesticides and How to Affordably Eat Organic or Reduce Pesticide Consumption
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Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Cleaning House May Be Risky for Women With Asthma
Gas Stove Emissions Boost Asthma in Inner-City Kids
Clear Skies Have Become Less So Over Time, Data Show
EYE CARE, VISION
Autistic Children Make Limited Eye Contact
Stem Cells Repair Damaged Corneas in Mice
Antioxidant-Rich Diet May Protect Against Eye Disease
FITNESS
Football Can Shrink Players
Simple Steps Get Walkers Moving
Fall Cleanup Is a Prime Time for Accidents
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Autumn Chores Often Hazardous
Eating Nuts May Help Cholesterol Levels
When Clocks Change, Body May Need Time to Adjust
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
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
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Safety Should Be Priority for Those Involved in Kids' Sports
Don't Leave Your Kids In The Car !
MEN'S HEALTH
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
MENTAL HEALTH
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
Positive Brain Changes Seen After Body-Mind Meditation
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
SENIORS
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
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Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says

HealthDay News) -- New mothers are getting older.

In the United States, the average age of women giving birth for the first time rose from 21.4 years in 1970 to 25 in 2006, according to a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

Births to older women are partly responsible for the upward trend.

"In 1970, just 1 percent, or one in 100, [of] births were to women 35 and over," said study author T.J. Mathews, a demographer with the NCHS, which is part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "In 2006, it was one in 12 births. It's a dramatic transition."

On the other hand, the United States still has the youngest age of first-time mothers in the developed countries studied. In Britain, Switzerland and other nations, the average woman now has her first baby at nearly 30 years of age.

"The U.S. is only now caught up to where other countries were in 1970 [for average age of first-time mothers]," Mathews said.

Despite the surge in older moms, a high, but improving, teen birth rate keeps the U.S. figures down.

"We still do have a good number of unplanned and teen pregnancies," said Dr. Jennifer Wu, an obstetrician/gynecologist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

This new data is somewhat different from past analyses.

"We hadn't really looked at the component of average age of first births," Mathews said. "In the past, we looked at all births."

And first births are an important gauge of future trends, such as how many children a woman has, which affects population, as well as birth weight and birth defects.

The trend toward later motherhood was seen in all racial and ethnic groups and in all states plus the District of Columbia, but some areas saw larger gains than others.

The biggest jumps were 5.5 years in DC, 5.2 years in Massachusetts and 5.1 years in New Hampshire.

New Mexico, Mississippi and Oklahoma had the smallest increases: 2 years, 2.3 years and 2.4 years, respectively.

Three-and-a-half decades ago, Arkansas had the youngest average age (20.2 years) while the eastern states of Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York had the highest (22.5 years). In 2006, Massachusetts' first-time moms were the oldest (27.7) and Mississippi's the youngest (22.6).

Among racial/ethnic groups in the United States, Asian and Pacific Islander women now have the highest average age at 28.5 years, while American Indian/Alaska Native women have the youngest at 21.9 years.

The average age for first births in non-Hispanic white women is 26 years, 22.7 years for non-Hispanic black women and 23.1 years for Hispanic women.

The upward slope was most pronounced in the 1970s and 1980s and seems to be leveling off with differences between 2006 and 2007 appearing minor.

Some reasons for delaying starting a family might include younger women choosing to focus on advanced education and careers earlier in their lives, Wu said.

SOURCES: T.J. Mathews, demographer, National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Jennifer Wu, M.D., obstetrician/gynecologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City