Health news roundup: April 24, 2012

by Jose Franco 0

These are just a few health stories that you need to know about today.

Measles deaths drop worldwide

Measles deaths have dropped by nearly three quarters worldwide according to a study published in the journal The Lancet. Researchers found that from 2000 to 2010, nearly 10 million children were saved by vaccination campaigns initiated more than 10 years ago. The data show measles deaths fell to 139,000 from 535,300 during that time, or 74 percent.

Despite the drop, the World Health Organization did not meet its goal to cut measles deaths by 90 percent by 2010.

Source: The New York Times

Exposure to violence alters children’s DNA

Children who are exposed to violence could have their DNA altered according to study in the journal Molecular Psychiatry. The changes to DNA were found to be similar to seven to 10 years of premature aging.

Researchers studied telomeres, which are located on the end of chromosomes, and measured their rate of deterioration. The study showed those telomeres shortened in children between the ages of 5 to 10 who were exposed to factors such as domestic violence between parents, physical abuse or bullying.

Children’s telomeres shortened at faster rates in children when they were exposed to two or more of those factors. Those children could then be at higher risk for diseases like heart attacks or memory loss at earlier ages – about 7 to 10 – than their peers.

Source: USA Today

UN looks to raise $3.2 billion to combat malaria

The United Nations wants to eliminate malaria deaths by 2015 and seeks $3.2 billion for additional bednets, drugs and insecticides to do it.

Ray Chambers, the U.N. Secretary-General special envoy for malaria, cited there has been “great progress” in cutting malaria deaths. Using a report from the World Health Organization, Chambers noted malaria deaths had dropped by one-third in 2010. Chambers also noted that additional bednets have been delivered to affected areas, so the number of deaths could drop even lower.

Source: The Associated Press via ABC News

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