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Health & wellness

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18 percent of high school seniors smoke hookahs

Eighteen percent of high school seniors reported smoking hookahs during the past year, and the majority of those teens were urban white males, a study by researchers at New York University Langone Medical Center found.

The study, based on a national survey of more than 5,000 high school seniors, found that white students were more likely than black students to use a hookah. Urban students and boys also reported higher hookah use, along with those who said they currently smoked cigarettes or also had ever used alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs. Students with more educated and affluent parents, or who held a job that paid more than $11 per week, were also more likely to smoke a hookah.

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Previous studies suggested that teens believe that hookah use is less harmful and addictive than cigarettes. Education efforts about the dangers of hookah smoking should be geared toward urban high school students with high socioeconomic status, the researchers wrote.

BOTTOM LINE: Eighteen percent of high school seniors smoke hookahs.

CAUTIONS: The study relied on self-reported answers, which may not be accurate.

WHERE TO FIND IT: Pediatrics, July 7

C-section linked
to increased risk
of future stillbirth, ectopic pregnancy

Women who have a caesarean section may have a small increased risk of a subsequent stillbirth or ectopic pregnancy, a European study suggests.

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For the study, which is the largest to look for a link between C-sections and stillbirths, researchers in Ireland analyzed data from Denmark’s national registry that included more than 800,000 women who gave birth to their first child between 1982 and 2010. The women were divided into two groups depending on whether they had a C-section or a vaginal delivery, and the researchers looked at the outcomes of their subsequent pregnancies.

Women who had C-sections were 14 percent more likely to have a later stillbirth — which translated to a risk of 1 additional stillbirth for every 3,000 C-sections. Having a C-section also raised the risk of a future ectopic pregnancy by 9 percent — or 1 per 1,000 C-sections. The researchers found no increased risk of miscarriage among women who had a C-section.

The overall chance of having a stillbirth or an ectopic pregnancy is small, the researchers wrote, so their findings suggest only a slight increase in risk after a C-section. However, women who choose to have one that isn’t medically necessary should consider these findings, they wrote.

BOTTOM LINE: Women who have a caesarean section may have a slightly increased risk of a subsequent stillbirth or ectopic pregnancy.

CAUTIONS: The study cannot prove a cause-and-effect relationship between C-sections and subsequent pregnancy complications. The study did not take into account changes in prenatal and neonatal care and C-section techniques over time, which may have affected the results.

WHERE TO FIND IT: PLOS Medicine, July 2

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