Thursday, 30 January 2014

China medical news for Thursday 30 January

Blood lead levels still hazardous for Chinese children
Blood lead levels for children have decreased in recent years but are still at unhealthy levels, a study carried out in 11 cities has found. The blood sampling survey of 12 000 children under six years of age found that average blood lead levels dropped by 16% (from 46μg/L in 2004 to 39μg/L in 2010). The prevalence of elevated blood lead levels dropped by 87% (from 9.8% in 2004 to 1.3% in 2010). Factors associated with high blood levels included eating popcorn, chewing fingernails, sucking fingers, being cared for at home or at a boarding nursery, the study in the World Journal of Pediatrics found.

Rise in China's caesarean rates 'alarming'
The overuse of cesareans is rising alarmingly in China and has become a real public health problem, a review by researchers in Beijing has concluded. The current national caesarean rate is near 40%, and there has been a rapid rise of cesarean sections in recent years, say researchers from the School of Public Health at Peking University. Nonclinical factors such as financial incentives for hospitals were considered as the main drivers fueling the rise of cesareans. However the change in health services to focus on specialised care and marginalizing primary care have also played a role, they say in the International Journal of Women's Health.  

Dengue fever changes in Guangdong
The pattern of dengue fever outbreaks in Guangdong is changing, infectious disease specialists have found. The disease appears to be becoming endemic although outbreaks are caused by the milder types of dengue, researchers report. The prevalance varies between 2-5% and serotypes are now more varied, according to the study in PLOS One.

Puberty arrives earlier for Chinese girls
The age of onset of puberty is now at least a year earlier for Chinese girls compared to those of 1984, a study from the Capital Institute of Pediatrics, Beijing, has found. The research in the World Journal of Pediatrics found that the age of onset of puberty for urban girls had decreased by 4.2 months per decade, and that of rural girls by 9.6 months per decade from 1980 to 2004.

Fish pedicures a hepatitis risk
Aqua pedicures where tiny fish nibble away at dead skin on bathers feet may spread blood diseases such as HIV and hepatitis B, a Ningbo newspaper says. Dr Wang Jiahua, a dermatologist at a local hospital, said there were risks of infection, citing a patient whose legs became hot and swollen days after his first fish pedicure.He suggested a one month interval between fish pedicures and antibiotic ointment to protect skin where wounds are found.

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