Vaccines, sleep and cellphones – not that they're connected

by DavalosMcCormack on February 29, 2008

There’s good news and bad news about vaccines and children. Which one would you like first? The good news, ok. A new study out of the UK says there is no evidence linking autism to the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella.

For years there have been persistent rumors that the MMR shot triggered autism in children. It may have been because the symptoms of autism typically show up around 18 months, when children get their first dose of MMR. But this study looked at nearly 100 autistic children and took blood samples from them. They were tested for antibody response to the measles virus. There was none.

This follows hard-on-the-heels of a study from the US that found that a mercury-based preservative, used in older forms of the MMR shot, was not linked to an increased risk of autism.

Now the bad news. Children who got a new Merck & Co version of a combined vaccine against measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox, suffered higher rates of fever-related convulsions than children who got separate shots of the MMR vaccine, and the chickenpox vaccine.

You see, they never tell you this when you are thinking of having kids do they! Oh they tell you about the poopy diapers and the sleepless nights, but not about the endless, impossible angst over whether to risk your child’s health giving them a potentially life-saving shot!
Too Little Sleep = Health Nightmares

Too many Americans are getting too little sleep, and that’s having a big impact on their health. That’s according to a new national survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC surveyed 19,589 adults and found that ten percent of them reported not getting enough sleep or rest every day in the previous month. That lack of sleep doesn’t just leave people sleepy it also affects their physical and mental health, and is responsible for several thousand deaths on U.S. roads every year.

The researchers say too much late night TV, internet surfing, video games, stress and other factors are behind the lack of sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get between 7 to 9 hours sleep a night. Children ages 5 to 12 should get nine to 11 hours of sleep, and those between the ages of 11 and 17 need around 9 hours a night. How about a nap!
Do Cellphones Cause Infertility?

Here’s a story that is getting a lot of headlines but when you look a little closer it raises more questions than it answers.

The researchers studied 361 men under 40 who were being evaluated for infertility. They compared how many hours a day they spent on a cellphone to the amount of sperm they had and how active that sperm was. Fun job eh! Anyway, the results, published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, showed that the more time a man spent on the cell phone every day the lower his sperm count and the less active it was likely to be.

Yikes! What could be causing this? Well, one theory is that heat from the phone is causing the problem because sperm is very temperature sensitive. But then that raises questions about how the men are using the phone! Maybe they should try putting it up by their ear – far away from their sperm storage area.

Now it may be that after yakking for so long the men then put the phone in their trouser pocket, heating up the neighborhood so to speak. In which case it’s an easy problem to fix.

Even the researcher behind the study, Ashok Agarwal, says the findings are “quite preliminary”. No word on whether he has stopped using his own cellphone.

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