Health Tip: Drinking and Pregnancy

(HealthDay News) -- Drinking alcohol while you are pregnant can cause your baby to be born with a series of physical and mental birth defects called fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). It's a leading cause of mental retardation.

Study Questions Chiropractic's Impact on Back Pain

WEDNESDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- For the millions of Americans with chronic low back pain, a silver bullet to alleviate the condition has yet to be identified, a new study suggests.

Religious Identity Remains Constant in Teen Years: Study

THURSDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- Many American teens maintain their religious identity through high school, even though their participation in church and other religious activities declines, a new study finds.

Teen Athletes Should Get Concussion Test Score Before Play

THURSDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- Individual concussion baselines need to be created for young athletes at the start of a playing season for them to be accurately diagnosed and treated if they suffer a concussion during the season, researchers report.

Health Tip: Fears and Phobias

(HealthDay News) -- People with phobic anxieties, like fear of crowded places, fear of heights or fear of going outside, are at higher risk for heart disease than those with fewer or no anxieties.

Europe's Suicides Up, Road Deaths Down After Economy Tanked

THURSDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- Suicide rates increased in Europe since the start of the global financial crisis, while road deaths decreased, according to researchers.

Medicaid Coverage 'Substantially' Improves Access to Care: Study

THURSDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- Expanding Medicaid coverage among low-income adults increases health care use, improves health and well-being and reduces the financial strain for people with the publicly funded health coverage, according to new research.

Southern States Lag Behind North in Drop in Colon Cancer Death Rates

THURSDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- While there has been a significant decline in colon cancer death rates in the past two decades, a new report reveals that the downward trend is not spread evenly across the United States, with the southern part of the nation lagging far behind the north.

Female Ancestor of All Living Polar Bears Was Brown

THURSDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- The female ancestor of all living polar bears was a brown bear that lived in the vicinity of present-day Britain and Ireland 20,000 to 50,000 years ago, according to an international team of scientists.

Fewer U.S. Teens Having Babies, Binge Drinking: Report

WEDNESDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- A new government report on the health and well-being of America's children brings forth some good news: Fewer teens are having babies or engaging in binge drinking, preterm birth rates are dropping and deaths from injury are declining.

Men Seem More Likely Than Women to Develop Hole in Knee Cartilage

THURSDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- Men who undergo surgery for a torn or overstretched anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) appear to face a higher risk than women for developing a hole in their knee cartilage, new Norwegian research indicates.

Special Talk Therapy Seems to Help Dying Patients

THURSDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- A therapeutic dialogue known as dignity therapy helped terminally ill patients improve their quality of life and boost their sense of dignity while changing how their family sees and appreciates them, according to new research.

Health Highlights: July 7, 2011

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

U.S. Obesity Epidemic Continues to Spread

THURSDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- A new report outlining how obesity threatens America's future reveals that obesity rates climbed over the past year in 16 states, and not a single state reported a decline in the proportion of excessively overweight residents.

Giant Weed Can Cause Blisters, Even Blindness

THURSDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- Call it the import that nobody wants.

Gonorrhea's Growing Resistance to Antibiotics Concerns CDC

THURSDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- Gonorrhea appears to be growing increasingly resistant to drugs called cephalosporins, the only remaining class of antibiotics available to treat the sexually transmitted disease, according to a new report.