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Focus on Health
Is Antibacterial Soap Worth the Lather?
The simple act of washing your hands with plain soap can have an important effect on your health. It can help ward off germs—no special soap required. In fact, lathering up with antibacterial soap may not impart better germ protection. Its active ingredient may also do more harm than good.
Are You Up-to-Date on Colorectal Cancer Screening?
Colorectal cancer is a stealthy disease. It can stay unnoticed in your colon or rectum. By the time you develop symptoms, it has grown and possibly spread, making it harder to treat. Screening can help spot this cancer early. But too many U.S. adults ages 50 and older are still skirting this lifesaving tool.
Fewer Americans Dying From Stroke
Over the last several decades, stroke has claimed fewer American lives. It has slid from third to fourth among the leading causes of death in the U.S. Experts credit several factors—many within your control—for its continued decline. Are you doing all you can to prevent a stroke?
The HPV Vaccine: Fact vs. Fiction
The latest statistics show that those who would benefit most from the HPV vaccine—adolescent girls and boys—aren’t necessarily taking advantage of its cancer-preventing potential.
Have You Been Screened for HIV?
HIV may seem like a distant health threat—something that affects other people, but not you. Yet, you should be tested at least once for this deadly virus, according to health experts.
Protect Your Family from These Invisible Killers
They creep into your home, seeping through cracks, drifting through drywall. Odorless, colorless, and tasteless, carbon monoxide and radon are two toxic gases that can seriously harm you — without your knowing it. Fortunately, you can protect yourself and your family from these invisible killers.
Multiple Chronic Conditions Plague More Americans
What might diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis have in common? You. According to a recent government study, more Americans are dealing with two or more chronic health conditions.
Hepatitis C: A Serious Risk for Baby Boomers
Hepatitis C has a knack for making headlines. Celebrities such as Steven Tyler, Pamela Anderson, and Natalie Cole have publically shared that they have the virus. Its latest reason for renown: Health experts are now recommending that all baby boomers be screened for the disease.
Too Few Adults Up-to-Date on Vaccines
Vaccines are small shots of big importance. They've helped knock down serious diseases, such as chickenpox, whooping cough, and measles. Unfortunately, a recent government report shows too few adults are rolling up their sleeves for the vaccines they need.
Stay Safe on the Water This Summer
The tug of the tow line, the rush of the water beneath you. If you've ever tried water tubing, you probably agree that it can certainly be fun. It can also be hazardous. A recent study has documented an alarming rise in the number of water-tubing injuries. Being smart about boating can help you stay safe while water tubing this summer.
Enjoying Nature May Give Your Brain a Break
We live in a hectic world. The constant demands of technology and life's many responsibilities can become overwhelming. Looking for a much-needed reprieve? Visit Mother Nature. Ongoing research suggests that the natural world may benefit your brain.
No Time for Exercise? An Active Lifestyle May Be the Solution
Life can certainly be hectic. So much so, that many of us can't seem to fit in exercise. As a result, we're missing out on some valuable health benefits, such as a stronger heart. Fortunately, recent research suggests simply moving more every day may be the solution.
Breast Pain: Should You Be Concerned?
Many women contend with breast tenderness or pain. It’s common to have before your menstrual period. Clinically called mastalgia, breast pain usually isn’t a sign of something serious, such as breast cancer. Even more good news: You don’t have to live with it.
Should You Be Tested for the Breast Cancer Gene?
Your genes are like an encyclopedia. They contain valuable information about you—for example, your eye color, height, or skin tone. They can also determine your risk for certain diseases, including breast cancer. Genetic testing may help some women take action against this potential health concern. Is it right for you?
Not All Breast Cancers Are the Same
All breast cancers have this in common: They begin in breast tissue. Beyond that, they aren’t all the same. Doctors use these differences to decide on the most effective treatment plan for women diagnosed with the disease.
Assistance Programs Aid Breast Cancer Patients
From time to time, we all need a helping hand. That’s even more the case if you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer. A patient assistance program may ease difficulties related to the disease. Unfortunately, many women don’t know about these services.
The Latest Ways to Curb Breast Cancer
Eating peanut butter and breastfeeding. These two activities may see like they have nothing in common. But recent research suggests they may be two of the latest ways you can curb your risk for breast cancer.
Should You Consider Preventive Drugs for Breast Cancer?
All women have at least some risk for breast cancer. But some are more likely than others to eventually develop the disease. Health organizations urge these high-risk women to talk with their doctor about chemoprevention. Certain drugs may actually be able to help ward off breast cancer.
Work the Night Shift? You May Be More Prone to Breast Cancer
Humans are naturally diurnal—we prefer to be active during the day and sleep at night. Working the night shift disrupts this normal pattern . The result: a potential host of health problems, including insomnia, heart disease, and stomach illnesses . Recent research implies you can also add breast cancer to that list.
Why Breast Density Matters
Certain factors can raise your risk for breast cancer. Some you probably already know about, such as age and a family history of the disease. But what about breast density? Research shows that not all women have a clear understanding of breast density and its connection to breast cancer. Read on to learn more about this lesser-known risk factor.
Expanding the Screening Arsenal for Breast Cancer
Until a cure is found, early detection remains the soundest strategy we have against breast cancer. The best tool at hand is mammography. It saves women's lives. But it's not perfect. As a result, scientists are developing other imaging tests to help spot breast cancer.
Breast Implants May Hinder Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Plastic surgery is becoming more popular, with the most common procedure now breast augmentation, or enlargement. Contrary to what you may think, women with breast implants aren't immune to breast cancer. In fact, a recent study suggests they may be more likely to be diagnosed with later-stage disease.
Younger Women Need to Be Vigilant About Breast Cancer
As you grow older, your chance of developing breast cancer increases. In fact, two-thirds of cases occur in women ages 55 and older. Still, younger women can develop the disease. And a recent study found that more of them-particularly those younger than 40-are being diagnosed with breast cancer that has spread throughout the body.
PTSD Not Uncommon After Breast Cancer Diagnosis
A traumatic event, such as a natural disaster or a severe car accident, can trigger feelings of anxiety and distress-maybe even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). So, too, can a breast cancer diagnosis. Recent research shows that approximately 25 percent of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer may suffer from PTSD. Learning good coping strategies can help you deal with such life-altering news.
Having a Baby? Get Screened for Diabetes
If you are a mother-to-be, your health is central to your baby’s well-being. Gestational diabetes can threaten this vital connection. It can cause trouble with delivery, premature birth, and other serious problems. That’s why health experts recommend that all pregnant women be screened for the disease.
Good Blood Sugar Control Vital for Wound Healing
When you have diabetes, a small scrape or cut can turn into a big problem. A wound may take a long time to heal. Even worse, it may become infected. The results of a recent study reinforce just how important good blood sugar control is for proper wound healing.
Eye Care Critical If You Have Diabetes
Much of the damage diabetes does to your body you can’t see. That includes diabetic retinopathy. This eye problem usually causes no early symptoms. But it can lead to poor vision and even blindness. Taking care of your eyes can prevent it and other eye diseases.
Getting Personal About Diabetes and Nutrition
What you eat plays an important part in how well you manage your diabetes. For the best blood sugar control, is it better to follow a Mediterranean diet? What about becoming a vegetarian? The latest nutrition guidelines from the American Diabetes Association decipher this diet dilemma. They also dish out other nutrition basics.
Diabetes Can Be Challenging for Older Adults
Diabetes is never easy to manage. That may especially ring true if you are older than 65. Older adults tend to face more health challenges than younger people with the disease.
People with Diabetes Often Have Arthritis, Too
You may have no trouble walking, taking a shower, or even changing clothes. But for people with diabetes or arthritis, these simple daily activities can become hard to do — even more so if they suffer from both conditions. A recent study found it’s not uncommon for people to have this disabling duo.
Watch Out for Diabetes Drug Scams
Diabetes is becoming a health reality for more and more Americans. In response to this epidemic, dishonest companies want to cash in. Their products—sold online or in stores as dietary supplements, over-the-counter drugs, and unapproved prescriptions—masquerade as proven diabetes treatments.
After-Meal Walks May Cut Diabetes Risk
Scientists have yet to invent a pill that prevents type 2 diabetes. But you have the next best thing: exercise. And you don't necessarily need to spend lots of time doing it. In fact, a recent study suggests just a 15-minute walk after every meal may help stave off the disease.
Diabetes May Be Worse for Women
Between men and women, diabetes doesn't always play fair. Both sexes are just as likely to develop the disease. But science shows that women may fare worse once they have it, particularly in terms of heart health.
Could You Have Prediabetes?
Most people have heard of diabetes - and may even know someone who has it. But what about prediabetes? If you aren't aware of it, you're not the only one. A recent government report found that many Americans aren't familiar with the condition, even those who have it.
Good Skin Care Essential if You Have Diabetes
As your body's largest organ, your skin is a master multitasker. It keeps fluids in, preventing dehydration. It regulates body temperature. It senses external stimuli, such as pain. It produces vitamin D from sunlight. And perhaps its most important task: It protects the body from infection. No doubt, keeping your skin healthy is important, especially if you have diabetes.
For Diabetes: Go Mediterranean
Eating a nutritious diet is important when you have diabetes. Putting certain foods on your plate-such as fruits and vegetables, beans, and whole grains-can help you better control blood sugar levels. Enter the Mediterranean diet. It's been shown to boost heart health. And now, research finds it may be useful in managing diabetes, too.
For Your Child
Safety Restraints Save Children’s Lives
Your car can be a dangerous place for your child. More children die from motor vehicle accidents than from any other type of mishap. The latest statistics show such incidents are declining. But many more could be prevented with proper safety restraints.
More U.S. Children Need a Daily Dose of Exercise
One hour a day. That’s all it takes for your child to meet the national physical activity guidelines. Unfortunately, a recent government report found too few U.S. children are reaching that goal.
Hearing Loss Is Hitting Children Hard
Parents, now hear this: More American children are losing some or all of their hearing. But too few parents seem to be aware of any hearing hazards, according to a recent survey. By taking steps now, you can help keep your child’s hearing well-tuned into adulthood.
Could Your Teen Daughter Have PCOS?
Puberty can be a trying time in a young girl’s life. Your daughter may struggle with acne or irregular periods. These are often normal coming-of-age signs. But they can sometimes indicate a serious condition called polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS.
Behavioral Problems Linked to Toxic Lead
As every parent knows, your little angel can sometimes be bad. But if a young child has serious behavioral problems, it may be a sign of lead poisoning. A recent study found lead’s toxic effects may not just be physical.
Ear Infections: A Frequent Child Malady
It’s a common childhood complaint: an earache. Ear pain often heralds an ear infection — the leading reason children visit the doctor. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently updated its guidelines for managing ear infections. Arm yourself with the latest about this frequent child malady.
Play It Safe on the Playground
Whatever your child imagines, a playground can be: a pirate ship, a fort, a medieval castle. Playgrounds are perfect places to exercise your child’s mind and body. A few precautions can help keep these areas of adventure and activity safe.
The Benefits of Well-Child Visits
Childhood is prime time for episodes worthy of a doctor visit. Sprains, concussions, and ear infections-to name just a few. A trip to the doctor when your child is well can be just as essential. Periodic well-child visits can alert you to developmental delays and provide valuable parenting advice. They may even help deter critical care, such as hospitalizations.
Deciphering Autism’s Origins
More parents and doctors are on the alert for autism spectrum disorder (ASD )-often simply called autism. They know its symptoms: social problems, communication troubles, and repetitive behavior. This greater awareness may be behind rising rates of ASD, particularly in children ages 6 to 17.
Start Sun Protection Young
Sunscreen may already be a family staple for a trip to the beach or an afternoon by the pool. But protecting your child from skin cancer requires more than a dab of sun defense. A recent study found that melanoma-the deadliest type of skin cancer-is becoming more common in children. Teaching your child proper sun safety early can prevent skin cancer for a lifetime.
Family Focus: Less Sodium for All
Your child probably loves pizza. And how about hot dogs, lunch meat, or cheese? In addition to being many children's favorites, these foods are high in sodium. They contribute to a startling fact: Many children eat as much sodium as adults in the U.S. That's setting the table for serious concerns about children's future heart health.
Children Can Suffer ACL Injuries, Too
Parents of young athletes may expect the occasional bruise, scrape, or pulled muscle. But an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) may seem a more likely concern for a professional running back or a slam-dunking hoop star. Yet millions of children every year suffer serious sports injuries, including torn ACLs.
Is Your Sweet Tooth Harming Your Heart?
You can’t sugarcoat this fact: Americans are eating too much sugar. We eat about 18 teaspoons of the sweetener every day. Although it tastes good, sugar isn’t very nutritious. What’s more, your sweet tooth may be bad for your heart.
Do You Have High Blood Pressure?
With every heartbeat, blood rushes through your body. It pushes against your artery walls. You can’t feel this force, even if it’s higher than it should be. That’s why many people don’t know they have hypertension, or high blood pressure.
What the New Cholesterol Guidelines Mean for You
Late last year, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology issued new guidelines for treating high cholesterol. Their goal: to reduce heart disease and stroke. Here are key points you should know.
When Is It Safe to Have Sex After a Heart Attack?
A heart attack can change everything, even your sex life. You may wonder when you can have sex again or if it’s OK to do so. Research reveals many heart attack survivors are unsure about sexual activity. Talking with your doctor can ease your worries.
Sleeping Too Little, Too Much Linked to Heart Woes
Too little or too much sleep has been linked to a host of heart woes, according to a recent study. What’s considered just right? Seven to 9 hours of shut-eye.
Secondhand Smoke: Harmful to Your Heart
Smoking bans are lighting up across the U.S. Since 2000, more than half of all states and numerous municipalities have enacted laws that limit smoking in restaurants, bars, and public places. A recent study shows such changes may be a boon to heart health, particularly for nonsmokers.
Heart Rhythm Problem Becoming More Common
Your heart beats an average of 60 to 100 times every minute. Despite this constant movement, you probably don’t notice it. That isn’t always the case for the growing number of Americans who have atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm problem.
Poor Heart Health May Hurt Your Brain, Too
Here's a good reason to keep your heart hearty: your mind. A recently published study suggests unhealthy heart habits may impair brain function-no matter what your age.
Anger May Up the Ante for a Heart Attack
Anger is a powerful emotion. From a subdued simmer to an explosive tempest, it can stress the body. Past research has linked anger with heart disease. And now, a recent study suggests outbursts of ire may actually trigger a heart attack.
More Americans Expected to Face Heart Failure
We're living longer these days. Unfortunately, a longer life doesn't necessarily mean a healthier one. Many Americans are struggling with chronic health conditions-and even more of us will in the future. Case in point: heart failure.
Job Burnout May Be Hard on Your Heart
A lengthy to-do list, a fast-approaching deadline, conflict with a colleague-many people struggle with such on-the-job stressors. When constant and overwhelming, this stress can lead to job burnout. Like other forms of stress, job burnout may affect your health, even raising your risk for coronary heart disease (CHD).
The Heart Benefit of Berries
The sweet strawberry, the perfect bite-sized blueberry, the luscious raspberry-these palate-pleasing fruits are bursting with flavor. And something more: They contain anthocyanin-a potential heart-protecting chemical. It could be the reason why eating berries may be good for your heart, even helping to prevent a heart attack.
Men May Show Depression Differently
Depression can weigh down anyone. Compared with women, though, fewer men are diagnosed with this common mental health condition. Why? A recent study says it may be partly because men show depression differently.
Problem Gambling: A Risky Addiction
It may start with a lucky lottery ticket, a winning hand at poker, or the matching reels of a slot machine. The ending is rarely profitable. Problem gambling—or compulsive gambling—ensnares at least 6 million people in the U.S.—many of them men. It’s an addiction that can yield financial and personal ruin.
Long-Term Unemployment May Be Linked to a Shorter Life
Losing your job can certainly be stressful. You may worry about your future—how you will pay your bills or take care of yourself and your family. Being unemployed can affect your mental and physical health. Long-term unemployment may be even more detrimental. A recent study suggests it may shorten your lifespan.
Eating Disorders Trouble Men, Too
Traditionally labeled a woman’s problem, eating disorders may trouble more men than originally thought. Current research suggests they may simply go unrecognized.
Managing the Side Effects of Prostate Cancer Treatment
Men diagnosed with prostate cancer today have several treatment options. But no matter your treatment choice, long-term side effects are possible.
Should You Be Screened for an Aneurysm?
Blood travels throughout your body on a highway of sorts. Arteries transport oxygen-rich blood from your heart to the rest of your body; veins return oxygen-stripped blood back. Like a car accident, an abdominal aortic aneurysm can disrupt this normal flow. Screening for this often fatal condition may save your life.
Eating Breakfast Can Do a Man’s Heart Good
As the first meal of the day, breakfast fuels you. It supplies much-needed energy after sleeping—a period of fasting for your body. Unfortunately, some men don’t partake in this daily morning fill-up.
Prostate Cancer Screening: A Complex Decision
Screening for prostate cancer isn't complicated-all it takes is a blood sample. Deciding to do it may not be quite so easy. Recent research suggests such testing may do more harm than good. This emerging evidence has prompted many experts-the latest in line, the American College of Physicians-to rethink routine prostate cancer screening. Men may want to do the same.
Low T? Know the Risks of Testosterone Treatment
Hormones hold a lot of sway in the human body. And not just in women. A drop in the hormone testosterone can spur unsettling symptoms in men. Low T-as it's called-has more men seeking testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), despite the risks.
Bison: Give It a Grill
To many people, grilling signifies summer. Favored spoils of the season: steaks, hamburgers, hot dogs, and ribs. You may also want to toss some bison on those grates. Low in saturated fat and cholesterol, it may be a healthier alternative to other red meats.
How Safe Is Your Home?
A home should be a haven-a place where you rest and enjoy time with family-a place of safety and security. But that isn't always the case.
Bone Health Isn’t Just a Woman’s Concern
Many men may rank heart disease as a top health concern. Focused on their hearts, they may ignore or not realize how important bone health is, too. Osteoporosis-a disease that weakens and greatly increases the risk for bone fracture-affects almost 9 million men in the U.S. Even though the condition is more common in women, it may be more harmful in men.
Mind and Body
Wanted: Whole Grains in Your Diet
Your local grocery store is brimming with whole grains. While browsing the aisles, you’ll find brown rice, whole-wheat bread, and quinoa—to name only a few. These foods can fortify you against diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Are you filling up on enough of them?
Cracking the Nut to a Longer Life
Humans have nibbled on nuts for centuries. Archeologists discovered almonds stashed in King Tut’s tomb in Egypt. They also unearthed walnuts from the ruins of Pompeii. A long-time dietary staple, nuts come packed with nutrients. A fact that could explain why a recent study found eating more of them may lead to a longer life.
Many Older Adults Struggle With Pain
Pain is like an alarm system. It signals when something is wrong in your body. It can last only minutes or linger for months. For many older adults, pain may be a constant companion, suggests a recent study. It may even limit daily activities.
Being Bilingual May Boost Brain Health
Dementia is a growing threat to more Americans. In fact, experts predict that cases of Alzheimer’s disease—the most common type of dementia—will triple by 2050. An aging population partly accounts for this uptick.
Want to Control Your Weight? Add Brisk Activity to Your Day
Finding time for fitness is important, especially if you are trying to lose or control your weight. Thanks to a recent study, fitting it in may be easier than you think.
Strength Training Can Pump Up Your Health
When you think of strength training, your first thought may be of a bodybuilder laboring to lift heavy weights. It need not be so extreme, though. Everyone can reap the health benefits of muscle strengthening. Unfortunately, too few Americans are minding their muscles, according to a recent government study.
5 Foods That May Lengthen—or Shorten—Your Lifespan
Science may be tweaking the old adage “you are what you eat.” Five recent studies dish out which foods may be better than others in helping us live longer. They suggest it may be more suitable to say “your age is what you eat.”
Adult Day Care Can Ease Caregiver Stress
Caring for a parent or another older adult isn't easy. You may feel overwhelmed and stressed out. If you are yearning for some relief, adult day care may be the solution. Research shows it not only helps those enrolled in such programs, but their caregivers, too.
Solving the Riddle of Rheumatoid Arthritis
The final frontier-it isn't necessarily space. A lot closer to home, the human body holds just as much mystery. Consider rheumatoid arthritis (RA). After decades of research, scientists still can't pinpoint the exact cause of the disease. The latest studies suggest a complex combination of genetics and unhealthy habits, putting some of the power of prevention in our hands.
Be Smart About Sleep Aids
Sleep can be elusive. On some nights, we easily cozy up with it. On others, it may linger frustratingly out of reach. Struggling for some shuteye may entice you to try a sleep aid. Used properly, sleep aids can help. But they aren't without risks.
Do Ultrasonic Bug Repellent Devices Work?
Many people detest bugs, especially when they find them in their homes. Keeping bugs at bay may prompt you to try just about anything-maybe even ultrasonic bug repellent devices. But do they work? Simple steps to prevent insects indoors in the first place may be far more effective.
Are Multivitamins Worth the Cost?
A pill packed with lots of nutrients-a multivitamin-may seem like the perfect shortcut to healthy living. Chances are, though, you're already getting all the vitamins and minerals you need from the foods you eat. So unless you have a nutritional deficiency, multivitamins may not provide much health benefit.
What You Need to Know About Uterine Fibroids
Uterine fibroids are a common condition. Some research suggests up to 8 out of 10 women may have these noncancerous tumors. Many don’t know it, though, because they may never have any symptoms. For those who do, timely treatment can restore a woman’s well-being.
Hot Flashes: You Don’t Have to Take the Heat
A sudden rush of heat across your face and upper body, followed by a rapid heartbeat, sweating, even chills—these are likely the signs of a hot flash. It’s the chief complaint for many women approaching menopause. The latest treatment options can help you manage these bothersome symptoms.
More Women Are Dying From Prescription Painkillers
Taking prescription painkillers like Vicodin and Oxycontin may not seem like a life-threatening act. After all, you can obtain them through your doctor. But if you don’t use these medications properly, they can be deadly. More women, in particular, are overdosing on these drugs.
Newer Prenatal Test Less Risky for Finding Birth Defects
Every mother-to-be hopes for a healthy baby. Prenatal testing can help your doctor identify problems before your child is born. Some of these tests can be risky for the fetus. Noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) is a safer technique that may provide answers about certain birth defects.
Kidney Stones: A Painful Reality for More Women
Kidney stones are becoming a painful reality for more people. In a recent survey, nearly twice as many people reported having one, compared with the results of a similar 1994 survey. Women may be especially feeling the uptick.
COPD: No Longer a Man’s Disease
Wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing. Do these symptoms sound like asthma? They can actually be the warning signs of a much deadlier lung condition: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. Once considered a man’s disease, COPD is now a serious health burden for women.
Postpartum Depression May Be More Common Than Thought
Many women find the few weeks following birth rife with emotions—otherwise known as the baby blues. For some, these feelings can plummet into postpartum depression, a condition that may be more common than previously thought.
Treating UTIs: Antibiotics May Not Be Necessary
Many women are familiar with the unpleasant signs of a urinary tract infection, or UTI. A constant urge to go. A burning sensation when using the bathroom. These symptoms and others often send women to their doctor for treatment. The usual remedy: antibiotics-although a recent study suggests they may not always be needed.
Mothers-To-Be Need to Be Smart About Medicine
A mother and her unborn child share a vital bond. The fetus absorbs nutrients from its mother. In this same way, it can also be exposed to harmful substances-some of which you may be storing in your medicine cabinet. Not all medications are safe to use while pregnant. And finding reliable information about them isn't always easy.
Do Toxic Metals Lurk in Your Lipstick?
Many women pucker up with shades like Ripened Red, Plum Luck, and Instant Mocha. Coloring the lips has been a beauty basic for centuries. A recent study, though, questions whether a daily dab of lipstick or gloss is a harmless habit.
Considering Birth Control? Know Your Options
Women today have more birth control options than ever before. The condom, the pill, the patch-to name just a few. In fact, more than three-quarters of sexually active women in the U.S. have tried at least three different methods of contraception. Knowing more about your options can help you choose the best one for you.
Java and Pregnancy: An OK Combo?
Finding out you are pregnant may prompt you to make some lifestyle changes, particularly in your diet. You may decide to eat more fruits and vegetables and fewer high-fat foods. Another change you may want to consider: cutting back on coffee. A recent study suggests that too much coffee and other sources of caffeine may lower your baby's birth weight, possibly leading to serious health problems.
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