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FINDINGS

Friday, September 1, 2006

Radio Ads for Alcohol Target Youth, CDC Says

About half of the alcohol advertising on radio is aired during youth-oriented programs, according to a new study that suggests beer, wine and liquor companies are not abiding by a self-imposed ban on advertising to teenagers.

The report, released yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is the first to assess alcohol radio advertising since 2003, when the industry vowed to stop running ads on radio programs for which 30 percent or more of the audience is younger than 21.

"Kids in the United States are exposed to a heck of a lot of alcohol advertising, and it impacts what they drink and how much they drink," said Timothy Naimi, a CDC epidemiologist who worked on the study with researchers from Georgetown University's Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth.

Industry officials criticized the report. They noted that the figures were collected in the summer of 2004, less than a year after the industry's code was instituted, and said that some long-standing advertising contracts had not yet expired.

The researchers monitored advertising in 104 markets, focusing on the 25 brands of alcoholic beverages with heaviest radio spending. They counted 67,404 beer, wine and liquor spots, and said 32,800 of them -- or 49 percent -- were aired on youth-oriented programs.

More Guidelines Issued For Sept. 11 Illnesses

New York City health officials issued long-awaited guidelines yesterday to help doctors detect and treat illnesses related to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks -- medical advice considered crucial for helping hundreds of Ground Zero workers now scattered across the United States.

The agency had previously offered instructions for treating post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse and mental illness resulting from Sept. 11 experiences. But health experts and others complained that the city had shelved instructions on how to treat the physical ailments of Sept. 11.

Since the 2001 attacks, thousands of firefighters, police officers, construction workers and volunteers who toiled at Ground Zero have been screened for a host of ailments, including lung disease and gastrointestinal problems.

The guidelines could be vital in getting proper treatment for Ground Zero workers who have relocated, or who came from elsewhere and must rely on doctors in other states who are unfamiliar with Ground Zero symptoms and the most effective treatments.

The guidelines suggest questions to ask, tests to give and ways to treat the Sept. 11 patients.

Obese Men Risk Being Infertile, Study Finds

Overweight or obese men have a greater chance of becoming infertile than men of normal body weight, according to research published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

The study, published in the September issue of the journal Epidemiology, found that a weight gain of 22 pounds can increase the chances of infertility by as much as 10 percent.

The researchers studied the prevalence of infertility among 1,468 farmers and their wives between 1993 and 1997. The couples were from Iowa and North Carolina, were trying to conceive, and the women were younger than 40.

Too much weight in men is associated with lower semen quality, hormonal changes and erectile dysfunction, the article said, though the link with infertility had not previously been studied.

A link between infertility and obesity in women has already been established, the study noted.

-- From News Services

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