No West Nile Virus
In Hawaii, for Now
An initial test indicating that a sparrow on Maui was infected with West Nile virus -- the first evidence that the virus had arrived in Hawaii -- has proven to be a "false positive," according to Hawaiian health authorities.
More definitive tests conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta came up negative. The island state has been fearing the virus's arrival, which scientists have said is likely to occur as a result of mosquitoes hitching rides across the Pacific on planes.
Heart Disease History
Of Siblings Called Vital
A study of nearly 8,500 healthy adults in Ohio found that people were 2.5 times to three times as likely to have coronary atherosclerosis -- heart and artery disease -- if a brother or sister had already been diagnosed with heart disease.
The correlation with parents' heart history was a much weaker one, according to the report in the journal Circulation.
Doctors should take a careful family history from patients that includes brothers and sisters, the researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Ohio State University and the University of California at Los Angeles said.
Patients are usually asked if their mother or father had a range of diseases or conditions, but often siblings' health history is overlooked.
"Family history has for years been recognized as a risk factor," said cardiologist Roger Blumenthal, who led the study. "But we never knew if there was a difference between sibling and parental histories of early heart disease in terms of a given individual's risk of developing early atherosclerosis."
Minority Boys May
Get Too Little Sleep
Black children are less likely to get enough sleep than their white counterparts, which makes them susceptible to poorer school performance and behavioral problems, a study said yesterday.
The survey of 755 children found nearly half of 10- and 11-year-old minority boys -- most of whom were black -- got less than the nine hours of sleep a night recommended for the 8- to 11-year-old age group. Roughly one out of 10 minority boys got less than eight hours of sleep.
Many more black children than whites in the study went to bed later at night, with nearly one-third having bedtimes after 11 p.m., wrote study author James Spilsbury of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. On average, minority boys went to bed about a half-hour later than their non-minority counterparts but got up about the same time -- 7:40 a.m.
The study did not specify a reason for the curtailed sleep but noted that minority boys were "often subjected to a number of adverse socioeconomic influences."
Roughly one in eight elementary school children experience daytime sleepiness and about one in five are fatigued during the school day, the report in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine said. Sleepiness can impair classroom performance and lead to aggressive behavior, it said. Children who do not get enough sleep often become sleep-deprived adolescents.
-- From News Services
and Staff Reports