Today’s Headlines: Women’s Life Expectancy Falling, CT Scan Risks and More

Women’s Life Expectancy Falling in Many US Counties: A study reveals that women ages 75 and younger are dying at higher rates than in previous years in nearly half of the nation’s counties. Many of them are in rural areas or in the southern and western United States. Some experts postulate that the “statistics could reflect a migration of healthier women out of rural areas, leaving behind others who are too poor and unhealthy to relocate.” Life expectancy for men, however, has remained constant or improved in nearly all counties. (AP)

Study Shows Only One-Third of Patients Told by Physicians About Health Risks of CT Scans: According to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, as many as two-thirds of patients are not informed of the possible risks of CT scans. The risks of a CT scan include increased radiation exposure (10-100 times more than the radiation from a regular x-ray) and an increased risk of cancer as a result. “It’s likely that many physicians also do not know the risks,” suggests Dr. Patrick O’Malley, a Deputy Editor of the journal. (Reuters)

Mom’s Taking Omega-3s May Have Bigger, Healthier Babies: A study reveals that pregnant women who took daily supplements of DHA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid, had longer gestation time, bigger babies, and fewer preterm births. Researchers followed 201 pregnant women. Half of the group took the supplement during the last half of their pregnancy, while the other half took a placebo. (New York Times)