More parents are turning to Arizona's school-based clinics for health care because they have been laid-off, don't have health insurance or simply are struggling financially. The clinics, which are staffed by nurse practitioners, vary in size, location and services. One clinic saw the number of medical visits increase more than 48% in the second half of 2008 compared to the same period in 2007.
A study of umbilical cord blood found evidence that a pregnant woman's exposure to compounds in traffic fumes was linked to changes in the baby's ACSL3 gene, which was tied to asthma symptoms at age five. Researchers said the findings need to be confirmed, but could aid in earlier diagnosis of pollution-related asthma.
A study found only a small percentage of women adhered to healthy lifestyle guidelines before becoming pregnant. The guidelines focused on folic acid supplements, alcohol consumption, smoking, diet and exercise. Researchers said that the guidelines need more publicity and that because many pregnancies are unplanned, nutrition and lifestyle education for women of childbearing age is also important.