A Weekly Shot of News and Notes
Tuesday, August 24, 2004; Page HE02
GET THE TRAIN MOVING Children who start toilet training older, or who
are constipated, are more likely to finish their training later, concludes a
study of nearly 400 youngsters.
Pediatricians have noticed that the average age at which toilet training is
completed has been on the rise recently, the authors point out in their
article in the Journal of Pediatrics.
In the 1950s, U.S. children completed toilet training at an average age of 29
months; more than 97 percent were toilet trained by age 3. Recently, only 40 to
60 percent of children have completed toilet training by age 3. In this study,
kids who were started later were also done later, and 16 percent were not
completely toilet trained until 42 months.
The results do not mean toilet training should be started earlier, said Nader
Shaikh of the Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh. Shaikh points out in a related
editorial "that the younger . . . toilet training was initiated, the longer
it took for the process to be completed."
One limitation, the authors note, is that the children studied were
mostly from white, suburban, affluent families, so results may not apply to
WHERE'S THE MONEY GO? Health care spending rose nearly $200 billion
between 1987 and 2000, thanks to a rise in the number of individuals who were
treated for a handful of chronic conditions as well as the increased the cost of
treating them, says a new study appearing on the Web site of the journal
The Emory University study shows that five of the most costly medical
conditions accounted for 31 percent of the growth in health spending. The
U.S. health bill is growing rapidly mostly because more people are getting
treated for mental disorders, cerebrovascular disease, pulmonary disease and
diabetes, the report says.
While there was little change in the number of people treated for heart disease
between 1987 and 2000, the rise in the cost per treated case accounted for
nearly 70 percent of the total rise in medical spending over that period.
The 15 most expensive medical conditions were: heart disease, mental
disorders, pulmonary conditions, cancer, trauma, hypertension, diabetes, back
problems, arthritis, cerebrovascular disease, skin disorders, pneumonia,
infectious disease, endocrine disorders and kidney disease.
SO NOTED "I fought and clawed for every pound I could get in this
business, and it breaks my heart that we aren't able to ship more."
-- Bob Gilbert, president of the company that makes Laughing Cow cheese.
Demand has far exceeded supply since the cheese was recommended in the South
-- From News Services and Staff Reports