Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week in full swing; weight loss may reduce hormones that lead to breast cancer; government finding suggests healthy men should avoid regular prostate screenings; and does snoring cause cancer? Those stories and more topping public health headlines today, Tuesday, May 22, 2012.

USA TodayYouth diabetes, pre-diabetes rates soar
Diabetes and pre-diabetes have skyrocketed among the nation’s young people, jumping from 9% of the adolescent population in 2000 to 23% in 2008, a study reports today. The findings, reported in the journal Pediatrics, are “very concerning,” says lead author Ashleigh May, an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “To get ahead of this problem, we have to be incredibly aggressive and look at children and adolescents and say you have to make time for physical activity,” says pediatric endocrinologist Larry Deeb, former president of medicine and science for the American Diabetes Association.

New Vision TelevisionPool health and safety
Many local pools will open their doors to swimmers after the Memorial Day weekend and local health officials are using the time to remind folks about pool safety. This week is Recreational Water Illness and Injury Prevention Week. The folks at Public Health say there are about 10 drownings a day in the U.S. so parents need to make sure they’re keeping a close eye on their kids. But this week is also about illnesses you can get by being in the water. Something pool managers know a lot about.

Kaiser Health NewsHigher prices charged by hospitals, other providers, drove health spending during downturn
Higher prices charged by hospitals, outpatient centers and other providers drove up health care spending at double the rate of inflation during the economic downturn– even as patients consumed less medical care overall, according to a new study. Prices rose at least five times faster than overall inflation for emergency room visits, outpatient surgery and facility-based mental health and substance abuse care from 2009 to 2010, says the report by the Health Care Cost Institute, a nonpartisan research group funded by insurers.  Prices declined in only one category: nursing home care, which saw a 3.2 percent drop in the cost per admission.

TelegraphSnoring ‘can raise cancer risk five-fold
Snoring and other types of ‘sleep disordered breathing’, as it is known, can deprive the body of enough oxygen for hours at a time. Scientists now believe having low blood oxygen levels can trigger the development of cancerous tumours, by promoting the growth of the vessels that feed them. They say in future doctors could help people fight the disease by stopping them snoring.

Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionFinal advice: Panel against routine prostate test
Healthy men shouldn’t get routine prostate cancer screenings, says updated advice from a government panel that found the PSA blood tests do more harm than good. Despite strenuous protests from urologists, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is sticking by a contentious proposal it made last fall. A final guideline published Monday says there’s little if any evidence that PSA testing saves lives — while too many men suffer impotence, incontinence, heart attacks, occasionally even death from treatment of tiny tumors that never would have killed them.

FOX NewsSmall weight loss effectively reduces sex hormones linked with breast cancer
Many studies have shown a link between obesity and an increased risk of contracting various forms of cancer.  So just how effective is weight loss in keeping cancer at bay? A new study out of the Hutchinson Cancer Researcher Center has revealed even a small amount of weight loss effectively reduces the amount of circulating estrogens in the body– which are hormones that have been found to increase the risk of breast cancer in women.

Minnesota Public RadioStudy says new screenings effective for finding colon cancers
Researchers say a new screening technique is effective in reducing colorectal cancer cases and fatalities. The findings, published online Monday in the New England Journal of Medicine, draw upon data gathered from 10 national research sites including the University of Minnesota. Nearly 29,000 U of M patients participated in the randomized trial that compared flexible sigmoidoscopy screening with people who received colon cancer screening only if they asked for it, or if their doctor recommended it.

Wall Street Journal – United States and Mexico make efforts to strengthen US-Mexican bi-national health
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Mexico Secretary of Health Salomon Chertorivski today announced a series of new steps to strengthen health security cooperation between the two countries. The health secretaries outlined these efforts during the 65th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland. “The United States and Mexico have had a long and close relationship in supporting and improving our ability to respond to public health events and emergencies of mutual interest when they arise,” Secretary Sebelius said. “The trade links between our two countries, our common border, and the high degree of trade in food products speak to the need for close bilateral cooperation in health security for both of our nations.”