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Today's Top Medical Stories for Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Doctors are missing out on an important chance to talk about sex with teenagers and minority physicians care for most under-served patients.
A new study finds that doctors don't spend enough time talking about sexual health with their teen patients.  Researchers at Duke found that less than two-thirds of doctors even bring up the subject.  And when they do - the conversation often lasts less than one minute.  Girls were more than twice as likely to discuss sexual health than boys - which means they could miss the benefits of a doctor visit.  The study will help develop new recommendations for discussing teen sexual health.

Black, Hispanic, and Asian physicians are more likely to care for patients who have low incomes and are from racial and ethnic minorities.  Researchers at Cambridge Health Alliance found that minority physicians care for half of minority patients and 70-percent of non-English speaking patients.  Currently, African American and Hispanic doctors make up just 15-percent of all physicians.  The report finds that patients from these groups have a harder time getting proper care.

And 70-year olds who rarely need to visit the doctor may have something in common - they played high school sports.  Cornell University tracked 700 World War 2 veterans who were healthy as young men.  Those who had played a high school sport reported fewer doctor visits.  And most were still active into their 70's.  The findings could benefit youth today - encouraging them to lead a more active life.


(Marlie Hall for CBS News)


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