Screening and counseling for unhealthy alcohol use could become part of a standard doctor’s visit, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said. It recommended screening “in primary care settings in adults 18 years or older, including pregnant women, and providing people engaged in risky or hazardous drinking with brief behavioral counseling interventions. The report said an estimated 88,000 alcohol-attributed deaths occurred annually between 2006 and 2010 in the U.S.

Older dads tied to higher neonatal risk

Babies of older fathers are at greater risk of premature birth, low birth weight and other neonatal problems, a study reported. Compared with babies of fathers ages 25-34, those whose fathers were 45-54 had a 15 percent increased risk for premature birth and an 18 percent increased risk for seizure. Babies of fathers older than 55 were at even greater risk. Dr. Michael L. Eisenberg, said he would never tell a man he is too old to be a father. Still, he said, “Men should no longer think their runway is unlimited.”

Early hypertension often leads to later ills

Adults younger than 40 with high blood pressure are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease later, researchers found. A prospective study in JAMA included 4,851 U.S. adults whose average age was 36. Compared with those with normal blood pressure, those with elevated pressure — 120-129/80 or higher — were 67 percent more likely to have had cardiovascular problems. People with readings of 130-139/80-89 had a 75 percent increased risk.

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