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Health Highlights: July 16, 2013

Health Highlights: July 16, 2013

07/16/13

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Jenny McCarthy's Vaccine Stance Worries Experts as She Joins 'The View'

Public health groups are worried that actress Jenny McCarthy will use her new position on a television talk show to spread her anti-vaccination views.

In recent years, McCarthy has become well-known for her claims that vaccines caused her son's autism and her anti-vaccination stance. Vaccine advocates fear that as co-host of ABC's The View, McCarthy will spread dangerous misinformation, USA Todayreported.

One group wrote to The Viewproducer Barbara Walters last week asking her to keep McCarthy off the show.

"Jenny McCarthy's unfounded claims about the dangers of vaccines has been one of the greatest impediments to efforts to vaccinate children in recent decades," said Amy Pisani, the executive director of Every Child by Two, an international vaccination group co-founded by former first lady Rosalynn Carter, USA Todayreported.

"Children have died due to this misinformation, and those who perpetuate lies for personal gain ought to be held responsible," Pisani said.

Two dozen studies have failed to find any link between autism and vaccines, and the advocacy group Autism Speaks has said there is "no connection" between vaccines and autism, USA Todayreported.

McCarthy has appeared on The View17 times and will begin her co-host duties on Sept. 9. In its announcement, ABC did not mention whether McCarthy will talk about vaccines or other medical issues.

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Good 'Spatial Reasoning' May Be Sign of Creativity in Kids: Study

A high level of spatial reasoning in children may be a better indicator of creativity and innovative thinking than math or verbal skills, according to a new study.

Spatial reasoning is the ability to visualize and manipulate two- and three-dimensional objects. Children who are gifted in this area may be inspired to do things such as dismantle a clock or refrigerator, The New York Timesreported.

In this study, researchers concluded that standardized tests such as SAT and ACT should be revised to included greater focus on spatial reasoning in order to identify children who excel in this skill and nuture their ability.

"Evidence has been mounting over several decades that spatial ability gives us something that we don't capture with traditional measures used in educational selection," study lead author David Lubinski, a psychologist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, told The Times. "We could be losing some modern-day Edisons and Fords."

The study was published in the journal Psychological Science.

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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