33MD for March 11, 2009

POSTED: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 - 6:13pm

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 10:57pm

Surviving the squeeze has a lot of couples talking about family planning these days. One option that may be gaining popularity is vasectomies. Johnny Delgado and his wife Leemary love their kids, but say four is enough. “The way the economy is, it’s just tough the way society is coming up these days.” Mike Binnix says it’s the same for him and his wife, Valerie. In their case, one son and two daughters is their limit. “Too expensive. You know it’s hard enough having three if you ask me.” In light of the economy, Urologist Ross Cohen says he’s seeing more men coming in to discuss having a vasectomy. “Definitely within the last two or three years that’s been more significant. But, even this year I’d say an even more significant number have come in for consultations.” A vasectomy is covered by insurance in most cases, making it a less expensive option than the pill and other forms of contraception. It’s also far less invasive than the female form of sterilization known as tubal ligation. For Binnix and Delgado, it’s not yet an alternative they would choose, but they can see why some men might.

In other medical news, teens who don’t get enough vitamin D could be more likely to develop certain disease. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University found teens with the lowest levels of vitamin D had a two times greater risk for high blood pressure and high blood sugar. They were also nearly four times more likely to develop metabolic syndrome, a cluster of factors that increase the risk for heart disease and diabetes. Teens can get vitamin D from food sources like fish, milk, and cheese, and through sun exposure.

Diet and exercise are key to maintaining normal blood sugar levels. Now, researchers say sleep may play an equally important role. Experts at the University of Buffalo found adults who got less than six hours of sleep were nearly five times more likely to have abnormal sugar levels. They say sleep should be assessed at all doctor visits.