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The connection between mercury pollution in the environment and the rate of entry into special education, and also the diagnosis of autism was investigated using data from the EPA and the Texas Education Department. There was a significant increase in the rates of special education students and the rates of autism with increases in environmentally released mercury. On average, for each 1000 lb of environmentally released mercury there was a 43% increase in the rate of special education services and a 61% increase in the rate of autism. The increase in special education rates was due to increasing numbers of children with autism. This very important research is published in the February 2005 online issue of the journal Health and Place.
Irritable bowel syndrome common but undetected in women with pelvic pain
In women with chronic pelvic pain these researchers estimate based on their data that possibly 35% of these women have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) yet 40% will go undiagnosed for IBS and even if diagnosed, 67% of these women with IBS will go untreated for their IBS. Up to 25% of all women in the USA have chronic pelvic pain at any point of time, and chronic pelvic pain will affect up to 39% of all women in their lifetime. IBS can cause this form of pain and treating the IBS may relieve the symptoms of chronic pelvic pain in some women. The study is published in the March issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.