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'30, 40, 50'

Aired February 24, 2006 - 09:00   ET


MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. I'm Miles O'Brien.

That controversy port deal is on hold, for now at least. Why the change? We'll take a look at that this morning.

And nearly empty streets in Baghdad. A daytime curfew is called as fears of an all-out civil war are increasing.

M. O'BRIEN: You might want to give your BlackBerry a kiss. Well, that's not the BlackBerry there. That appears to be -- there we go.

Blackberry, you could be kissing it good-bye today. The fate of the devices which are crucial to so many will be decided, perhaps this morning.

And some of figure skating's top talents had a little trouble staying on their feet.

S. O'BRIEN: Ooh.

M. O'BRIEN: Heiny on ice is what we've been thinking about this morning. But one star didn't stumble and now has a gold medal of her own.

S. O'BRIEN: There she is, looking beautiful.

Good morning. Welcome back, everybody.

Coming up in just a little bit, we're going to get right to our series about your health. It's called "30-40-50." We're going to tackle questions about what you can do to improve your health in your 30s, your 40s, your 50s. Talk about medical tests you need and also answer your e-mail questions.

So e-mail us at if you want any questions answered this morning.

M. O'BRIEN: And if you're not in that age group, stay with us anyway. There's some stuff that will be relevant to you as well.

S. O'BRIEN: Yes, it's all relevant. And you're going to get older soon eventually anyway. So there.

Let's get right to our top story, though, this CNN "Security Watch."

The controversial port deal that we've been talking about, it's now being delayed. The company itself, Dubai Ports World, called for the delay. That company, you'll remember, is owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates.

Let's get right to Elaine Quijano. She's at the White House for us this morning.

Elaine, good morning to you. Is it delayed or dead in the water?


Well, you know, it really depends. I think it's still to be determined. And it really depends on whether or not lawmakers get the satisfactory answers to the questions that they still have.

In fact, it was not just Democrats, but also Republicans, as well, who were concerned that this move could, in fact, jeopardize national security, they said. At the same time, the Bush administration, President Bush himself, saying that this transaction had been properly vetted.

So for a time it looked like there was a showdown in sight. On the one hand, you had lawmakers saying that they were going to pass legislation to block this deal. On the other hand, you had President Bush saying that he would use his veto pen if, in fact, that happened.

And then interestingly, yesterday, Karl Rove, the president's top political adviser, signaled that the White House might, in fact, be open to a delay of some sort in order to give lawmakers what he called a comfort level.

And then, of course, overnight, the statement from the company itself, Dubai Ports World, saying that they would essentially hold off on the U.S. portion of the deal. That statement by a company spokesman, saying, "We need to understand the concerns of the people in the U.S. who are worried about this transaction and make sure that they are addressed to the benefit of all parties. Security is everybody's business."

So, for now, Soledad, the deal on hold, but unclear just how long the company plans to postpone it -- Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: We'll all be watching then. All right.

Elaine Quijano for us at the White House this morning.

And of course you'll want to stay tuned to CNN day and night for the most reliable news about your security -- Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: A drastic measure by the Iraqi government to stop a storm of violence. As we've been telling you this morning, a curfew had been in place in Baghdad and nearby provinces during the daylight hours today. It just ended in the last hour. And now we're hearing about violations of that curfew in Sadr City.

Aneesh Raman is in Baghdad.

Aneesh, tell us what's going on. And what's the point of lifting the Baghdad as the sun begins to set?

ANEESH RAMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And a new curfew, a nighttime curfew essentially kicks in about two hours, two or three hours. And so it really has seen a quell in the violence. But as you said, violations seen in Sadr City, the area are Baghdad were followers of the Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr can be seen in this CNN video new this morning, patrolling the streets with arms.

They set up checkpoints. They were speaking to civilians on the road. It's a window into one of the biggest issues in Iraq, these militias, the Shia militias specifically.

We have heard from Muqtada al-Sadr himself, also from the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the country's Shia spiritual leader. They have said that if Iraq's security forces cannot protect the Shia sites, cannot protect the Shia people, they will do it themselves.

And that is a big reason why Iraqi security forces need to get the situation under control themselves. If the militias take over, it is incredibly divisive to the situation here -- Miles.

M. O'BRIEN: Aneesh Raman in Baghdad.

Thank you very much.

Let's get to Kelly Wallace in the newsroom.

Kelly, good morning.

KELLY WALLACE, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, Miles.

We're beginning with a security source in Saudi Arabia telling CNN that Saudi authorities foiled an attempt to bomb an oil refinery in the country. Al Arabiya television is saying that Saudi forces killed the attackers when they tried to storm an oil facility in Saudi Arabia's eastern province. The bombers apparently used at least two cars, and an explosion was heard.

We'll have more information, of course, as it becomes available.

In the Philippines, authorities now say the search for survivors after that massive landslide has been called off. The official death toll stands at more than 130, with more than 900 still missing.

Meantime, an emergency rule has been declared in the Philippines after the military says it thwarted a planned coup. Security forces are on full alert and police have been dispersing thousands of protesters.

In Texas, attorneys for Andrea Yates are calling some new documents ludicrous. Yates faces retrial next month in the 2001 drowning deaths of her five children. A Texas judge today is going to review some prosecution evidence that Yates told a fellow inmate to act mentally ill to win her case. Yates has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

BlackBerry users might have to wean themselves off their wireless devices. Now, there's a hearing going on in Virginia. And if you take a look, you can see someone is outside that hearing using a BlackBerry outside the courthouse.

A federal judge could issue an injunction today that would halt sales and service. At issue, a five-year patent infringement dispute between two companies, including the maker of BlackBerry. That's easy for me to say.

And a disappointing finish for American figure skater Sasha Cohen. She fell on her first two jumps last night but still managed to earn a silver medal. The gold went to Japanese skater Shizuka Arakawa, the first medal for Japan in these winter games. Just two years ago she had actually planned to retire.

Another favorite for the gold, Russian Irina Slutskaya, taking home the bronze.

Time for a check of the Friday forecast. Bonnie Schneider at the CNN Center with the latest.

Bonnie, what are you focusing on?

BONNIE SCHNEIDER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, we're talking about wind today, Kelly.


S. O'BRIEN: Sounds nice in Phoenix. All right, Bonnie. Thank you very much.

We've got this news just in to CNN. It's coming to us from a press release by Time Warner, Inc., which, of course, is our parent company here at CNN.

It looks as if Ted Turner, the founder of CNN 25 years ago, is going to step down from Time Warner's board of directors. We're told through this press release that he's going to continue to serve as a director until the company's 2006 annual meeting of stockholders.

Here's what he had to say. And I'm quoting now. "After much deliberation, I decided not to stand for reelection at the annual meeting. I've enjoyed working with Dick Parsons and other board members and the management, and I wish the company every success."

Andy, I'm sure, will have much more to talk about this business story just ahead. That's just in to CNN.

Ahead this morning, we continue with our health series. It's called "30-40-50." Those are ages we're talking about. Today we're going to answer your health questions live. We'll take a look at some of the tests men should be getting as they get older. We'll tell you what women should ask their doctors. And we'll explain the challenges that women face getting pregnant as we get older.

We're going to show you how you can keep your memory sharp as well. So make sure you keep sending us your e-mails and your instant messages, too, so we can answer them for you.

That's all ahead. Stay with us. A short break.


S. O'BRIEN: Welcome back, everybody.

If you saw there, 250,000 women could die from heart attack. I mean, those numbers just shocking.

This morning we're dedicating this hour to a special health series. We're calling it "30-40-50." These are medical issues that affect women and men in their 30s and their 40s and their 50s, which means if you're in your 20s you should listen up.

M. O'BRIEN: And if you're in your 60s, too, listen up for sure.

Today we're talking about men's health, women's health, female fertility, memory. Our medical team is here. They -- we feel the love.

S. O'BRIEN: Hey, guys.

M. O'BRIEN: We're getting a "House Call."

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Keeping you guys healthy, right?

M. O'BRIEN: Dr. Sanjay Gupta is here, and Elizabeth Cohen, our medical unit, to run through some of the programs and the ideas that we've been talking about. We've actually been talking about this for a few weeks, but we're going to kind of sum everything up today.

S. O'BRIEN: Let's start with...


M. O'BRIEN: Yes.

S. O'BRIEN: Yes. Let's start with women's health.

COHEN: Women's health. Yes, there are a lot of surprises with women's health.

You were just talking about heart disease. A lot of women think that their big worry is breast cancer. And that's mainly what they want to be concerned about. But take a listen to this. You'll see that that's not necessarily true.


COHEN (voice over): As a massage therapist, Linda Taylor spends a lot of time devoted to other people's health. But she's not always so smart about her own.

You're supposed to be tested for diabetes beginning at age 45. She didn't get tested until she was 54.

LINDA TAYLOR, MASSAGE THERAPIST: Diabetes runs in my family. When it was diagnosed it was almost a relief. Now I absolutely had to take care of myself. No fooling.

COHEN: Linda is now on medication, has changed her diet and is exercising.

TAYLOR: And I do feel better. I really do feel better.

COHEN: The screening test for diabetes is just one of the many recommended as we grow older.

Starting in your 30s, you need to have regular heart health tests, thyroid tests and skin tests for abnormal moles. Some tests are just for women.

In your 30s you need to have regular breast exams by your health care provider, as well as regular pelvic exams and pap smears. How often depends on each women. Some women need it every year, others who are at lower risk need paps only once every three years.

DR. THERESA RORH-KIRCHGRABER, EMORY HEALTHCARE: If you had three normal pap smears three years in a row, you don't smoke, don't have a history of sexually transmitted diseases, and you are in a monogamous relationship.

COHEN: Then at 40, in addition to all these tests, women need to start having mammograms every year. At 45, women need to start having regular diabetes tests.

Women in their 50s add in some new tests, colorectal cancer screening and a colonoscopy every 10 years.

And don't get caught off guard like Linda did. For screening testes in general, you may need them earlier and more often based on family history and your own personal health. And while all these tests may seem time-consuming, it was one simple test that changed Linda Taylor's life.

TAYLOR: I'm glad that I'm diagnosed because it's not hanging over my head anymore. It's arrived.


S. O'BRIEN: Well, you know, lots of obviously tests that you should be thinking about or getting certainly, but other questions as well that don't necessarily have tests that go with them, like perimenopause. There's an e-mail question that comes from R.L. in Wisconsin. And here's the question.

"Can you please discuss perimenopause? Does it really exist? When does it start? Are there symptoms that I can anticipate experiencing? I'm 42 and overall in good health."

COHEN: It really does exist. Perimenopause is not just in women's heads. Sometimes doctors tell women that, but it really just isn't in their heads.

Menopause usually hits around age 51. Perimenopause can hit, believe it or not, at 35. And women start feeling basically the signs of menopause.

Periods start to change, they may start to get tired, moods change, less interest in sex. And then real menopause -- menopause hits around 51.

And not everyone goes through this perimenopause. But if your moods are changing, you're getting a little fat around the waist, maybe it's not you. Maybe it's perimenopause.

M. O'BRIEN: All right. We have another e-mail for you.

Sanjay, why don't you take this one.

This is on weight loss and calories. "I am a 47-year-old female, 5'6, 170 pounds" -- do I have the right one? Oh, here we go. Wrong one.

"How many calorie do I need on a daily basis to ensure"...

S. O'BRIEN: That's how she ends up. She goes through her whole story.

M. O'BRIEN: I was doing the preamble. We just don't want to do that -- "to nourish my body but still continue to lose a pound or two a week with the same exercise routine."

And this is sort of like a "New You" question almost, isn't it, you know?

GUPTA: Yes. I mean, so she's asking specifically about exercise and diet and how much can you gain from either one of them.

Interesting. There's been some interesting poll numbers on this actually talking about Americans in terms of how they want to lose weight through diet or exercise. And I thought the answer was going to be diet because people think that that's going to be easier.

They actually want to lose weight through exercise. And you can lose a fair amount of weight through exercise.

One of our participants, actually, in the "New You" -- you guys have been following along -- lost almost 30 pounds in six weeks. Now that's probably too much, really. He just sort of went almost on a crash diet, a crash exercise program. We're going to talk about that.

One to two pounds a week is typically a pretty good and safe amount of weight to lose. It varies depending on where you start and your body habit when you begin.

S. O'BRIEN: So basically, maybe she should start exercising more and keep eating healthfully and she'll start losing weight, or continue to lose weight as she has been doing.

GUPTA: Most likely. You know, and I think it's easy to say, and Elizabeth will probably agree, that, you know, you talk about calories in and calories out...

S. O'BRIEN: Right.

GUPTA: ... in terms of consumption, but it's a little bit more complicated than that. I mean...

S. O'BRIEN: Unfortunately, yes.

GUPTA: Unfortunately, yes. There are some people who just never seem to gain weight. Their metabolic rates are higher. And you can get your metabolic rate higher by exercising more. So you lose more weight even when you are just sort of sitting around.

S. O'BRIEN: Can I ask you guys a question about colonoscopy? You know, now it looks as if they are recommending that you get a colonoscopy at 50.

And I remember when Katie Couric got her -- you know we all saw Katie's colon on TV. You know, she was 43, and of course her husband had died horribly of colon disease.

You know, so why 50? Why not 40? Why not 35, just start getting your colon checked?

GUPTA: Yes. I mean, you know, these are a little bit of moving guidelines. And so people will be a little bit confused by this with regard to colonoscopy and some other tests as well.

A couple of things to keep in mind.

I mean, some would say, why not start doing it in your 30s? but at some point you start to have a cost benefit ratio of these testing.

One of the big concerns is false positive. These are very good tests that are very sensitive but not as specific as we'd like sometimes. So sometimes with the false positive rate, people are going to get more biopsies, more operations, even, when they don't need it.

So 50 is now the age. The numbers may change as more people get the colonoscopy.

COHEN: And also you have to talk -- you have to think about family history. If you have colon cancer in your family, talk to your doctor about getting that test early. And so that's so true of a lot of these. For example, the recommendation at 40, start getting mammograms, if your mother died of breast cancer, your doctor might tell you to get that early.

S. O'BRIEN: These are guidelines.


S. O'BRIEN: Talk frankly with your doctor about your family history.

GUPTA: Absolutely.

COHEN: Absolutely.

S. O'BRIEN: Which means, make sure you go out and find out what your family history is.

M. O'BRIEN: Well, and don't let the fact that it's an unpleasant test steer you away from it, a mammography or colonoscopy. It's very important that you see your doctor and talk about it, right?

GUPTA: You know, they have these commercials on TV and you always see the person sort of shrugging and being very fearful of going in to the colonoscopy.

M. O'BRIEN: Yes.

GUPTA: And I think for good reason. I haven't had one. I will one day. We all will, should have one.

But, you know, there are very good medications to make you forget what is about to happen to you and to take away the pain. As a doc, you know, give them the medication. I mean, it makes it a lot more easy.

S. O'BRIEN: We saw it live on TV is all I can say. It didn't look that bad. It can't be that bad.

All right, you guys. We're going to ask you to stick around, because, of course, we're going to talk more. We're going to talk about men's health.

M. O'BRIEN: Yes.

S. O'BRIEN: We're going to talk about fertility. We're going to talk about memory. Lots of issues still to cover this morning.


S. O'BRIEN: Men see doctors 25 percent less than women and they die six years earlier. Huh. I'm going to guess that those two things might be correlated.

COHEN: There you go.

S. O'BRIEN: Exactly.

Welcome back, everybody.

We're focusing on 30, 40, 50. Of course it's our special hour spent on your health today.

E-mail us if you have a question about your health.

Miles has got a...

M. O'BRIEN: Also, IM us at CNN_AM on the AOL IM.

We have a few of them to share with you both. Let's start with this one.

"I don't want to continue taking painkillers for my chronic pain and I am afraid of chiropractors. What can I do?

Who wants to take that one?

S. O'BRIEN: I've got to tell you -- can I just throw out something?

GUPTA: Please.

S. O'BRIEN: Acupuncture, do doctors -- are they fans or not? Because acupuncture cured my chronic pain in my neck.

GUPTA: And a lot of people swear by acupuncture. A lot of people swear by chiropractors as well.

I mean, -- and you've actually had back problems yourself. I don't know what you did for them, but ultimately, you know, doctors are scientist. So you want some data to back up what's going to work and not, and there's not a lot when it comes to acupuncture, but for some people it definitely works.

Chronic pain, someone doesn't want to go see a chiropractor, I don't know if it's a neck problem, a back problem, or what it is exactly. You probably need an MRI scan, x-rays to see what the problem is in the first plan and see if there's a treatment for it besides just popping the pills.

COHEN: Yoga.

M. O'BRIEN: Yoga?

COHEN: Yoga. It worked for me.

S. O'BRIEN: That helped your back pain?

COHEN: Yes, absolutely.

S. O'BRIEN: Yes. I think that just even thinking about alternative options than taking painkillers all the time...

GUPTA: I think people are becoming more and more -- embracing that. I think the Western medicine is.

M. O'BRIEN: All right. Here's another one for you.

"I was wondering at around what age do people begin losing their memories?"

I'm feeling that every day.

S. O'BRIEN: I don't know, Miles. When did it happen to you?

M. O'BRIEN: I don't know. What's your name again? And what's your -- it's the name thing that always gets me, right?

GUPTA: It's the 30s.

M. O'BRIEN: Really?

GUPTA: Yes. I was shocked by this.

M. O'BRIEN: Wow.

GUPTA: I mean, you start to lose your memory in your 30s. And, you know, it might be subtle things.

When you start to get concerned is when it interferes with your activities of daily living. You know, you just can't carry on your regular day because you just can't remember things. But in your 30s it begins.

And there's actually a test you can do. Some of them you can find on the Internet. You can go to your doctor's office to actually figure out how good your memory is, your functional memory.

S. O'BRIEN: Elizabeth, did you find that when you were pregnant you lost your memory?

COHEN: Oh, absolutely. It's called placenta brain.


COHEN: And then when you're nursing it's called milk brain.

S. O'BRIEN: Really?

COHEN: And that covers for a very long time.


S. O'BRIEN: Because I thought -- I mean, I thought I was losing my mind completely.

COHEN: What I read about that is that, what they say -- maybe they just say this to make the moms feel better -- is that your body is so concentrated on, you know, raising this child. I mean, making you're making a pancreas one day and a liver the next, and, you know, you're devoted to that child. S. O'BRIEN: It's a big project.

COHEN: It's a big project, right.

GUPTA: I've never done that.

M. O'BRIEN: We can't vouch for that.

COHEN: Well, we have., and we can tell you that...

S. O'BRIEN: It's tough work making a human being. It really is.

GUPTA: My wife at home (INAUDIBLE) better then, because she seriously complained about the same thing.

COHEN: Oh, absolutely.

S. O'BRIEN: You do. You feel like you're losing your mind. But I was wondering if it was just, you know, an imagined thing or if it was an actual, real medical condition.

COHEN: I don't think they study that terribly well, but you certainly hear that from many, many women.

S. O'BRIEN: Well, let's get to this last question before we run out of time. "Does going to sleep with alcohol in your system affect the quality of your sleep?" Do you ever -- does it ruin your -- why are you both laughing at me?

This is not for me. I'm not asking this.

COHEN: This is from Miles, right?


S. O'BRIEN: Because I've been having two or three beers before I go to bed and I get up at 3:00 -- no, I'm kidding.

But seriously, I would imagine it does affect if you go into REM sleep or not, which is the important sleep, right?

GUPTA: Right. And we just actually did a special on this, on sleep and looking specifically at the types of sleep that you get. And there are different stages of sleep, everyone knows that.

You may fall asleep much more quickly. You're likely to also wake up much more quickly and never get into some of the most restorative stages of sleep with alcohol in your system. So a bad, bad idea to use it as a sedative.

M. O'BRIEN: But what about the -- you know, they say a glass of wine, red wine is a good thing to have every day. How do you weigh that against that?

COHEN: (INAUDIBLE) a lot or a little, right.

GUPTA: Right. I mean -- and for different reasons, as well.

You know, talking about red wine, you're talking about cardiovascular health. It might be good for your heart. It has a little bit of blood thinning quality.

M. O'BRIEN: So you've got to weigh the two. Yes.

GUPTA: Right. Don't take it before you go to bed.

S. O'BRIEN: All right. So we should remind folks, you can IM us or you can e-mail us at if you have any kind of questions.

We're going to talk a little bit about fertility coming up. We're also going to talk -- I want to talk about weight, weight gain and the stress hormone that goes along with that. I have found that research really fascinating. So that's my personal question.

That's ahead.

M. O'BRIEN: From Soledad.

S. O'BRIEN: No. No. But I have one question. I get to ask one.

Don't forget to visit our Web site,

We're back in just a moment.



S. O'BRIEN: You can't see these families at a Red Cross shelter or families anywhere and not think, of course, of your own family.

People have lost everything. I mean, literally everything.

This is a Red Cross shelter right in Baton Rouge, 4,500 people overnighted here last night. And as we've talked about some of the people who have been refusing to leave, for the people here, they were ready to get out. And this is where they've ended up.

There is in New Orleans and in Louisiana and in the Gulf Coast a sense of home, that, you know, home is where you come back to. That really moved me and really surprised me. And because of that sense of home, there's a sense of hope, you know, we're going to stick it out, we're going to survive it, we're going to rebuild somehow.



M. O'BRIEN: We're doing 30, or 40 or 50, or 120, as I like to call it. And we'll be checking in with our experts in just a moment, but first let's get some headlines and Kelly Wallace has that.

Hello, Kelly.

KELLY WALLACE, CNN NEWS ANCHOR, AMERICAN MORNING: Hello there, Miles. Good morning, everyone.

We're keeping a close eye on Washington. That's where President Bush is expected to take the podium in the next half hour. He's going to be speaking on the war on terror, and he could say something more about the growing tensions in Iraq. CNN will be carrying President Bush's speech live and it is set to begin at 10:05 a.m. Eastern.

Also ahead eight-year-old boy has been abducted in Florida. Police say Jared McGuire has autism. According to authorities he was forced into a van by a white man with a goatee. Florida officials have issued an Amber Alert. Anyone with information is asked to call the police.

Ted Turner, the founder of CNN, is stepping down from Time Warner's board of directors. Time Warner, the parent company of this network, says he won't be seeking reelection. In a statement Ted Turner said he decided to leave after, quote, "much deliberation." He is one of Time Warner's largest shareholders and will serve as director until Time Warner's annual shareholders meeting later this year.

And two women in the Chicago area sharing a unique bond. Both of their husbands needed a kidney but there was a problem. Neither woman had the same blood type as her own husband but they matched the other's. So one woman donated her kidney to the other one's husband, and the other woman did the same. We hear that everyone is doing well.

An incredible story there. Back to Miles and Soledad, with more on health issues for 30, 40 and 50s.

S. O'BRIEN: Thank you very much.

Want to talk about men's health briefly. Why don't men go to the doctor?

M. O'BRIEN: We're afraid. Scary.


S. O'BRIEN: So not a loaded question; such a fair question. Literally, I have to like cattle prod my husband to have him go see the doctor.

GUPTA: It's true. You're absolutely right. And what you are saying is bared out in data and men don't go to the doctors nearly enough. Part of it fear, part of it is culture. There are some tests they certainly need to get. Here's what we found.


GUPTA (voice over): You would be hard pressed to find a more fit 49-year-old. Peter Moore is the executive editor of "Men's Health" magazine. He exercises three or four times a week, everything from basketball to skiing.

PETER MOORE, 48-YEAR OLD: Doctors were applauding me. They would look at my weight, my cholesterol numbers, what I was eating, my exercise plan.

GUPTA: But two years ago Peter had a rude awakening, extreme chest pains brought him to the doctor. He found 99 percent blockage in a major artery. If gone untreated could have died. Peter had an angioplasty and is back in good health. How could somebody so fit have major coronary heart disease? And have it go undetected.

MOORE: If I had a nuclear stress test it is hard to know how we could have caught that. We all need to have a high level of awareness of this.

GUPTA: Men see doctors 28 percent less often than women. And many don't know what to ask. First off, they should get to know their numbers.

DR. CHRISTOPHER KELLY, NYI SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: The 30s are a decade in order to get baseline measurements of your overall state of health; your blood pressure, your weight, knowing your cholesterol, your complete blood count, urinalysis, and glucose are all vital tests to be getting and also a baseline EKG is recommended.

GUPTA: Electro cardiograms for your heart, and an easy self- testicular (ph) exam.

KELLY: The most common cancer for men, in the 30s, is testes cancer. Particularly in the 40s we start seeing more diseases pop up.

GUPTA: So men should visit the doctors annually and ask about risks associated with family history and disease. Stress tests, cholesterol lowering drugs, and or daily aspirin may be in order. African-American men and other high risk males should consider prostate cancer screening. The PSA blood test and the infamous digital rectal exam. Detected early prostate cancer can be cured.

KELLY: In their 50s a patient should be aware they need a colonoscopy, they should also be aware that they need prostate cancer screening.

GUPTA: And 50-somethings need the same diagnostic tests as their younger counterparts, but now colorectal and prostate cancers are a greater concern. For guys like Peter Moore, early tests and early detection could be a life saver.


M. O'BRIEN: All right. We were having quite a lively discussion about health here. We really need more time for this.

Let's get an e-mail in, this is from David. Talking about men's health here.

"What happens to a man's hormones and when he turns 40. Why is the sex drive so diminished?"

Speak for yourself, David.



"I turn 50 in August, and I seem to become less tolerant and more irritable the older I get." Well, that part I do get, David.

All right, Sanjay.

GUPTA: Check, check. Double check.

S. O'BRIEN: Sandy O'Brien.

M. O'BRIEN: I am blushing. OK, go ahead.

GUPTA: There is something called andropause (ph), you're talking about menopause, pera-menopause (ph), earlier. Andropause is something that exists in men in sort of the same things, although not nearly as dramatic a change. Much slower change, lowering of testosterone levels, although they have not found that testosterone levels being lowered really affects the libido in a very predictable way. So there are men who have lower testosterone levels have a strong libido into older age.

Typically, if that's a concern for this particular e-mailer, then probably need to talk to the doctor about what else might be causing some of the problems and not blame it on andropause, alone.

M. O'BRIEN: Don't dive into asking for a prescription for Viagra. Look at the root issues first, right?

GUPTA: That's right, absolutely.

S. O'BRIEN: Question from a couple in their 30s. "My boyfriend and I are in our 30s. I'm 35, he's 31. We have children from other marriages. We want to get married soon. He had a vasectomy five years ago. What are the chances of reversing this procedure?

GUPTA: Yes, you know, a vasectomy -- first of all it's interesting that request has gone way up over the past several years; 1 to 2 percent of all vasectomies are now asking to be reversed. This has become a standard surgical procedure.

The procedure is called vasovastosomy (ph). What that is, is trying to re-establish you know, so that you can actually have semen back, and the sperm back in the semen again. What they talk about, specifically, is if it's been greater than three years you got about a 50 to 70 percent chance of having a successful reversal.

I think she said five years for this particular e-mailer? Before three years is actually between 87 and 96 percent chance. So really good chance of actually reversing the vasectomy within the first couple of years. S. O'BRIEN: Quick. If they run out quick and get it done.

M. O'BRIEN: This is why you have to think long and hard about this, though, before they make the decision. It's very important, right?

GUPTA: Absolutely. And men are getting, I mean, 30 years old, pretty young to be having this procedure for sure.

S. O'BRIEN: That certainly is. I want to squeeze in a quick question about high cholesterol. Pete wants to know: I started an exercise program. How long does it take if you really start an aggressive exercise program before you see a difference in your cholesterol?"

GUPTA: It can be remarkably quick. I mean we've both done lots of stories on this. And Stewart Rash (ph) is one of our "New You" participants. He started off with a cholesterol of 283, within six weeks he was down to 200. That surprised me, even.

But we did some research on that and within a couple of weeks you can see dramatic lowering in the overall cholesterol and LDL, which is your bad cholesterol. Stuff you want to get rid of, within a couple of weeks of just exercise and just diet. No medications here. People are so quick --.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You can get that kind of lowering with no medications? Wow.

GUPTA: No medication, yes.

M. O'BRIEN: That is pretty remarkable.

S. O'BRIEN: Usually you do that drastic thing so you can avoid the medication.

Right, we have so much more to talk about. We have IMs coming in. We have lots of e-mail, too. We're going to talk about women's fertility and memory and weight gain as well. All ahead after this short break.


S. O'BRIEN: Remember we told you about the 62-year-old woman the other day, who gave birth, well, she wasn't the oldest. The woman we just showed you there in that in that picture, 66 years old, she actually is the record holder.

We're all parents. What a record! We never sleep again. Great, congratulations to you.

We're talking fertility this morning and of course Elizabeth has a look at that. This is a fascinating science, and boy has it changed.

COHEN: It really has changed. Sometimes when you hear stories like that about 66 year-old women giving birth, you think I've got plenty of time. I'll wait. But the bottom line is you definitely shouldn't wait until you're 66. In fact, as you'll hear the statistics get worse and worse as women age.


COHEN (voice over): If you take a lesson from Hollywood it seems you could wait practically forever to have a baby. Actress Jane Kasmaric (ph) gave birth at age 46 and Holly Hunter had twins last month at the age of 47 and Geena Davis was 48 when she had her twins. And now the reality check. Getting pregnant at nearly 50 is extremely difficult.

DR. DOROTHY MITCHELL-LEEF, REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY ASSOC.: The misconception is that you're going to always have eggs and always going to have a chance of getting pregnant even into the 50s, and that's not true.

COHEN: As a woman ages her eggs begin to die off. Doctors say fertility starts to decrease in your early 30s. This graph shows how quickly it happens. Each month a 30-year-old woman has a 22 percent chance of conceiving a baby. A 40-year-old has an 8 percent chance of conceiving; and at 50, less than 1 percent.

Kristen Ray learned that the hard way. She is only 32 and yet she struggled to get pregnant three years ago.

KRISTEN RAY, NEEDED FERTILITY TREATMENTS: I was just shocked. I was thinking I'm too young to go through this. You know this is somebody in their late 30s or early 40s going through it, not this early.

There you go! You got it.

COHEN: Kristen needed fertility treatments to get pregnant with Samuel. She is expecting again after even more treatments than the first time. As women get into the 30s, they are more likely to encounter fertility problems, such as hormone issues or menstrual problems.

Kelly Adam is 42; she tried for two years before finally getting pregnant with her first child, Mary, with the help of fertility treatments.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's the heart beating.

COHEN: Now she is five weeks pregnant and this time it took even more treatments.


COHEN: For women in the 40s eggs are usually the problem.

MITCHELL-LEEF: Their eggs are aging and they don't have as many as they used to have.

COHEN: Of course, fertility varies greatly woman by woman. Some women get pregnant easily even in their early 40s. You don't have to be desperate, like Marisa Tome's the character in the movie, "My Cousin Vinnie".

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My biological clock is ticking like this!

COHEN: But on the other hand, fertility experts say don't wait too long. Having a baby after 43 often only happens with eggs donated by a much younger woman.


S. O'BRIEN: It is such an interesting time, I think, in science that someone who is 66 can have a baby or Hollywood stars who are heading toward 50 can have babies. But as you say, many cases probably not -- their eggs, their own eggs or donated eggs from somebody else. It is really, at the end of the day, comes down to a numbers game. So, let's look at some of the numbers. A chance of chromosomal abnormality as you age?

COHEN: Right. These numbers are very dramatic. As age 20, your chance of having a baby with a chromosomal abnormality, is one out of 526. At 30, grows to 1 out of 385, at 40 -- look how dramatic that is, look what happens in your 40s, 1 out of 66.

Now, certainly that doesn't mean you shouldn't have a baby at 40. That's not what that is saying. It does mean that is why all those tests kick in. That's why women have amnios. There's a reason for all that.

S. O'BRIEN: Because of all the risks of the tests are outweighing the tests itself.

COHEN: Right.

S. O'BRIEN: The risk of having a baby with any kind of abnormality. There's a good, I think, IM that I think kind of deals with this. "What is the ideal age, then, for a woman's body to have children? I was an early bloomer. My mom had trouble getting pregnant. I don't want additional health risks from waiting too long.

I would bet that the best age to get pregnant is some ridiculously low number like 15 or 16 -- for your body, like biologically speaking.

COHEN: Right. If you are looking just completely physically.

S. O'BRIEN: Biologically.

COHEN: Teenagers and very, very early 20s is really when women are meant to be having babies.

S. O'BRIEN: That's what my obstetrician used to say all the time.

COHEN: But of course, I mean, do you think you would have been a good mom at 16? Or 20? S. O'BRIEN: Or even 30 -- or 35?

COHEN: So there's definitely reasons to worry, if biologically that's true. If this woman has a family history of this, and is concerned and she is married and she's 21, maybe she should go ahead. And if she's ready to do that, to have a child.


S. O'BRIEN: Maybe it is a conversation to have with her doctor about that.

COHEN: Maybe. Safe and sure just do it the natural way.

M. O'BRIEN: Men peak at about age 18, too, right? I mean, so it is really all of this is just downhill. What we're talking about.

GUPTA: Well, necessarily speaking, you know, if you look at evolution, we evolved to be able to procreate and as quickly as possible we want to do that. After that our Darwinian warranty is all expired.

M. O'BRIEN: Darwin doesn't need us anymore.


GUPTA: Maybe we're pushing that back by having kids later. We want to stick around a little for them.

M. O'BRIEN: We are evolving, even as we speak.

S. O'BRIEN: Many more questions ahead this morning.

M. O'BRIEN: We have a lot more. Stay with us. Still taking your e-mails and you IMs. CNN, space, am is the IM. And is the e-mail. Stay with us. We'll talk about -- I forgot, oh it's memory. That's right.



M. O'BRIEN: All right, memories.

GUPTA: You know, it's interesting one of the most common questions we get is really about memory. People think they are losing their memory, people in their 30s, and younger think they might be developing Alzheimer's. Turns out there are some ways you can figure it out, and some ways to try and treat it, as well.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, James, it's Linda.

Who doesn't forget a word here and there?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was a -- uh, a big, uh --

GUPTA: Or occasionally the name of a person they just met.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like, hey, guy, how you doing? Instead of saying hey, Joe, how you doing?

GUPTA: But lately the 54-year-old Linda Jenkins, a busy sales woman, and 65-year-old entrepreneur Woody Fillhauer (ph) are experiencing those memory lapses a lot more often.

LINDA JENKINS, SALESWOMAN: Doctor who what? Out of where? What school?

GUPTA: Starting in your 30s some memory loss can be expected.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the first symptoms people have is forgetting names, names of people, names of movies, names of books they read.

GUPTA: How do you keep your mind sharp during through the years?

Juggling fast-track careers, and growing families means serious multitasking -- and serious stress. Under this sort of pressure your memory could be improved by sleeping at least eight hours each night. Getting regular exercise and forcing yourself to remember phone numbers without having to look at your cell phone or BlackBerry.

Some people in their 40s are turning to memory courses or memory boot camps. Boot camps teach mind benders, like puzzles, to keep the brain active. Other suggestions include stocking up on brain healthy foods rich in anti-oxidant and omega-3 fatty acids, which may keep brain cells from dying. And, again, exercising, cutting down on stress.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The one problem is if one stops doing that over a period of time your memory will decline back to where it was.

GUPTA: At 50 just forgetting names is no big cause for concern. But there are warning signs to watch out for.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They lose track of things. Start missing appointments, which they were in the habit of keeping regularly. Lose their way when driving to a familiar place.

GUPTA: If this is happening to you seek out a specialist, a neurologist or psychotherapist. If your memory problems are serious, a brain scan may be in order. Regardless of age there is no specific formula for staving off memory loss. But Doctor Dave Ahnan (ph) believes --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is good for the heart, is good for the brain.

GUPTA: So, watch your weight, exercise, don't smoke. All good tips for keeping your brain fit.


M. O'BRIEN: We are listening to that one. I have been taking some notes, trying to remember everything. If you know what I mean?

Memory loss, this is from Connie in Valpraso, Florida: "I am 40, my brother is 51, our father has short-term memory loss, possibly the first stages of Alzheimer's at the age of 81. What are the chances we'll have these same conditions and is there anything we can do now, at our ages, to prevent or at least slow down the problem?"

Good question, Connie.

COHEN: There's definitely a genetic component to Alzheimer's. So, Connie, with good reason is concerned about this. You can talk to a neurologist, he can talk to you about things to do; things to look out for.

What is interesting is that what doctors found not so much the forgetting the name of the person you just met, or forgetting a word, that's not as much as a concern as forgetting things you have done a lot. You forget, you drive to work and you get lost and you've worked there for 10 years. That's reason to be concerned.

If you are making a recipe you've made a million times and you can't remember how much sugar goes into it, that kind of thing. Things you have done over and over again that you're forgetting. That's more after concern.


S. O'BRIEN: In your piece, Sanjay, you talked about sleep, the sleep component. I'd be curious, not necessarily about memory, but talking about sleep and other factors of your life. When our show added an hour -- not that I'm complaining -- but I think everybody found we all gained like five pounds.


S. O'BRIEN: What does sleep have to do with your weight?

GUPTA: Several things, actually. One of the main things as a stress hormone called cortisol. And real simply, your body produces cortisol at different times and different amounts at different times during the day. That helps you regulate your weight. If you're awake when your cortisol levels are not where they should be they are probably going to have a slower metabolic rate, maybe more likely to put on some weight. So what you need do is get more sleep, really.

S. O'BRIEN: So, it is not about eating less, it is about sleeping more when you want to lose weight.

GUPTA: This is more about your metabolic rate, right. Which might change as a result of your sleeping patterns changing. And this cortisol, this stress hormone changes -- there is a lot of research actually going on, on this particular stress hormone, to figure out if there is some way that we could actually regulate it, change it in some way, so you're not as dramatically affected by lack of sleep.

Let me say one thing, as well, about the sleep.

S. O'BRIEN: Not that we're complaining.

GUPTA: I know.

M. O'BRIEN: It's a big issue here.

GUPTA: In terms of laying down memories, why do we sleep? We have this sleep special coming up. People cannot answer this question, why do we sleep? Part of it is we actually lay down the memories of the day. So, you sleep, you have all these experiences.

M. O'BRIEN: Kind of burning the disk, huh?

S. O'BRIEN: Have a bad day, bad memories, just stay up. Don't keep them.


M. O'BRIEN: That could be one way of doing it.


GUPTA: You're going to sleep.

S. O'BRIEN: Thank you so much, for great questions. Now we're going to get a big old doctor's bill from both of them.

M. O'BRIEN: Of course. Send it to all the viewers out there.

Sanjay Gupta, Elizabeth Cohen, great to have you by.

S. O'BRIEN: Yes, absolutely appreciate it.


Short break. We're back in just a moment.


S. O'BRIEN: A reminder we'll be coming to you live from Gulf Coast and New Orleans, as well, for Mardi Gras.

M. O'BRIEN: Yes.

S. O'BRIEN: But also to take a closer look at some of the things that have gone better in the area and some of the things that still need great improvement. Six months after Hurricane Katrina struck the region, we're going to be reporting there live starting on Monday morning. We hope to see you then.

M. O'BRIEN: That's all the time we have for this AMERICAN MORNING. We thank you all for being here as well, Sanjay Gupta, Elizabeth Cohen. Up next is Daryn Kagan, at the CNN Center, take you through the next couple of hours, CNN LIVE TODAY.

Hello, Daryn.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR, CNN LIVE TODAY: Hello, Miles and Soledad. You guys have a safe trip down to New Orleans.

S. O'BRIEN: Thanks.

KAGAN: We look forward to seeing you there early next week.

We're standing by, President Bush will be speaking any minute now. He's going to be making a speech on the war on terror. He's addressing today the American Legion gathering and this is taking place in Washington, D.C.. When he begins to speak we'll go back there live.



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