NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The opioid crisis, the age children start school and the health benefits of a sauna are among the latest health stories topping headlines this week.

CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez reports.

Opioid Crisis Grows Worse

The opioid abuse numbers keep getting worse. A new CDC report shows that drug overdose death rates are rising across the country, especially in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

In addition, suicide rates that have climbed since 1999 are contributing to a decline in United States life expectancy.

Even more disturbing is University of Michigan report that meth and opioid use is rising am among pregnant women in the U.S.

The study found the rate of opioid use during pregnancy quadrupled over the last 10 years, while amphetamine-affected births doubled.

Rural areas had the highest rates, partly because of less access to treatment.

When Should Your Kids Start School?

Children who enter elementary school a year younger than their peers are 30 percent more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit disorder.

That news comes from a Harvard Medical School study that looked at children in states with a September enrollment cutoff.

Children with August birthdays were often a year younger than classmates and had a harder time sitting still. Factoring in a child’s age when assessing behavior is key.

Hot Water For Better Health

Sitting in the sauna could be good for your health. A new study from Finland finds older men and women, who used a sauna four to seven times a week had a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease compared to those who only used a sauna once a week.

Those Scandanavians likely had been using saunas most of their lives and their hearts and bodies were accustomed to the high temperatures. Check with your doctor and start gradually to get used to the high temps in a sauna.

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