ADOLESCENT HEALTH IN THE NEWS
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ADOLESCENT HEALTH IN THE NEWS

 

RECENT RESEARCH

 
Bike riders risk kidney, genital injuries: study
Biking has plenty of health benefits, but riders also run the risk of an injury to the kidney or genitalia, according to a new study that found kids sustain about 10 times as many of these injuries as adults. Cyclists are often correctly encouraged to wear a helmet, but the study shows head injuries aren’t the only ones they should be concerned about, researchers write in the journal Injury Prevention. (Reuters, 4/3)  
 
Teens’ Screen Time May Affect Their Bone Health: Study
Spending too much time sitting in front of screens may be linked to poorer bone health in teen boys, according to a new study from Norway. It included 484 boys and 463 girls, aged 15 to 18, who underwent bone mineral density tests. They were asked about lifestyle habits, including how much time they spent in front of the television or computer on weekends, and their levels of physical activity. (HealthDay News, 4/4)
 
Plugged in but powered down
It’s not news that being a couch potato is bad for your health. Lack of physical activity is associated with a range of diseases from diabetes to heart attacks. It now turns out that young men who have experienced depression early in life may be especially vulnerable to becoming sedentary later in life – particularly to spending large amounts of time online each day. (McGill Reporter, 4/6)
 
Tobacco marketing reaches 1 in 10 teens and 1 in 4 young adults
Researchers have said that despite restrictions that a new study has revealed that not only are young people exposed to tobacco marketing, they are influenced by it. According to the study, exposure to “direct marketing” is associated with increased use of tobacco. (ANI News, 4/7)
 
Price tag for childhood obesity: $19,000 per kid
Over a lifetime, the medical costs associated with childhood obesity total about $19,000 per child compared with those for a child of normal weight, a new analysis shows. The costs are about $12,900 per person for children of normal weight who become overweight or obese in adulthood. (USA Today, 4/7)      
 
For Many Teens, Indoor Tanning Tied to Weight Control Issues
A new study discovers that high school students who use indoor tanning also have higher rates of unhealthy weight control behaviors, such as taking diet pills or vomiting to lose weight. The association between indoor tanning and unhealthy weight control methods may be even stronger for male than female adolescents. (Psych Central, 4/7)    
 
The teenage brain - work in progress
A European wide study which aims to identify and learn more about the biological and environmental factors that might influence mental health in teenagers is recalling its 2,000 volunteers for the second stage of the research. The IMAGEN Study recruited the teenagers at 14. Now, at 18, the same volunteers are back to see how their brains have changed over the last four years. The aim is to investigate factors that lead to the emergence of mental health issues such as mood disorders and substance abuse in adolescents. (Medical Xpress, 4/7)
           
Kids’ rates of walking to school not linked to crashes: study
It’s among parents’ worst fears: their child getting hit by a car while walking to school. But a new study shows that the rate of child pedestrian crashes does not increase in neighbourhoods where there are more children walking to school. In fact, areas that have denser populations are less likely to have such collisions.  (Toronto Star, 4/7)
 
Antipsychotic drug use among ADHD-diagnosed foster care youth is increasing
Antipsychotic medications are often used for unlabeled indications, such as treatment of children and adolescents with ADHD. The results of a study of “atypical antipsychotic” drug use among youths with ADHD, comparing age groups, Medicaid eligibility, and presence in foster care are presented in Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. (Medical Xpress, 4/7)         
 
More adolescents and young adults with type 1 diabetes as previously thought
New findings from researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy, published in Diabetologia, suggests that Sweden—the country already thought to have the second highest prevalence of type 1 diabetes in the world—could have 2-3 times more adolescents and young adults with type 1 diabetes than previously estimated. (Health Canal, 4/7)     
 
No evidence of Alzheimer’s disease-associated changes in adolescents carrying genetic risk factors
Two studies published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease indicate that some of the pathologic changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease in older individuals are not apparent in young people who carry the apolipoprotein genetic risk factor for developing the disease. (Medical Xpress, 4/7) 
 
Putting on the Peer Pressure to Cut Sugary Drink Use
Cutting back on sugar intake has a number of health benefits. And it’s important to develop those healthy eating habits in growing teens. In an attempt to curb consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages among high school students, researchers looked for a student-driven solution. This study suggests that peer-based intervention, led by teens and geared toward teens, could effectively help reduce intake of sugary drinks among high school-aged youths. (Daily Rx, 4/7)      
 
Young motorists lack self control
So now we have it in black and white – the emotional centre in young men’s brains overrides the area controlling their ability to make rational decisions. This leads to accidents among risk-seeking motorists. The aim was to study how young motorists dealt with a particular driving problem, the approach they selected, and the nature of their brain activity as they made their decisions. (Medical Xpress, 4/7)        
 
Stress hormone tied to crash risk among teens: study
Low levels of the hormone cortisol may identify teen drivers with a high likelihood of getting into car accidents, suggests a small new study. Newly-licensed teens who produced high cortisol under stress were less likely to be involved in a crash or a near-crash, the researchers found. Measuring cortisol might make a good test to flag young drivers in need of extra safety training, they conclude. (Reuters, 4/8)
 
Inverse link for carotenoid intake, benign breast disease
For adolescent girls, β-carotene intake is inversely associated with the risk of benign breast disease (BBD), according to a study published online April 7 in Pediatrics. The researchers identified an inverse correlation between β-carotene and BBD, with a multivariate-adjusted odds ratio of 0.58 comparing the highest to the lowest quartile (P trend = 0.03). Inverse associations were also observed for intake of α-carotene and lutein/zeaxanthin with BBD, but these were not statistically significant. (Medical Xpress, 4/8)
 
Shouting at children ‘increases their behaviour problems’
Mothers who angrily tell off their children when they step out of line may be making behaviour problems worse, according to research. A study by the London School of Economics found that excessive shouting and meting out hard-line punishments was counterproductive. Ignoring naughty children also appeared to lead to deterioration in discipline standards. Researchers said that “reasoning with children” was more likely to have a positive impact on their behaviour at a young age. (The Telegraph, 4/8)
 
Crafty alcohol advertising directed at US adolescents through music and branding
Alcohol consumption among adolescents is high. According to the CDC, 39 percent of U.S. adolescents are current drinkers, and roughly 22 percent are current binge drinkers. The average U.S. adolescent is also exposed to about 2.5 hours of popular music per day, and eight mentions of alcohol brands every day. A new study of linkages between adolescents’ involvement with music containing alcohol-brand mentions and their alcohol-related behaviors has found strong and independent associations between the two. (Medical Xpress, 4/8)
 
Just One Season of Hits in High School Football May Alter Brain: Study
Even among high school football players who’ve never had a concussion, a small preliminary study suggests that changes can still occur to their brains within the course of a single season. The study involved 45 members of a 2012 varsity team. Players underwent two brain scans -- one before and one after the season -- with a special type of MRI. (HealthDay News, 4/8)
 
Italian adolescents wrongly believe energy drinks are comparable to soda and sports drinks
Energy drinks (EDs) have become increasingly popular among teenagers and young adults over recent years, often mixed with alcohol, yet their excessive use may have serious health consequences and also serve as an indicator for other risky behaviors. A recent study of ED consumption among Italian adolescents has found a strong need for comprehensive educational programs that focus on the potential health effects of EDs, alcohol, and a combination of the two. (Medical Xpress, 4/8)
 
Smoking linked to higher risk of heart disease in teen girls
Teenage girls who smoke or take the oral contraceptive pill are at greater risk of heart disease than boys who smoke. The study, published in the Journal of Lipid Research, found higher levels of C-reactive protein - linked to cardiovascular disease - in girls who smoked and were not using oral contraceptives, compared to girls who smoked and were taking the contraceptives, and boys who smoked, of the same age. (Medical Xpress, 4/9)

NATIONAL


New Murphy, Booker, Cárdenas Introduce At-Risk Youth Medicaid Protection Act Of 2014
U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Congressman Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.) announced the introduction of the At-Risk Youth Medicaid Protection Act of 2014, legislation that ensures youths who spend time in the juvenile justice system receive the health care they need once they leave. (Political News, 4/6)

Blumenthal, Esty propose bill to ban e-cigarette advertising geared to kids
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5th District, said Monday that they hope bills they have each introduced to ban electronic-cigarette companies from advertising their products to children will receive bipartisan support. It calls for the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to regulate e-cigarette advertising as it does for other tobacco products. (The Day, 4/7)          
 
Sexting teens can face lifelong consequences
The consequences and risks of children sexting one another have been well documented in news reports since, but the practice of sending sexually explicit or nude photos through cellphone texts, apps or social networks continues. At least 20 states have created laws to address sexting among juveniles. Some have made it a misdemeanor rather than a felony, to prevent a teenager from having to register as a sex offender for sexting. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 4/7)           
 
No real progress on child obesity, latest report says
Reports of significant progress against child obesity in the United States have been premature, say the latest researchers to take a look at the data. Overall child obesity rates are flat, and rates of severe obesity are rising, says a study published Monday by JAMA Pediatrics. And the idea that rates are plunging among preschoolers — heralded in a study and press release from the CDC just weeks ago — did not stand up when researchers scrutinized a few extra years of data, says lead author Asheley Cockrell Skinner. (USA Today, 4/7)

Teen birth rates have plunged but many concerns remain about 15- to 17-year-olds
The plunge in teenage birth rates to historic lows has been well-documented, and the CDC weighed in Tuesday with its own report on progress over the past 20 years. During that period, births to girls aged 15-19 dropped from 84.1 per 1,000 teens in 1991 t0 29.4 in 2012. But the CDC report issued Tuesday also contains some facts that should chill any parent buoyed by the overall results. More than one-fourth of those children were born to girls aged 15 to 17 in 2012. Among sexually active teens in this age group, 83.3 percent did not receive formal sex education before the first time they had sex. (Washington Post, 4/8)

Today Is National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD)
Today is National Youth HIV & AIDS Awareness Day (NYHAAD). This observance brings together young leaders, national community partners and many other organizations and individual nation-wide to foster a better response to the HIV epidemic. The national lead for NYHAAD is Advocates for Youth (AIDS.gov, 4/10)

 

INTERNATIONAL

    

UN official urges world to tackle unsafe abortions
The head of the U.N. population agency said Monday that the world must address why 8.7 million young women aged 15 to 24 resort to unsafe abortions each year. Babatunde Osotimehin also called on governments to explore why more than 200 million women in developing countries who want to prevent pregnancies don’t have access to contraception. And he said countries must answer why one in three girls in developing countries are married before they turn 18, despite near universal commitment to ending child marriages. (Medical Xpress, 4/8)
 
EC Approves Sanofi’s Two-Dose Gardasil For Adolescents
Sanofi Pasteur MSD announced that it has received marketing authorization from the European Commission for its HPV vaccine Gardasil, indicated for a two-dose schedule at zero and six months in pediatric patients aged from nine to 13 years old. Study data showed that patients who received Gardasil experienced strong reduction in high grade pre-cancerous cervical lesions. National vaccination programs in Australia also led to the near disappearance of genital warts in patients involved in the program. (Bioresearch Online, 4/9)
 
More teens abstaining from alcohol
A broad change in drinking behaviour has occurred among Australian adolescents in the last decade. The percentage of Australians aged 14-17 who do not drink alcohol has increased from almost 33% in 2001 to over 50% in 2010, research from UNSW’s National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) shows. (Medical Xpress, 4/10)

 

 

RECENT PUBLICATIONS


Vital Signs: Births to Teens Aged 15–17 Years — United States, 1991–2012
Although the birth rate of teens aged 15–17 years declined 63% during the period 1991–2012, about one in four teen births occurred to younger teens (those aged 15–17 years) in 2012. About one in four females teens aged 15–17 years have ever had sex. Among those who have, about eight in 10 had not received any formal sex education before the first time they had sex. About nine in 10 sexually active younger teens used some form of contraception the last time they had sex. However, only 1% used one of the two most effective reversible methods (i.e., intrauterine devices or implants). Strategies to delay sexual initiation and increase the use of the most effective birth control methods include implementing evidence-based youth programs, helping parents talk to their teens about sex and contraception, and making sure that a sexually active younger teen can access reproductive health-care services. (CDC MMWR, 4/11)
 
Diagnosis and Screening for Obesity-Related Conditions Among Children and Teens Receiving Medicaid — Maryland, 2005–2010
Among Maryland Medicaid or Maryland Children’s Health Program enrollees, the percentage of children and teens aged 2–19 years with a BMI at or above the 95th percentile is higher than in a nationally representative sample of the U.S. population. Despite recommendations for laboratory screening of children and adolescents with a BMI at or above the 85th percentile, the rates of lipid and fasting glucose screening among Maryland Medicaid or Maryland Children’s Health Program enrollees were below what is recommended. Similarly, rates of documented dietary and exercise counseling also were below what is recommended. (CDC MMWR, 4/11)



NEW RESOURCES AVAILABLE

 

New 2012 School Health Profiles Products Released
Today, the Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) released two 2012 School Health Profiles (Profiles) products on the Profiles web site at http://www.cdc.gov/schoolhealthprofiles. The release includes a fact sheet for each state, large urban school district, territory, and tribal government that reports results from the 2012 Profiles on the following topics: HIV, other STD, and teen pregnancy prevention, Chronic disease prevention, Other selected school health topics. Also included is a PowerPoint presentation that presents state results, by quartiles, on a U.S. map.



 





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