ADOLESCENT HEALTH IN THE NEWS
      RECENT RESEARCH
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      INTERNATIONAL
NEW RESOURCES AVAILABLE
UPCOMING WEBINARS
 


 

ADOLESCENT HEALTH IN THE NEWS

 

RECENT RESEARCH


Girls Suffer Worse Concussions, Study Suggests
Girls who suffer a concussion may have more severe symptoms that last longer compared to boys, according to new research that builds on other studies finding gender differences. “There have been several studies suggesting there are differences between boys and girls as far as [concussion] symptom reporting and the duration of symptoms,” said Dr. Shayne Fehr, a pediatric sports medicine specialist at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. (Doctors Lounge, 4/10)     
 
Social Skills a Casualty of Childhood Head Injury, Study Suggests
Serious head injuries may be linked to children’s lack of ability to interact with others, a new study indicates. Researchers looked at a group of children who had suffered a traumatic brain injury three years earlier, most often in car crashes. Those with lingering damage in the brain’s frontal lobes had lower-quality social lives. (HealthDay News, 4/10)
 
Teens’ Indoor Tanning May Be Linked to Unhealthy Dieting
Teens who use indoor tanning may also try to control their weight through unhealthy methods, such as taking diet pills and vomiting, researchers say. This link is stronger in boys than in girls, according to the study. “Poor body image is associated with both indoor tanning behavior and eating disorder behaviors,” David Schwebel, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, wrote in an accompanying editorial. (U.S. News & World Report, 4/11)
 
Epileptic children and young adults at greater risk for fractures and burns
Some kids may be at greater risk than others for injury, such as those with epilepsy. A recent study found that epileptic children and young adults were more likely to experience injuries than those without epilepsy. The injuries included fractures, burns and poisonings with medication. The reasons behind the increased risk might relate to accidents that happen during seizures.  (DailyRx, 4/13)
 
Video Games Do Not Negatively Impact Academic Performance In Adolescents [Study]
For teens who enjoy video games, a recent study conducted by researchers at the Flinders University in South Australia have found that video games do not negatively impact the academic performance of adolescents. According to one of the researchers, Dr. Aaron Drummond, their research found that there was a small reduction in reading scores, but that impact was considered negligible.  (Ubergizmo, 4/14)
 
Girls’ mental health suffers when romances unfold differently than they imagined                       
A new study reveals that for adolescent girls, having a romantic relationship play out differently than they imagined it would has negative implications for their mental health. “I found that girls’ risk of severe depression, thoughts of suicide, and suicide attempt increase the more their relationships diverge from what they imagined,” said the study’s author. (Medical Xpress, 4/15)           
 
Childhood atopic dermatitis was associated with warts and increased infections
The exact cause of childhood eczema is not known, but it may involve an issue with the immune system that increases the risk of other health problems. A study designed and conducted to test that theory found that children with eczema had higher rates of infections like ear infections, strep throat, flu and pneumonia. Some of them also had a greater incidence of warts.  (DailyRx, 4/15)
 
Brain Injury in Teens Increased Emotional Issues
Every year, more than half a million teenagers experience a serious concussion. These brain injuries often leave lasting damage, but to what extent? A recent study found that teenagers who have had a traumatic brain injury were at a significantly increased risk of being bullied, attempting or considering suicide, having elevated psychological stress and engaging in various poor conduct behaviors such as running away from home or starting a fight at school.  (DailyRx, 4/15)
 
Lifestyle Linked to Early Death in Childhood Cancer Survivors
New research showed that some adults who had cancer as children had numerous health problems as they aged and tended to exercise too little and worry too much. These childhood cancer survivors were also more likely to die early deaths due to chronic illness or living unhealthy lives. This risk is compared to that of other cancer survivors who go on to lead lengthy, healthy lives. (DailyRx, 4/15)
 
No Surgery Required for Children’s Appendicitis
A research team tested whether appendicitis in children could be treated effectively with antibiotics, avoiding the serious procedure and recovery period associated with surgery. The researchers found that appendicitis was successfully treated with antibiotics in almost all of the children who were treated with them. This treatment meant kids could return to school sooner and felt better than the children whose appendicitis was treated with surgery. (DailyRx, 4/16)
 
Casual pot use causes brain abnormalities in the young: study
Young, casual marijuana smokers experience potentially harmful changes to their brains, with the drug altering regions of the mind related to motivation and emotion, researchers found. The study to be published on Wednesday in the Journal of Neuroscience differs from many other pot-related research projects that are focused on chronic, heavy users of cannabis. (Reuters, 4/16)
 
Key Brain ‘Networks’ May Differ in Autism, Study Suggests
Differences in brain connectivity may help explain the social impairments common in those who have autism spectrum disorders, new research suggests. The small study compared the brains of 25 teens with an autism spectrum disorder to those of 25 typically developing teens, all aged 11 to 18. The researchers found key differences between the two groups in brain “networks” that help people to figure out what others are thinking, and to understand others’ actions and emotions. (Doctors Lounge, 4/16)           
 
Masculine boys and feminine girls more likely to get cancer
“Girly” girls and macho teenage boys put themselves at greater risk of cancer because they are more likely to use sunbeds or smoke, warns a new study. Researchers found the most feminine teenage girls used tanning beds more often and are more likely not to exercise. And masculine teenage boys are more likely to smoke because they perceive it as “manly”, according to the study. (The Telegraph, 4/16)
 
Autism in adolescents appears to be associated with atypical connectivity in brain, says study
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in adolescents appears to be associated with atypical connectivity in the brain involving the systems that help people infer what others are thinking and understand the meaning of others’ actions and emotions. The ability to navigate and thrive in complex social systems is commonly impaired in ASD, a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting as many as 1 in 88 children. (News Medical, 4/17)
 
Distracted driving among teens threatens public health and safety
Motor vehicle crashes rank as the leading cause of teen deaths and in 2008, 16% of all distraction-related fatal automobile crashes involved drivers under 20 years of age. These grim statistics, coupled with an increasing nationwide awareness of the dangers of distracted driving for all ages, prompted the publication of an important supplement to the Journal of Adolescent Health that explores the causes of distracted driving and offers practical recommendations to reduce the incidence of distracted driving among teens. (Science Codex, 4/17)

 

NATIONAL

 

Sebelius Resigns After Troubles Over Health Site
Kathleen Sebelius, the health and human services secretary, is resigning, ending a stormy five-year tenure marred by the disastrous rollout of President Obama’s signature legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act. Mr. Obama accepted Ms. Sebelius’s resignation this week, and on Friday morning, he will nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, to replace her, officials said. (New York Times, 4/10)
 
Obamacare enrollment to surpass 7.5 million: U.S. official
More than 7.5 million people are expected to sign up for private health coverage this year under President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, the top U.S. health official said on Thursday. The number, which surpasses the 7.1 million total Obama announced just last week, includes 400,000 people allowed to sign up for private health plans through a federal marketplace after a March 31 deadline because they had not been able to complete their enrollment applications on time. (Reuters, 4/10)
 
Accounted For: Can School Clinics Improve Attendance?
This story is part four of Accounted For, an ongoing project of St. Louis Public Radio that explores the connection between chronic absenteeism — defined as missing three and a half weeks or more of school — and classroom success .As educators in Missouri  shift their focus from big picture attendance data to individual students, they are looking at how school clinics can help keep kids in school.  (St. Louis Public Radio, 4/10)
 
E-Cigarettes Are Targeted at Youths, Report Says
An investigation by Democratic members of Congress into the marketing practices of electronic cigarette companies has found that major producers are targeting young people by giving away free samples at music and sporting events and running radio and television advertisements during youth-oriented programs. The inquiry, led by Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, and Representative Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of California, was conducted as the Food and Drug Administration prepared a major package of tobacco control rules that would place e-cigarettes under federal regulation for the first time. (New York Times, 4/14)
 
The New Sex Education Focuses on Preventing Violence
Since 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has taken a multi-pronged approach that leverages parents, schools, local health departments, and positive peer pressure in a preventive program called Dating Matters. During its five-year, four-city pilot, the CDC is focusing on preventing dating violence among middle-schoolers in Baltimore, Chicago, Oakland, and Fort Lauderdale. (The Atlantic, 4/14)

 

INTERNATIONAL


Vaccine proves cost effective: but coverage needs improving
The New Zealand Government’s investment in HPV vaccination for girls is a “good value-for-money” way to protect health, a just-published study shows. Despite a modest 47% coverage rate (at the time of analysis) and targeting young women only, there are health benefits to both men and women from herd immunity. Meanwhile, the BODE3 team has developed a model that shows the vaccination programme has a cost-effectiveness of $18,800 per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained (Scoop, 4/15)


 

NEW RESOURCES AVAILABLE


AAP: Understanding and addressing excessive media use 
AAP is offering a new online course “Media: Wired Kids and Your Practice“ provides ideas for screening for media use, specific suggestions for anticipatory guidance including adolescent behaviors on social media sites, and ways in which pediatricians can utilize media for health promotion.

 

UPCOMING WEBINARS


CDC: Successful Teen Pregnancy Prevention: Connecting Clinical Care and Community Interventions
Research demonstrates that clinical and educational contraceptive services as well as behavioral interventions are needed to reduce the rate of teen pregnancy. In this webinar, Title X-funded family planning providers will share lessons learned about how to provide high quality clinical services to teens. Providers will also describe ways that clinical providers and community-based organizations that provide behavioral interventions can work together to reach and effectively serve teens in their communities. Register for the webinar here.
When: Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 3-4:15 p.m. ET
 
AHRQ: Webinar on Harnessing Health Information Technology
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is hosting a webinar on how health IT can support the information needs of patients served by primary care teams. The presenters will highlight the perspectives of practice-based research networks (PBRNs) on using health information technology to facilitate access to care, encourage patient engagement, and improve health care quality. Register for the webinar here.
When: Friday, April 29 from 2-3:30 p.m. ET,
 
OAH: Make the Connection: How Positive Youth Development Offers Promise for Teen Health & Teen Pregnancy Prevention
May is Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. In observance, the HHS Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) is hosting a live webcast on positive youth development. We invite you to join us! You’ll learn: What positive youth development is, and how it’s valuable for programs working with adolescents; The research behind positive youth development, and what we know about its success in teen pregnancy prevention; How community programs have been using positive youth development to benefit youth; and, Future interventions using positive youth development, and the way forward for positive youth development research. Please register for the webcast here.
When: Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 2-3 p.m. ET 

 



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