ADOLESCENT HEALTH IN THE NEWS
      RECENT RESEARCH
      NATIONAL
      INTERNATIONAL
RECENT PUBLICATIONS
CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENTS
UPCOMING WEBINARS
 


 

ADOLESCENT HEALTH IN THE NEWS

 

RECENT RESEARCH

 
Children taught about sexual abuse more likely to report it
A global review finds children who take part in school-based programs designed to prevent sexual abuse are more likely to report it to an adult than children who have received no such education. For the review, published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, researchers examined published studies covering nearly 6,000 elementary and high school children in several countries around the world. (Medical News Today, 4/16)
 
Higher Altitude Linked With Lower Rates of ADHD
The effects of higher altitude may reduce the risk of ADHD, a new study suggests. The research was published in the Journal of Attention Disorders.  The research team relied on elevation data gathered during a NASA space shuttle mission. The researchers found that for every one-foot increase in elevation, the likelihood of being diagnosed with ADHD by a health care provider decreased by 0.001 percent. (Physician’s Briefing, 4/17)
 
Could There Be A Link Between ADHD And Child Sexual Abuse?
New findings published in the journal Child Abuse & Neglect show that adults with ADHD may have also been physically or sexually abused during the teenage years. During the study, researchers found that 34 percent of female participants with ADHD reported having been sexually abused before the age of 18 while 14 percent of women without ADHD reported childhood sexual abuse. (Science World Report, 4/17)
 
Care needed to reduce pet-to-human infection risk
Pets can be a source of infection, and newborns, the elderly, children with leukemia and adults with cancer are especially vulnerable, according to a new review of data from previous research. Selecting the right pets and using safe strategies to care for them can reduce the risk, the authors write. “Pets have a number of really important health benefits,” including emotional and social support, said lead author Dr. Jason Stull. (Reuters, 4/20)
 
Study: Why kids with ADHD need to squirm
Parents and teachers who tell kids with ADHD to sit still and focus may have it all wrong. So report researchers, who conclude in the latest issue of the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology that the kids they tested with ADHD performed better on cognitive tests when moving around. The researchers studied 52 boys ages 8 to 12 as they performed tasks that tested their working memory. (USA Today, 4/20)
 
Girls face ‘sharp rise in emotional problems’
The number of schoolgirls at risk of emotional problems has risen sharply, an English study in the Journal of Adolescent Health suggests. Scientists analyzed questionnaires completed by 1,600 pupils aged 11-13 in 2009, comparing them with similar surveys conducted five years later. They were “surprised” by a 7% spike in girls reporting emotional issues while boys’ answers remained fairly stable. (BBC, 4/20)
 
Pills Can Be Less Yucky for Kids, Study Finds
Many sick kids can’t or won’t swallow pills - and that can make them sicker. But there may be some pretty simple ways to help the medicine go down, a new study says. Researchers reviewed research on pill-swallowing techniques. Several seemed to help, including flavored swallowing spray, a special pill cup and just practice with a regular cup and fake pills or candy. (US News and World Report, 4/20)
 
Child obesity intervention with strong IT support found to be effective
Childhood obesity is a major public health issue, yet many interventions to improve body mass index in children have been found to be ineffective. A new study has suggested that an intervention program utilizing computerized health records could lead to positive results. The study explored to what extent clinical decision support for pediatric clinicians helped to improve the BMI and quality of care of obese children. (Medical News Today, 4/21)
 
Underage youth exposure to alcohol advertising affects their drinking behavior
Underage youth who cite alcohol marketing and the influence of adults, movies or other media as the main reasons for choosing to consume a specific brand of alcohol are more likely to drink more and report adverse consequences from their drinking than youth who report other reasons for selecting a specific brand, new research suggests. The findings suggest youth exposure to alcohol marketing affects their behavior. (News Medical, 4/21)
 
A higher than expected fraction of adolescent osteosarcoma patients carry a gene mutation that is often inherited
A new study shows that inherited variations in a known tumor suppressor gene among children and adolescents with osteosarcoma are more common than previously thought. Older patients who are also susceptible to this malignancy were not found to carry TP53 mutations. The study found that the genetic susceptibility to young onset osteosarcoma is distinct from older adult onset osteosarcoma. (Health Canal, 4/21)
 
Sports Participation Seems Safe for Children With LQTS
There is no evidence of cardiac events or deaths occurring in treatment-compliant genotype-positive long QT syndrome (LQTS) pediatric patients who participate in sports, according to research published in JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology. Researchers conducted a retrospective review on genotype-positive patients referred for the evaluation and management of LQTS between 1998 and 2013. (Doctors Lounge, 4/21)
 
Perceived racial discrimination linked to depression in African-American adolescent women
New research examined the extent to which genetic variation — differences within a particular region of a gene (5-HTTLPR) that processes emotions — links to perceived racial discrimination and high levels of depressive symptoms in African American adolescent women. The team found that an interaction between perceived racial discrimination and 5-HTTLPR was significantly associated with depressive symptoms. (Health Canal, 4/21)
 
Eating Disorders Common in Girls With Type 1 Diabetes
For girls and young women with type 1 diabetes, eating disorders are common and persistent, according to a study published in Diabetes Care. Researchers describe the longitudinal course of disturbed eating behavior and eating disorders in 126 girls with type 1 diabetes. The girls participated in a series of seven interview-based assessments of eating disorder behavior and psychopathology over a 14-year period. (Physician’s Briefing, 4/22)
 
Gene May Play Part in How Kids Respond to Asthma Meds: Study
Researchers say they’ve identified a gene that affects whether children with asthma respond to corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are the most effective treatment for asthma, but some children don’t respond well to the drugs. Researchers analyzed the genomes of 57 children with asthma, and found that the activity of a gene called VNN-1 affected whether they were good or poor responders to corticosteroid treatment. (HealthDay News, 4/22)
 
Increasing Number of Children Present With DKA in T1DM
A growing number of American children and teens with type 1 diabetes are experiencing diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) at the time of their diagnosis, according to new research. Researchers looked at the medical records of 3,439 patients younger than 18 who were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes between 1998 and 2012 and found that 39 percent of the children had DKA at the time of their diagnosis. (Physician’s Briefing, 4/22)
 
Drexel Releases National Indicators Report on Autism & Adolescent Transitions
What happened to young adults with autism between high school and their early 20s? 36% attended any postsecondary education. 19% lived independently. 58% had a job for pay. 74% received any services. Answers to critical questions, addressing life outcomes beyond clinical interventions, are the focus of a report issued from the Life Course Outcomes Research Program. (Health Canal, 4/22)
 
New Academic Pediatrics Article Explores Medical Homeness
A new study on the relationship between patient centered medical homes and health care use in three CHIPRA Quality Demonstration Grant Program States is now available. Researchers used practice-reported PCMH assessments and Medicaid claims from child-serving practices to estimate the linkage between medical homeness and well-child care and nonurgent, preventable, or avoidable emergency department use. (AHRQ, 4/23)
 
Gene Tx May Benefit Children, Teens With Wiskott-Aldrich Sx
Gene therapy may benefit children and teens with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, a rare immunodeficiency caused by mutations in the WAS gene, according to a small new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.  Researchers looked at a therapy in which the patient’s own blood stem cells are removed to correct the WAS gene. The blood stem cells are then injected back into the patient. (Physician’s Briefing, 4/23)
 
Study: This is your teen’s brain behind the wheel
A new study of teenagers and their moms reveals how adolescent brains negotiate risk – and the factors that modulate their risk-taking behind the wheel. In the study, reported in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 14-year-old subjects completed a simulated driving task while researchers tracked blood flow in their brains. In one trial, the teen driver was alone; in another, the teen’s mother was present and watching. (Health Canal, 4/23)

 

NATIONAL


California health officials declare measles outbreak over
A measles outbreak in California that began in December at the Disneyland and California Adventure theme parks and highlighted the risk of unvaccinated people becoming infected and spreading the disease has ended with 131 cases, officials said. Nineteen percent of the people in California who became ill from measles had to be hospitalized. (Reuters, 4/17)
 
68K sign up during ObamaCare’s extra period
More than 68,000 people have signed up for healthcare during ObamaCare’s extra enrollment period so far this year, the government announced. People who lack insurance have 10 more days to buy coverage through the federal marketplace to avoid next year’s penalty. The Obama administration announced that it would give people a chance to buy coverage if they learned about the fee for the first time while paying their taxes. (The Hill, 4/20)
 
Seeking Obamacare alternative, Republicans eye tax credits
If the U.S. Supreme Court blows up the tax subsidies at the heart of Obamacare in June, Republicans hope to deliver on their promise to offer an alternative healthcare plan. But key parts of it may resemble the one President Barack Obama delivered five years ago in the ACA, partly reflecting Republican concerns that they could pay a political price if insurance subsidies are yanked from millions of Americans later this year. (Reuters, 4/20)
 
Poll: Obamacare in positive territory (by one point)
There’s more evidence that President Obama’s health care law is gaining in popularity. According to the monthly Kaiser Health Tracking Poll released, 43% have a favorable view of the Affordable Care Act and 42% have an unfavorable view -- the first time the law has been in positive territory since November of 2012, the month President Obama won re-election. (USA Today, 4/21)
 
FDA Unveils $1 Million Postmarket Surveillance Grant
The FDA is offering a grant of up to $1 million to turn large amounts of electronic health record data into usable figures highlighting postmarket risks of various drugs. The goal is for the agency to be able to perform continuous risk/benefit assessments of drugs after they hit the market. The FDA announced plans in January to build a database of electronic health records as part of the Mini-Sentinel project.  (FDA News, 4/21)
 
Why are teens oblivious to the pile of dirty clothes on the bedroom floor?
Teenagers always have been a mystery puzzling their parents: What was he thinking when he drove down a one-way street the wrong way just for kicks? Frances Jensen, a neuroscientist and single mother of two boys, delved into the emerging science of the adolescent brain. She came out with provocative new insights for parents, educators, public policymakers and teens themselves. (Washington Post, 4/22)
 
ACOs now serve about 16% of US residents
As the accountable care model begins to catch on, more patients are receiving care in these organizations. In fact, nearly 70 percent of the U.S. population lives in an area served by an ACO, according to research from consulting firm Oliver Wyman.  The research analyzed data from HHS’ latest announced class of Medicare ACOs and some independent research. (Becker’s Hospital Review, 4/22)
 
Stigma and Poverty Make HIV/AIDS Deadlier in the Deep South
Despite having only 28 percent of the total U.S. population, nine states in the Deep South account for nearly 40 percent of national HIV diagnoses. So why are we seeing higher death rates and lower survival rates among those living with HIV in the Deep South? The reasons are complicated, but poverty, social stigma, lack of health-care infrastructure, and more rural geography likely all play a role. (New Republic, 4/22)
 
How do race and ethnicity influence childhood obesity?
Obesity is a serious public health problem in the US and can affect anyone regardless of age. In particular, childhood obesity prevalence remains high. As well as compromising a child’s immediate health, obesity can also negatively influence long-term health dramatically. Unfortunately, some racial and ethnic groups are affected by obesity much more than others. (Medical News Today, 4/23)
 
California bill ending ‘beliefs’ exemption for childhood vaccines advances
California’s senate education committee approved a bill making it mandatory for children to be vaccinated before starting school despite opposition from “ant-vaxxer” parents who have packed public hearings and flooded lawmakers with calls. Under the bill, only children with medical waivers to opt out of vaccinations would be exempted. (Reuters, 4/23)
 
We’ve Been Here Before: Congress Quietly Increases Funding for Abstinence-Only Programs
Last week, Congress overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan $200 billion Medicare “doc fix” and health program funding bill. The bill did not pass without its fair share of controversy. But one of its provisions seemed to have escaped public scrutiny: a two-year extension of the Title V Sec. 510 program that funds the implementation of ineffective and stigmatizing abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. (RH Reality Check, 4/23)

 

INTERNATIONAL


Sierra Leone: Health Ministry Launches ‘No Sex for Grades Campaign’
The National Secretariat for the Reduction of Teenage Pregnancy launched an awareness raising campaign on the theme: “No Sex for Grades Campaign”. The aim of the campaign is to educate teenagers to recognize the negative impact early sex has on their health and educational output as well as empower them with information to make healthy choices in their sexual and reproductive health. (All Africa, 4/20)
 
Indonesia: Civil Groups Make Case for Sex Education in Schools
A national adolescent sexual and reproductive health conference hosted by five civil society organizations hopes to be the start of a movement educating Indonesia’s youth about the importance of staying sexually safe and healthy. ”Raising awareness and boosting knowledge about sexual and reproduction health among the country’s young people is urgent and extremely important,” said Yuli Evina Bhara. (Jakarta Globe, 4/21)
 
Tanzania: Risks of Ignoring Special Youth Reproductive Health Services
Many young people are at risk of a broad range of health problems. Sexual and reproductive health behaviors are among the main causes of death, disability and disease among the youth. They are at particular risk for unwanted pregnancy and related problems, STIs and HIV/AIDS. The need for sexual and reproductive health services for young people has, over the past years, become particularly critical for a number of reasons. (All Africa, 4/21)


RECENT PUBLICATIONS

 

CDC Winnable Battles Progress Report 2014
We’re seeing progress in two-thirds of the indicators associated with CDC Winnable Battles, according to a new CDC report. Of the 15 indicators tracked in CDC Winnable Battles 2010-2015, Progress Report 2014, 10 have shown progress, 1 had no change and 4 are trending in the wrong direction. Two of the indicators - teen birth rate and the percent of youth who smoke cigarettes - have already declined past their 2015 targets. (CDC, 4/17)
 
ACP Supports Ban on Flavoring, Ads for E-Cigarettes
The U.S. FDA should ban flavorings and television advertisements for e-cigarettes, according to a position paper released by the American College of Physicians and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. There is scant evidence that e-cigarettes help people quit smoking, as claimed by manufacturers, and the chemicals used in these devices may be harmful to both smokers and bystanders. (Physician’s Briefing, 4/22)



 

CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

The Care and Protection of Unaccompanied Immigrant Children Crossing Our Borders: What Can Pediatricians Do in Their Own Communities?
Over 60,000 unaccompanied children, fleeing violence in the Central America, have crossed our border. This PAS workshop brings together national experts on immigrant child health, and pediatricians who have been caring for these children at the border or at their destinations, to provide a hands-on experience in dealing with the complex web of issues these children experience. This workshop will be health on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 from 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM in San Diego.
 
Celebration of Pediatric Pulmonology 2015
This course, held June 12-13, specifically targets physicians who care for children with lung disease. Highlights include: the Edwin L. Kendig, Jr., Award presented to Dr. Gregory J. Redding, reviews of recent clinical and basic research, ethical decision making in pulmonary disease, workshops on noninvasive and invasive ventilation management, and discussion of the “Choosing Wisely” Campaign for pediatric pulmonology. (AAP, 4/23)


UPCOMING WEBINARS


STD Prevention Science Series Webinar - Public Health in a Hostile Environment: Racial Inequality and STD/HIV in the US
Please join the CDC on June 4, 2015 from 1:00pm – 2:00pm ET for the next STD Prevention Science Series when Dr. Adaora Adimora presents on the impact of racial inequality and social determinants on the process of designing interventions and performing research. It’s now well understood that social factors are a major determinant of HIV and other STDs. But how can we develop relevant interventions? (CDC, 4/21)


 



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