ADOLESCENT HEALTH IN THE NEWS
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ADOLESCENT HEALTH IN THE NEWS

 

RECENT RESEARCH


The Risks of Youth E-Cig Use
Experimenting is often how kids and teens learn. Experimenting with electronic cigarettes, however, may be risky. A new review of research on e-cigarettes found that these devices were a high-growth market in the US — particularly among adolescents. In fact, more young people used e-cigs than conventional cigarettes. These products have not been well-studied, and their health risks are unknown, the author of this study said. (Daily Rx, 4/23)
 
Young women say they are happy with IUDs
College women who choose an IUD for long-term contraception say it hurts to have the device inserted at first, but they are otherwise very happy with it more than a year later, according to a new survey. ACOG and AAP have both endorsed IUDs as first-line contraception for young women who have never had children, but many providers, especially in the U.S., still are not comfortable giving IUDs to these women. (Reuters, 4/23)
 
Exercise Can’t Fix the Damage of a Bad Diet
Although physical activity is important for health, a healthy diet is essential for weight loss - and regular exercise will not make up for a poor diet, according to an editorial published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The researchers note that sugar calories promote fat storage and hunger, while fat calories induce satiation. (Physician’s Briefing, 4/24)
 
Teens with History of Self-Poisoning Face Greater Suicide Risk
Teens who survive self-poisoning with drugs are at a significantly increased risk for suicide over the following decade, a new study shows. The longitudinal study included more than 20,000 teens who were treated at hospital ERs for self-poisoning. The suicide risk among teens who had previously poisoned themselves was more than 30 times higher than among their peers in the general population. (HealthDay News, 4/25)
 
More Than 1 in 10 Teens Has Tried E-Cigarettes, Study Finds
American teens’ use of electronic cigarettes is growing, especially among those who also smoke tobacco cigarettes, according to a new study. Researchers surveyed more than 10,000 teens across the nation from 2012 to 2014. They found that 22 percent of teens used tobacco cigarettes, 13 percent used water pipes (hookahs), and 10 percent used e-cigarettes during that time. (HealthDay News, 4/26)
 
HPV Vaccine Produces Early Benefits for Teen Girls: Study
Girls as young as 14 are receiving important health benefits from the HPV vaccine, a new study reports. Canadian girls who received the vaccine around age 13 experienced a “large and significant reduction” in cases of cervical dysplasia at ages 14 to 17, researchers found. Additionally, the girls suffered fewer cases of genital warts, which are also caused by HPV. (HealthDay News, 4/27)
 
Blocking smartphone use by teen drivers may reduce crash risks
Filming teens while they drive and blocking cell phone signals inside their cars may both help reduce distractions that lead to crashes, a small study suggests. “We found a large, significant reduction in high-risk driving events like hard braking and sudden swerving,” said lead study author Dr. Beth Ebel. Researchers followed 29 drivers, ages 15 to 18, for six months. (Reuters, 4/27)
 
Teen texting and driving dips with state laws
According to a new analysis of nationwide surveys, teens report less texting while driving in the years following statewide bans. But texting while driving rates are still high, the researchers found. Rates of texting while driving seem to be declining, but almost a third of teens still report doing it within the previous month. The researchers used the 2011 and 2013 rounds of the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey. (Reuters, 4/27)
 
When Sex Ed Discusses Gender Inequality, Sex Gets Safer
In a new study, Nicole Haberland, a senior associate at the Population Council, makes the case that “comprehensive” sex education should include gender and power dynamics. The study, reviewed evaluations of 22 sex-education programs for adolescents and young adults, comparing how effective they were in reducing pregnancy and STIs. (The Atlantic, 4/27)
 
For Teenagers, Potassium May Matter More Than Salt
A diet high in potassium appears to protect teenagers from high blood pressure in adulthood, while a low-salt diet had no effect, according to new research. A new study tracked the eating habits and blood pressure of 2,185 9- and 10-year-old girls for up to 10 years. While dietary advice has long focused on reducing salt intake, the study found that sodium intake had no long-term effect on the girls’ blood pressure. (New York Times, 4/27)
 
Divorce May Increase Psychosomatic Symptoms in Teens: Study
Teens may have an increased risk for psychosomatic symptoms if their parents separate or divorce, a new study suggests. Those who lived mostly with one parent due to a family breakup had the most psychosomatic symptoms, while those who lived in the same home with both parents had the fewest. In the study, researchers analyzed data from nearly 150,000 Swedish youngsters, aged 12 to 15. (HealthDay News, 4/27)
 
Health Stores Often Promote Diet Pills to Minors
Health store employees will often promote the use of over-the-counter body-changing supplements to minors, despite the fact that they often contain warnings that they are intended for adults. In new research, study participants called 244 health food stores in 49 states and identify themselves as 15-year-old boys and girls. It is still legal for minors to purchase these supplements in 49 states. (Time, 4/27)
 
Bullying may be even worse for mental health than child abuse
Children who are bullied by their peers may be more likely to suffer mental health problems later in life than kids who are abused by adults, a study suggests. Researchers looked for associations between maltreatment, being bullied, and long term mental health problems. “We found, somewhat surprisingly, that those who were bullied and maltreated were not at higher risk than those just bullied,” study author Dieter Wolke said. (Reuters, 4/28)
 
Parents not to blame for teen obesity, say researchers
Parents are not to blame for the growing levels of teenage obesity, a study suggests, after researchers found that peers are more influential. A comparative study found that while overweight parents are responsible for the eating habits of smaller children, by the time youngsters reach adolescence it is friends who are driving the problem. The researchers say that public health campaigns should be targeted at teenagers themselves. (The Telegraph, 4/28)
 
Preventive intervention improves knowledge, attitudes about sexual risk among adolescent boys than girls
Boys aged between 12-14 years old showed improved knowledge and attitudes about sexual risk after a preventive intervention, compared to girls of the same age, according to a study presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting. However, the positive effects waned after twelve months. A total of 400 Bronx-based adolescent patients were randomly assigned to intervention or control groups. (News Medical, 4/28)
 
PAS: Hypothermia Offers No Benefit in Comatose Children
For comatose children who survive out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, therapeutic hypothermia does not confer survival benefit compared with normothermia, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers conducted a trial of two targeted temperature interventions at 38 children’s hospitals involving 260 children who remained unconscious after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. (Physician’s Briefing, 4/28)
 
Online-based sexual health education program promotes positive attitudes about abstinence
It’s Your Game (IYG)-Tech, an online-based sexual health education course, promotes more positive attitudes about abstinence, according to researchers. IYG is a classroom and computer-based program for middle school youth which emphasizes abstinence but also teaches students how to protect themselves from pregnancy and STIs using medically accurate information. (News Medical, 4/29)
 
Parents ‘In Denial’ About Teens’ Depression and Anxiety
A survey of moms and dads by Yahoo Parenting and Silver Hill, a non-profit hospital for the treatment of psychiatric and addictive disorders, reveals 65 percent of parents polled are concerned that their teen might be suffering from anxiety or depression. And nearly half of the more than 3,100 parents polled report that their teens have confided that they’ve felt depressed, anxious, or overwhelmed.  (Yahoo, 4/29)
 
Curbing School Bus Pollution Might Reduce Absences
Reducing diesel air pollution from school buses could lead to 14 million fewer student absences each year in the United States, a new study predicts. Researchers followed students who rode on school buses. Use of cleaner fuels was linked to an 8 percent drop in student absences from school, and improved emission control measures were tied to a 6 percent reduction in student absences, the researchers said.  (HealthDay News, 4/29)
 
Children with ADHD more likely to have eating disorder
A new study has suggested that children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder are more likely than other children to also have loss of control eating syndrome. The finding suggests the two conditions may share a common biological mechanism. The research, published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, could potentially lead to the development of treatment that works for both conditions. (Medical News Today, 4/29)
 
Breast Cancer in Young Women—Unique Goals for Treatment and Research
The unique and significant challenges and psychosocial concerns that women under 40 years of age with breast cancer face are discussed in a special article published in Journal of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology. The authors describe these young women affected by breast cancer as an “understudied population,” as they are under-represented in clinical trials. (Health Canal, 4/29)
 
Youthful Drinking Could Result In Memory Problems During Adulthood
New findings published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research show that binge drinking can significantly increase the risk of damages to the brain. Researchers studied a link between binge drinking and memory loss in young rats and adult ones by focusing on the hippocampus. They found that excessive drinking could cause brain cells to become more susceptible to injury from trauma or disease in adult life. (Science World Report, 4/30)
 
Could An Unsafe School Environment Increase The Risk Of Childhood Obesity?
New findings show that a lack of school safety could be linked to childhood obesity. For the study, researchers collected and analyzed data that spanned family background and youth behaviors of more than 1,000 Quebec youths who had just entered into secondary school. Students were asked about their feelings on safety and whether they had been verbally, physically or socially abused. (Science World Report, 4/30)

 

NATIONAL


CMS Releases Strategic Vision for Physician Quality Reporting Programs
The CMS has released its strategic vision for physician quality reporting programs, describing a long-term vision for CMS’ physician quality reporting programs and a future for these programs to strive toward over the next several years. According to CMS, this vision acknowledges the constraints and requirements of existing physician quality reporting programs. (Healthcare Informatics, 4/24)
 
Republicans reach deal for budget plan, target Obamacare
Republican budget negotiators on Monday reached a compromise deal for the first joint House-Senate budget in six years, one that seeks to boost military spending while calling for deep cuts to social programs to eliminate deficits in a decade. But congressional aides said the deal will stop well short of directing appropriations committees to actually implement those cuts. (Reuters, 4/27)
 
Hospitals Increasingly Turn To Patients for Advice
Patient advisory councils often serve as sounding boards for hospital leaders – offering advice on a range of issues. Members are usually patients and relatives who had bad hospital experiences and want to change how things work, or who liked their stay and want to remain involved. This hunt for patient perspective is fueled in part by the health law’s quality-improvement provisions and other federal financial incentives. (Kaiser Health News, 4/27)
 
How is the doctor-patient relationship changing? It’s going electronic.
Once you took medical questions directly to your doctor, who advised, tested and treated you. Today, not only are we turning to the Internet for everyday medical information, we’re also generating our own health data: using a smartphone, for example. Doctors can keep our records electronically, accessible through a patient portal. With all these advances, a traditional paternalism in medicine is changing, too. (Washington Post, 4/27)
 
What’s the Best Way to Teach Sex Ed Today?
In response to what they see as outdated sex education, recent graduates of the University of Tennessee are building a sex ed app that teenagers and young adults can use to ask questions anonymously — and get answers from volunteer experts and Planned Parenthood educators. But can an app provide the necessary guidance? Should technology play a role in teaching kids about health and sexuality? (New York Times, 4/28)       

 

INTERNATIONAL

 

World health body wants vaccination drive to avert 1.5 million child deaths yearly
One fifth of the world’s children still do not receive routine vaccinations that could prevent 1.5 million deaths a year from preventable diseases, the WHO has said. Many nations, including the United States, have had serious measles outbreaks in the past year, threatening to undermine efforts to eliminate the viral disease by the end of 2015, one of the WHO’s global vaccination targets. (Reuters, 4/23)
 
Adolescents converge in Taleigao, address social issues
Nearly 1,000 adolescents aged between 10 and 19 years, from over 30 schools in the state participated in a day-long Goa state adolescent convention at Taleigao Community Hall. The event provided institutions, special schools and various organizations with a platform to address issues prevailing in the society today. The event was organized by the state coalition for reproductive and social health of adolescents.  (The Times of India, 4/25)
 
Nigeria: Hearing Impaired Adolescents Excluded From Sexual Health Education
Around 14 per cent of adolescents in Nigeria are hearing impaired, yet their specific sexual and reproductive health needs as young people with a disability have long been ignored. Clearly, there is a need for young people to be educated in sexual and reproductive health issues before they become sexually active. But most television programmes and radio jingles that deal with these issues are targeted at those who can hear. (All Africa, 4/29)



RECENT PUBLICATIONS


Pediatrics Group Advises Doctors on How to Spot Child Abuse
The AAP has released new guidance to help primary care doctors recognize the signs of child abuse. “Minor injuries in children are incredibly common, and most are not the result of abuse or neglect,” report lead author Dr. Cindy Christian said in a news release. Along with guidance on identifying abuse-related injuries, the report also outlines how doctors can protect children from abuse. (HealthDay News, 4/27)
 
New guidelines published for congenital muscular dystrophy
Evidence-based guidelines for congenital muscular dystrophy, developed by the American Academy of Neurology and the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine, make recommendations for treating and managing complications of congenital muscular dystrophy. The guidelines propose that doctors evaluate symptoms, family history, physical exams, and results from lab tests to diagnose this subtype of muscular dystrophy. (AAP, 4/29)
 
Experts clarify best intervals, ages for cervical cancer screening
The ACP has released best practice guidelines to reduce overuse of cervical cancer screening for average-risk women, including what ages screening should start, stop and how many years to wait between each test. For those without risk factors, the ACP recommends screening for abnormal cells, called cytology, with a cervical scrape (Pap smear) every three years starting at age 21. (Reuters, 4/30)

NEW RESOURCES AVAILABLE


Videos to help develop community-based initiatives 
The AAP Division of Community-based Initiatives launched the project which consists of twelve short videos that explore the basic principles and methods for developing a community-based initiative as well as worksheets that lead to concrete pieces of a project proposal. This series will help pediatricians and residents become not only informed participants but also community leaders. (AAP, 4/27)
 
Immunization Works! Newsletter
The April issue of the CDC’s Immunization Works! newsletter is now posted online. (CDC, 4/30)
 
State School and Childcare Vaccination Laws 
The Public Health Law Program released a summary of state statutes and regulations regarding school vaccines. The resource includes a polar graph on state school vaccine exemption laws. (CDC, 4/30)
 
April 2015 OAH Picks: Resources to Help Teen Health Bloom
These OAH Picks include resources on helping teen focus on the road, stopping the spread of STDs, managing allergies and asthma in the spring, and identifying and preventing sexual assault. (OAH, 4/30)

UPCOMING WEBINARS


Chlamydia Screening HEDIS Measure Webinar Series
The National Chlamydia Coalition, in collaboration with the National Committee for Quality Assurance, developed this three-part webinar series to provide participants with a guide to improve the quality of care and services using the chlamydia screening HEDIS measure. Topics include providing services to adolescents. The archived sessions are free of charge. (NCC, 4/30)

 



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