ADOLESCENT HEALTH IN THE NEWS
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ADOLESCENT HEALTH IN THE NEWS

 

RECENT RESEARCH

 

Blood Transfusions May Cut Risk of ‘Silent’ Stroke in Kids With Sickle Cell
Monthly blood transfusions may lower the chances of “silent” strokes in some children ages 5-15 with sickle cell anemia, a new clinical trial indicates.  The study, reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that in children with a previous silent stroke, monthly blood transfusions cut the rate of future strokes by more than half. (HealthDay News, 8/21)
 
Asthma attack rates similar for black and white kids
A new analysis of U.S. childhood asthma statistics finds racial differences persist in the proportions of African American and white children who develop asthma, but success in managing the disease is becoming more equal. Disparities between white and black kids with asthma in rates of emergency department visits or hospitalizations have shrunk and rates of asthma attacks are the same, researchers found. (Reuters, 8/21)
 
CDC: Teens Engage in Unsafe Skin-Protection Practices
Sunscreen use has decreased among adolescents, and a considerable proportion use indoor tanning devices, according to research published by the CDC.  Researchers examined the use of sunscreen and indoor tanning devices among a nationally representative sample of high school students. “These findings indicate the need for prevention efforts aimed at adolescents to reduce risks for skin cancer,” the authors write. (Physician’s Briefing, 8/21)
 
Female ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Readers More Likely To Experience Domestic Violence, Eating Disorders
Adolescent females and young women who read the popular erotic series Fifty Shades of Grey are more likely than non-readers to suffer eating disorders and experience domestic violence, a new study finds. While the direction of the relationship cannot be determined, researchers argue both contexts are troubling. (Medical Daily, 8/21)
 
Kids With Autism Have Extra Brain Connections, Study Says
Researchers report that children with autism appear to have excess synapses in their brains compared with typical children.  The scientists also believe it might be possible to reduce the number of extra synapses through drug treatment.  The extra synapses in the brains of autistic children are due to a slowdown in the normal brain “pruning” process during development, the researchers believe. (HealthDay News, 8/21)
 
Counseling Does Little to Deter Youth Drinking, Review Finds
Counseling may do little to help young people with drinking problems, a large-scale review finds. Researchers analyzed 66 studies that included nearly 18,000 people 25 and younger, many of whom were at high risk for drinking problems. A counseling technique called motivational interviewing was used in the studies. (HealthDay News, 8/22)
 
E-cigs may be tempting non-smoking youths to smoke - CDC study
Electronic cigarettes may be more tempting to non-smoking youths than conventional cigarettes, and once young people have tried e-cigarettes they are more inclined to give regular cigarettes a try, U.S. researchers said on Monday. A report, released by a team at the CDC, lends evidence to the argument that electronic cigarettes encourage youth smoking. (Reuters, 8/25)
 
Teens Need Later Start to School Day, Doctors Group Says
High schools and middle schools should begin the day no earlier than 8:30 a.m. to help teenagers get more sleep, the AAP said in its first policy statement on the issue. Research indicates that later school start times result in improved physical and mental health and, in some cases, better student performance, according to the guidelines. (The Wall Street Journal, 8/25)
 
Use of Electronic Devices Linked to Children Losing Ability to Read Emotions
Researchers found that sixth graders who spent more than five days without using smartphones, televisions or any other digital screens were way better at reading human emotions as compared to their peers who spend hours engaged in electronic devices. “Many people are looking at the benefits of digital media in education, and not many are looking at the costs,” said one author of the study. (Science World Report, 8/25)
 
Today’s Parents Less Able to Spot Obesity in Their Kids: Study
Parents have become less able to realize when their child is overweight or obese, a new study finds. In fact, parents interviewed between 2005 and 2010 were 24 percent less likely to spot a weight problem in their child than parents interviewed between 1988 and 1994, the researchers said. (HealthDay News, 8/25)
 
Study: Parental incarceration may be worse than divorce
Prison isn’t just bad for the emotional and physical health of inmates. It’s bad for their children, a new study says. The study, presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, found that significant health problems and behavioral issues were associated with the children of incarcerated parents, and that parental incarceration may be more harmful to children’s health than divorce or death of a parent. (USA Today, 8/25)
 
State of the Art Review: Eating Disorders in Children, Teens
A new review presents recommendations for the management of eating disorders in children. In addition, other research indicates that there has been a recent increase in the prevalence of eating disorders not otherwise specified who do not meet weight criteria, relative to anorexia nervosa. (Physician’s Briefing, 8/25)
 
Hospital Admission Day Tied to Outcomes for Children With Leukemia
Children with newly diagnosed leukemia who are admitted to the hospital on weekends have a longer hospital stay, wait longer to start chemotherapy and are more likely to suffer respiratory failure than those admitted on weekdays, a new study finds.  However, children admitted on weekends did not have a higher risk of death, the researchers added. (HealthDay News, 8/25)
 
US: Study finds stressful life events are linked to cardiometabolic risk in LGB people
A review of data from a national youth study has shown LGB people are at significantly increased risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes due to stressful life events.  Researchers analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Study for Adolescent Health. LGB people participating in the study were found to have a statistically significant elevation in cardiometabolic risk. (Pink News, 8/25)
 
Collaborative Intervention Benefits Teens With Depression
A collaborative care intervention in primary care is associated with greater improvements in depressive symptoms than usual care among adolescents with depression, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “These findings suggest that mental health services for adolescents with depression can be integrated into primary care,” the authors write. (Physician’s Briefing, 8/26)
 
Getting Back in the Game After a Concussion
While a concussion is often considered a relatively minor brain injury and is somewhat common in athletes, it’s still important to take the time needed to fully recover before returning to play.  A recent study found that athletes recovering from a concussion had a regression in physical ability and brain function after returning to play. (Daily Rx, 8/26)
 
Study Links Young Drivers’ Gender to Type of Crash, Injury and Severity
Researchers found that gender is linked to the type of severe or fatal crash a young driver will be involved in. The study was based on information collected from the Kansas transportation department’s crash database. They looked at data from 2007 to 2011 that involved drivers aged between 16-24 years, focusing on gender differences as well as similarities of young drivers involved in crashes. (Science World Report, 8/27)
 
Parents’ Actions May Influence Age Children Try Alcohol
New research looks at reasons why kids start drinking in the first place.  A new study found that parents’ approval and drinking behaviors were the biggest factors in children taking their first sip of alcohol between the ages of 8 and 12. (Daily Rx, 8/27)
 
STDs Reduced in Young Girls Through Telephone Counseling
Brief telephone counseling sustained long-term impact from an STI and HIV intervention program from the CDC among black adolescent girls, according to study findings in JAMA Pediatrics. Researchers randomized girls aged 14 to 20 years to receive an evidence-based STI and HIV intervention either with supplemental telephone counseling following the intervention or telephone counseling on general health information. (Medical Research, 8/27)
 
Physical activity enhances children’s learning ability: Finnish study
Physical activity not only has positive effects on children’s physical health, but also boosts children’s cognitive prerequisites of learning, suggested researchers in a latest study.  The study examined how objectively measured and self-reported physical activity and sedentary behavior are associated with cognitive functions in school-age children, mean aged 12.2 years old. (Xinhua Net, 8/28)
 
An alcohol-addled youth rarely leads to a healthy adulthood
Young people should be much more shielded from the damages of alcohol, claims researchers. A recently published Finnish-American study supports the understanding that young people are particularly vulnerable to the ill effects of alcohol.  The study compares drinking-discordant sets of twins. (Health Canal, 8/28)
 
Gang involvement poses serious health-related risks for African American girls
Being involved in a gang poses considerable health-related risks for adolescent African American girls, including more casual sex partners and substance abuse combined with less testing for HIV and less knowledge about preventing sexually transmitted diseases, according to a new study.  The findings come from a questionnaire survey with 188 African American females, ages 13 to 17, who were incarcerated in a short-term detention facility in Atlanta. (News Medical, 8/28)
 
Study links Inuit children’s height discrepancy to food insecurity
Hunger among Inuit families is so prevalent in Arctic Quebec that it could be why almost half their children are shorter than average, new research suggests. The paper says the height discrepancy implies that food insecurity is a long-running problem — not just something that happens occasionally.  Researchers looked at children between the ages of 8 and 14 from northern Quebec. (The Star Canada, 8/28)
 
Two-thirds of US teens with mental health problems get counseling
About 70 percent of U.S. teens who have serious emotional or behavioral difficulties receive mental health services that don’t involve taking medications, such as counseling, according to a new report from the CDC. The researchers looked at U.S. teens with mental health problems and at those individuals’ use of services that don’t involve drugs (nonmedication services), between 2010 and 2012. (Fox News, 8/28)

NATIONAL

 

New Resources Helping Students Select Fresh Foods in the Lunchroom
Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon announced a series of grants and tools designed to help schools serve healthier meals and snacks – and help students select them – as they return from summer breaks.  The announcement includes $5.7 million in Team Nutrition grants to state agencies administering the National School Lunch and Child and Adult Care Food Programs, USDA said. (Farm Futures, 8/22)
 
American Heart Association calls for tougher restrictions on e-cigarettes
Electronic cigarettes should be subject to the same laws that apply to tobacco products, and the federal government should ban the marketing and sale of e-cigarettes to young people, a new American Heart Association policy statement says. The group also called for thorough and continuous research on e-cigarette use, marketing and long-term health effects. (CBS News, 8/25)
 
CDC announces new HIV communication campaign for Latinos
The CDC announced We Can Stop HIV One Conversation at a Time, a new national, bilingual communication campaign that encourages Latinos to talk openly about HIV with their family and friends, without stigma or shame.  Developed with input from Latinos across the country and key Latino community organizations, the campaign will reach millions across the country through online, radio and print media advertising, as well as social media outreach. (CDC, 8/27)
 
Bean Bag Chairs Recalled After Two Children Die
The Consumer Product Safety Commission and Ace Bayou Corp. are voluntarily recalling about 2.2 million bean bag chairs following the deaths of two children. The chairs come in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors and fabrics and are filled with polystyrene foam beads. Two children, a 13-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl, died after they crawled inside the chairs and suffocated. (NBC News, 8/27)
 
CBO Projects Lower Medicare and Medicaid Costs
Reduced costs for medical services and labor have trimmed the 10-year projected cost of Medicare and Medicaid by $89 billion, the CBO said.  Medicare spending is projected to drop by $49 billion — or less than 1 percent — from 2015 and 2024, while Medicaid spending is expected to drop by $40 billion — or about 1 percent — over the next decade, CBO said in an update. (Kaiser Health News, 8/27)

 

INTERNATIONAL


Ghana’s reproductive policy not sufficient
A research finding from a study of girls’ sexual relations outcomes suggest that the Ghana’s Reproductive Policy adopted in 2000 may not be sufficient in addressing the reproductive health of young girls. The study indicated that the behavior of girls and their older male partners were complex and the challenges it poses to human development goals of the country cannot be overemphasized. (Ghana Web, 8/22)
 
New Rise in HIV/AIDS Cases Among Young in Thailand
Thailand’s young people are facing a new rise in HIV infections - the virus that causes AIDS. Researchers say they are finding it tougher to reach at-risk populations with messages about safer sex.  In a report released Monday, UNICEF says 70 percent of all sexually transmitted HIV infection cases in Thailand are occurring among people between the ages of 15 and 24. (Voice of America, 8/24)
 
E-cigarettes a threat to adolescents and should not be sold to minors, World Health Organisation says
Electronic cigarettes pose a threat to adolescents and should not be sold to minors, the WHO says, in a long-awaited report that calls for strict regulation of the devicesIn the 13-page report, which will be debated by member states at a meeting in October, the U.N. health agency also voiced concern at the concentration of the $3 billion market in the hands of transnational tobacco companies. (ABC News Australia, 8/27)
 
New patient privacy threat at sexual health clinics in the UK
Patients will be put off visiting sexual health clinics, leading to a rise in sexually transmitted infections, if the UK Government removes legal safeguards in a controversial shake-up of privacy laws, medical charities say. Strict confidentiality regulations are being dropped because the NHS organizations they apply to were abolished in the Government’s controversial health reforms. (The Independent, 8/27)

 

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

 

Doctors Get New Recommendations For Diagnosing Disabilities
In a clinical report published in the journal Pediatrics, the AAP updated its recommendations for physicians diagnosing intellectual and other developmental disabilities.  Specifically, the new report emphasizes advances in genetic testing in recent years that can aid in providing a more precise diagnosis for children with various delays. (Disability Scoop, 8/25)

 
New CHIPRA Evaluation Highlight on Children’s EHR Format
The AHRQ has published the tenth Evaluation Highlight from the CMS-funded CHIPRA Quality Demonstration Grant Program.  This Highlight focuses on the roles of North Carolina and Pennsylvania in the evolution of the Children’s EHR Format. The experiences and feedback from North Carolina and Pennsylvania have implications for States and other stakeholders interested in using EHRs as a tool for measuring and improving children’s health care quality. (AHRQ, 8/26)
 
Human Papillomavirus Vaccination: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) 
This report summarizes the epidemiology of HPV and associated diseases, describes the licensed HPV vaccines, provides updated information on vaccines from clinical trials and post-licensure safety studies and compiles recommendations from CDC’s ACIP for use of HPV vaccines. As a compendium of all current recommendations for use of HPV vaccines, information in this report is intended for use by clinicians, public health officials, vaccination providers, and immunization program personnel as a resource. (CDC, 8/28)


NEW RESOURCES AVAILABLE

 

Six Core Elements of Health Care Transition (2.0)
Got Transition announces the release of the Six Core Elements of Health Care Transition (2.0), which include customizable clinical tools as well as new consumer feedback surveys and quality improvement measurement tools.  Its website has been redesigned with the latest transition information for health professionals, youth/young adults and families, and researchers and policymakers. (Got Transition, 8/22) 
 


 

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS

 

NIDA-AACAP Resident Research Award in Substance Abuse and Addiction
This award seeks to facilitate the dissemination of research-based treatment by general and/or child and adolescent psychiatry residents in treatment settings. The award offers up to $20,000 for research support and $2,000 for a mentor stipend.  The mentor can work in any relevant field and does not have to be a physician. Residents must apply by September 23, 2014. 



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