ADOLESCENT HEALTH IN THE NEWS
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ADOLESCENT HEALTH IN THE NEWS

 

RECENT RESEARCH


Kids Born With HIV May Face Heart Risks Later, Study Suggests
Half of teens who were infected with HIV at birth may face a higher risk of heart attack and stroke when they’re older, new research suggests. “These results indicate that individuals who have had HIV since birth should be monitored carefully by their health care providers for signs of cardiovascular disease.” (HealthDay News, 2/27)
 
CT May Be Avoided With Isolated Vomiting in Peds Head Trauma
Children with minor blunt head trauma who present with isolated vomiting may not need a computed tomography scan to look for traumatic brain injury, according to research published online Feb. 21 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. (HealthDay News, 2/27)
 
Childhood Nightmares May Increase Risk Of Psychotic Traits: Can Parasomnias Predict Health Issues?
Although doctors tell parents nightmares and night terrors are a normal part of childhood development, new research suggests it may be an early indicator of mental health issues. A study in the journal Sleep found the frequency of parasomnias such as nightmares, and night terrors, may foreshadow psychotic traits in adolescence. (Medical Daily, 2/28)
 
Omalizumab Helped Ease Multiple Food Allergies at Once
A recent study tested whether people with multiple food allergies would benefit from receiving omalizumab (brand name Xolair) before being gradually exposed to their food allergens. This study showed that after pre-treatment with omalizumab, people with multiple food allergies were able to ingest up to five different allergens simultaneously without having an allergic reaction. The participants were between the ages of 4 and 16 years old, and 76 percent of the participants were male. (Daily Rx, 2/28)
 
Risky sexual behaviors linked with gambling in adolescents
A new study, published in the journal Addictive Behaviors, investigates the extent to which the high-risk behaviors of sex and gambling affect black adolescents in primary schools. Previous studies have found an association between gambling and adolescent problem behaviors. (Medical News Today, 3/1)
 
Weight loss just as important — and difficult — for teens
Tilini is a member of the Adolescent Weight Control Registry, a project of weight-loss researchers at Brown University. They are studying the behaviors of people ages 14 to 20 who have lost 10 pounds or more and kept it off at least a year. So far, 44 teens have signed up for the registry, and about 75% of them are female. Registry members were about 16 years old when they decided to lose weight, and they dropped an average of 30 pounds. (USA Today, 3/2)
 
Physicians split on prescribing apps
More than one-third (37 percent) of physicians have prescribed an app to their patients, but 42 percent say they will not, citing the lack of regulatory oversight, according to polling results from QuantiaMD, a social learning network for physicians. More than one-fifth (21 percent) never recommend apps to patients, 37 percent said they have no idea what apps are available and 21 percent won’t prescribe apps because it would generate an overwhelming amount of patient data. (Clinical Innovation + Technology, 3/2)
 
Food stamp program may reduce food insecurity for children
A program that provides nutrition assistance to millions of low-income families may be linked to improved well-being among children, according to a new study. Researchers found that children in households who participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for six months had substantial improvements in their consistent access to food - or “food security.” (Reuters, 3/3)
 
Marijuana May Hurt The Developing Teen Brain
The brain of a teenager has a lot of developing to do. It must transform itself from the brain of a child into the brain of an adult. And some researchers worry how marijuana might affect that crucial process. There are a growing number of studies that show regular marijuana use—once a week or more—actually changes the structure of the teenage brain, specifically in areas dealing with memory and problem solving. (NPR, 3/3)
 
Teens’ Brain Structure May Be Altered By Smoking
Young smokers who have smoked more cigarettes have clear differences in their brains compared to lighter smokers, according to a new study. “Earlier studies of older participants showed that the smokers had structural differences in various brain regions,” said senior author Edythe D. London. “While the results do not prove causation, they suggest that there are effects of cigarette exposure on brain structure in young smokers, with a relatively short smoking history,” London said. (Reuters, 3/3)

Teenagers with bedroom TVs had higher BMIs after four years
A recent survey of youth looked at the link between having a TV in the bedroom and weight gain over four years. More than half of youth surveyed had a television in their bedroom. The researchers found that bedroom TVs were tied to significantly higher BMIs over a period of four years. (Daily Rx, 3/3)
 
UnitedHealth Study Shows Sports Video Games Help Children lose Weight
How do you turn watching TV, a sedentary pastime linked to obesity, into a physical activity? Introduce sports video games. A randomized, 16-week study shows that overweight children who expended energy by simulating bowling, soccer, or track and field lost more than two and a half times their body mass index, compared to those who only followed a weight loss program (Forbes, 3/3)
 
Food Allergies Have Doubled Among Black Children
Over the past two decades, reports of food allergies have nearly doubled among black children, a new study reveals. Although childhood food allergies are on the rise overall, the spike in these allergies among black children is alarming, according to researchers. It remains unclear if this sharp increase is the result of better detection or some trigger in the environment. (Health Day News, 3/3)
 
Sleep problems common in adolescents with cancer
Perhaps not surprisingly, sleep-related disturbances are widespread in adolescents with leukemia and brain tumors, a new report says. Katie Olson of the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore reviewed 41 papers, including 20 studies of adolescents with leukemia only, nine that focused on patients with brain tumor only, and 12 that included both. (Cure Today¸3/3)
 
Moving out of poverty linked to kids’ mental health
Moving out of impoverished neighborhoods has different effects on the mental health of boys compared to girls, and those repercussions need to be better understood before tinkering with housing policy, according to a new study. Researchers found boys had higher rates of mental health problems years after their families got vouchers to move out of impoverished neighborhoods, compared to boys who didn’t get assistance. (Reuters, 3/4)
 
Passive smoking ‘damages children’s arteries’
Passive smoking causes lasting damage to children’s arteries, prematurely ageing their blood vessels by more than three years, say researchers. The damage - thickening of blood vessel walls - increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes in later life, they say in the European Heart Journal. In their study of more than 2,000 children aged three to 18, the harm occurred if both parents smoked. (BBC, 3/4)
 
Students ‘eat more fruits and vegetables’ under new school lunch standards
In 2012, the US Department of Agriculture updated the guidelines on school lunches, recommending that schools should offer healthier meals to students. New research from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, MA, suggests that these guidelines have increased fruit and vegetable consumption among low-income students. (Medical News Today, 3/4)        
 
Aggression, rule-breaking common among Taiwanese teenagers who have early sex
Taiwanese teenagers – and especially females – who become sexually active at a very young age are more likely to be rule-breakers and be more aggressive than their peers. These are the findings of a national study of Taiwanese youth led by Wei J. Chen of the National Taiwan University, with Chia-Hua Chan as first author. (Medical Xpress, 3/4)
 
Kids with ADHD likelier to become obese and physically inactive
A new study suggests that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to become obese and sedentary teenagers. Previous studies have suggested a link between ADHD and obesity, but whether one leads to the other is unclear. One way to better understand the link is to follow children through to adolescence. (ANI, 3/5)     
 
Adolescent relationship violence has mental health implications for victims, perpetrators
Described by CDC as “physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse,” intimate partner violence (IPV) is a serious public health issue affecting millions of people in the United States. New research shows that adolescents and young adults who perpetrate or fall victim to IPV are more likely to experience an increase in symptoms of depression. (Science Codex, 3/5)      
 
Energy drinks linked to risky behaviors among teens
Consuming highly caffeinated energy drinks like Amp, Red Bull or Rockstar could be a telltale sign of other problems for high school students, according to a Canadian study. The more often students reported drinking energy drinks, the more likely they were to also report feeling depressed, seeking out risky experiences, drinking alcohol or smoking. (Chicago Tribune, 3/5)           
 
Inadequate sleep predicts risk of heart disease, diabetes in obese adolescents
Obese adolescents not getting enough sleep? A study in today’s The Journal of Pediatrics, shows they could be increasing their risk for developing diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Lack of sleep and obesity have been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases in adults and young children. However, the association is not as clear in adolescents, an age group known for lack of adequate sleep, and with an obesity and overweight prevalence of 30 percent in the United States. (EurekAlert, 3/6)
 
Teenage E-Cigarette Use Likely Gateway to Smoking
E-cigarettes facing municipal bans and scrutiny by U.S. regulators received a new slap on the wrist from scientists: A report today suggests the devices may be a gateway to old-fashioned, cancer-causing smokes for teens. Youths who reported ever using an e-cigarette had six times the odds of smoking a traditional cigarette than those who never tried the device, according to a study published today in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. (Business Week, 3/6)                    
 
Facebook Tied to Higher Risk of Eating Disorders
Provocative new research ties high Facebook use to an increased risk of eating disorders. Florida State University investigators studied 960 college women and found that more time on Facebook was associated with higher levels of disordered eating. The study is the first to show that spending just 20 minutes on Facebook actually contributes to the risk of eating disorders by reinforcing women’s concerns about weight and shape and increasing anxiety. (Psych Central, 3/6)

 

NATIONAL

 

Survey: 70 percent of clinicians use mobile devices to view patient information
Sixty-nine percent of providers use a mobile device to view patient information and 36 percent use mobile technologies to collect data at the bedside, according to HIMSS survey of 170 individuals who held a wide variety of positions in healthcare organizations. (Mobi Health News, 2/27)   
 
HHS touts jump in Medicaid eligibility
The number of people eligible for Medicaid jumped again in January, according to federal health officials. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reported Friday that more than 8.9 million people were approved to receive either Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) between October and January. (The Hill, 2/28)               

6 children’s medical screenings you shouldn’t miss
A typical pediatrician sees roughly four patients an hour, meaning that most kids get just 15 minutes with the doc for their annual well check. So it’s no surprise that even the best pediatricians sometimes leave out important screenings, exams, and conversations. If your doctor doesn’t cover the following topics, raise them yourself. (Boston Globe, 3/2)
 
Getting serious about sex education
In this post, a nursing professor who had a child when she was a teenager discusses why it is time for a change in school-based sex ed. Imelda Reyes is a clinical assistant professor of nursing, specializing in pediatrics and a Public Voices Fellow of The OpEd Project at Emory University. (Washington Post, 3/2)
 
For teens at Rikers Island, solitary confinement pushes mental limits
In New York, anyone who is 16 or older is considered an adult under state criminal law. Rikers, one of the largest jails in the world, has an adolescent population that can rival the biggest adult jail systems in the country: between 400 and 800 a day. At any given time, about 100 teenagers are housed in solitary confinement at Rikers Island – an abnormally high number compared with estimated rates of solitary confinement across the U.S. (The Center for Investigative Reporting, 3/4)

 

INTERNATIONAL

  
Revised U.K. Sex Ed Guidelines Now Address Pornography, Sexting
The U.K. is looking to revamp its sex education for a new generation, and with the help of a study released Friday, government-supported advice for educators covers issues like sexting, exploitation, and abuse from a more realistic and updated point of view. (Take Part, 3/2)
 
Canada failing homeless youth, report charges
Canada falls short of meeting the needs of homeless youth by treating them as adults and expecting shelter care to solve the problem, according to a new report. Many youth find themselves “languishing in a shelter for four or five years when they should be in school learning to be an adult with the supports they need . . . instead of rushing them to be adults, living in poverty and becoming chronically homeless adults,” says report author Stephen Gaetz (Toronto Star, 3/3)
 
The burden of teenage mothers
The nutritional status of young mothers in India has become a public health priority, says Anuradha Gupta additional secretary, mission director, National Health Mission, health ministry. Empowering adolescent girls to use contraception, reduce unintended pregnancies and associated risk to maternal health is at the core of the Indian health ministry’s RMNCH+A approach (for reproductive, maternal, new born, child and adolescent health). This is the country’s first policy targeting adolescent health. (Hindustan Times, 3/3)
 
World Health Organization Slashes Recommended Daily Sugar Intake
Sugar consumption should make up less than 5% of a person’s daily diet to avoid health issues such as obesity or tooth decay, according to the World Health Organization Wednesday. Five percent of total energy intake equals around 25 grams or 6 teaspoons of sugar daily for an adult of normal Body Mass Index (BMI), said WHO. (Wall Street Journal, 3/5)

 

 

RECENT PUBLICATIONS


Cancer Panel Report on Accelerating HPV Vaccine Uptake
The President’s Cancer Panel recently issued Accelerating HPV Vaccine Uptake: Urgency for Action to Prevent Cancer, which makes the case for HPV vaccination. The report presents three goals to accelerate HPV vaccine uptake in the US: Reduce missed clinical opportunities to recommend and administer HPV vaccines; Increase parents’, caregivers’, and adolescents’ acceptance of HPV vaccines; Maximize access to HPV vaccination services. (National Chlamydia Coalition New, 2/28)


 

CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS AND PAPERS


Organizations collecting successful school health services experiences 
The AAP Council on School Health, the National Association of School Nurses, the American School Health Association, and the School Based Health Alliance are leading an effort to gather and disseminate stories about successful school health services from across the U.S. The School Health Services Success Stories are intended to highlight and recognize outstanding school health services while promoting and sharing strategies that led to these successes. Stories must be submitted by March 28.



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