ADOLESCENT HEALTH IN THE NEWS
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ADOLESCENT HEALTH IN THE NEWS

 

RECENT RESEARCH


Life-Jacket Laws Spur Use, Could Prevent Drownings
In a new study published in the journal Injury Prevention, Quan and her colleagues find that boaters mandated to wear life jackets were the most likely to wear them. She calls on policymakers to extend the law to children between 13 and 17 years old. “It’s just as bad to lose a 17-year-old as it is to lose a three-year-old,” she told Reuters Health. “So why aren’t we trying to protect them?” (Youth Today, 2/20)          
 
Students’ Health Habits Tied to School Success
Eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and being physically fit are important for students’ success in school, a new study suggests. When students’ home and school environments support their physical health and well-being, they perform better academically, the researchers found, so programs in and out of the classroom to promote healthy behavior may be a smart investment. (HealthDay News, 2/20)           
 
Secondary Thyroid Tumors More Deadly
Thyroid tumors that develop following an earlier malignancy are more deadly for young people than primary thyroid tumors, researchers reported. In an analysis from a national database, adolescents and young adults (up to age 39) had nearly a seven-fold increased mortality risk with secondary thyroid cancers compared with primary tumors. (MedPage Today, 2/24)
 
Switching schools linked with mental health problems in kids
Kids who frequently change schools are more likely to hear voices, have delusions and experience other symptoms linked with psychosis in adolescence, new research suggests. In the study, children who switched schools more than three times were 60 percent more likely to have such symptoms at age 12, compared with kids who made fewer school moves up to this age. (Fox News, 2/24)                                  
 
Drinking age of 21: review confirms it saves lives
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, approximately 5,000 US youths under the age of 21 die from unintentional injuries, homicides and suicides related to alcohol consumption every year. But a new review states that if the age-21 drinking law was not in place, these numbers would be even higher. (Medical News Today, 2/24)
 
Uninsured adolescents and young adults more likely to be diagnosed with advanced cancer
A new American Cancer Society study shows that uninsured adolescents and young adults were far more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage cancer, which is more difficult and expensive to treat and more deadly, compared to young patients with health insurance. (Medical Xpress, 2/24)
 
Bullying affects mental health for years
Researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital and elsewhere followed nearly 4,300 children over a five-year period from fifth grade through 10th grade. They found that 30 percent of them had been bullied at some point, while those who experienced bullying on a weekly basis were more likely to be in poor mental health — depressed, angry, anxious, or sad — compared to those who were never bullied.  (Boston Globe, 2/24)
 
Juvenile Fibromyalgia Symptoms Often Persist Into Adulthood
Most adolescent patients with juvenile-onset fibromyalgia (JFM) have continued fibromyalgia symptoms into young adulthood, according to a study published online Feb. 24 in Pediatrics. The researchers found that, compared with healthy controls, patients with JFM had significantly higher pain, poorer physical function, greater anxiety and depressive symptoms, and a greater number of medical visits. (Physician’s Briefing, 2/24)
 
Research Agendas for Teen Antipsychotic Rx, Women with DCIS
Prioritized research agendas have been developed for antipsychotic use among adolescents and young adults and for the management of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), according to two reports published online February 25 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.  (Monthly Prescribing Reference, 2/25)
 
Study: Health insurance helps detect cancer early in young adults
When teens and young adults have health insurance, they’re more likely to be diagnosed early with cancer, a new study from the American Cancer Society found. The study found uninsured young adults are up to twice as likely to be diagnosed with late-stage cancer than young adults with private insurance. The authors said the results signify that boosting insurance rates among teens and young adults could help improve their cancer survival rates. (Fierce Health Payer, 2/25)
 
Study links gambling and sexual behaviors in African-American adolescents
Researchers at the Mailman School of Public Health with colleagues at Johns Hopkins University studied the degree to adolescent sexual behaviors and gambling affected African American youth in nine primary schools in Baltimore, MD. The findings showed that of the 427 African-American youth studied almost half the sample had gambled at least once before age 18, and more gamblers than non-gamblers had initiated sexual intercourse by age 18. (News Medical, 2/26)
 
Will legalization lead to more teens smoking pot?
With medical marijuana approved in more states each year and recreational use legalized in Colorado and Washington, experts are concerned that more teens may use the drug because they believe it’s safe. A Feb. 25 study found that about 10% of high school students who would otherwise be at a low risk for picking up a pot-smoking habit--which includes those who don’t smoke cigarettes, students with strong religious beliefs and those with non-marijuana smoking friends--would use marijuana if it was legal. (CBS News, 2/26)
 
New APA autism guidelines ‘reduce diagnosis by more than 30%’
Last year, the APAissued new guidelines for the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. But new research from Columbia University School of Nursing suggests that these guidelines could leave thousands of children who have developmental delays without autism diagnosis, meaning they will miss out on social services, educational support and medical benefits. (Medical News Today, 2/26)
  
Teens’ Indoor Tanning Tied to Other Risky Behavior
Government research links indoor tanning by teenagers with other risks including binge drinking, unhealthy dieting and sexual activity. Scientists at the CDC found other behaviors were also more common among high school students who use sun lamps or indoor tanning beds than teens who don’t. That included drug use among girls and smoking among boys.  (ABC News, 2/27)
            
     

 

NATIONAL

For kids, retail medical clinics not best choice: pediatricians
In an updated policy statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) still says kids shouldn’t get their primary care from clinics at retail outlets. But it acknowledges that the clinics have become more popular and many people choose them anyway. (Reuters, 2/20) 
 
Flu activity highest among U.S. young and middle-aged: CDC
Hardest hit this U.S. flu season are adults, from younger to middle-aged, in part because fewer have been vaccinated, as the season enters its final weeks. An estimated 60 percent of those who have died from influenza this season were 24 to 64 years old. People ages 18 to 64 have accounted for 61 percent of all hospitalizations due to the flu, up from about 35 percent in the three prior seasons, the CDC said. (Reuters, 2/20)
 
National Eating Disorders Week: How Parental Behavior May Impact A Child’s Body Image
As National Eating Disorders Week begins, (Feb 23-March 1), it’s a good opportunity to raise awareness of these devastating disorders, not only affecting individuals but significantly impacting loved ones and families. Teens are clearly at risk, especially in this age of constant social media, with readily available images of perfect bodies, and the continuing desire to attain perfection. (Forbes, 2/22)
 
Mysterious polio-like illness affects kids in California
A mysterious polio-like syndrome has affected as many as 25 California children, leaving them with paralyzed limbs and little hope of recovery. “What’s we’re seeing now is bad. The best-case scenario is complete loss of one limb, the worst is all four limbs, with respiratory insufficiency, as well. It’s like the old polio,” said Keith Van Haren, a pediatric neurologist at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif. (USA Today, 2/23)
 
Kids’ Checkups Should Include Cholesterol, Depression Tests, Doctors Say
Doctors should test middle school-age children for high cholesterol and start screening for depression at age 11, according to updated guidelines from a leading group of U.S. pediatricians. Doctors should also test older teens for HIV, the AIDS-causing virus, the revised preventive-care recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics say. (Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/24)
 
Pediatricians Update Guidelines For Off-Label Drugs
A leading pediatricians’ group is urging doctors to use evidence and their best judgement in prescribing “off-label” drugs, a practice that’s common among kids with autism and other developmental disabilities. In a policy statement issued Monday, the AAP said that with less than half of drugs labeled for use in children, it’s “more than likely” that doctors will prescribe medications for uses that are not specifically approved.  (Disability Scoop, 2/25)
 
Senators Introduce Bill to Limit E-Cigarette Marketing to Kids and Teens
Worried that e-cigarettes are taking the same marketing path as conventional cigarettes, a group of Democratic senators introduced legislation today that would prohibit the marketing of them to children and teens. The bill is backed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. (Ad Week, 2/26)

 

 

INTERNATIONAL

    

 
Bexsero®: First Vaccine to Prevent Meningococcal Serogroup B (MenB) Now Available in Canada
Novartis announced today that Bexsero® (Multicomponent Meningococcal B Vaccine [recombinant, adsorbed]) is now available to doctors and pharmacists across Canada. The vaccine is approved for use in individuals from two months through 17 years of age in Canada. Infants, toddlers and adolescents are at the greatest risk of meningococcal serogroup B (MenB) infection. (San Francisco Bee (CA), 2/26)

 

 

RECENT PUBLICATIONS


Young Adult Health -- Adolescent Medicine: State of the Art Reviews 
AM:STARs:  Adolescent Medicine: State of the Art Reviews is the official publication of the AAP Section on Adolescent Health. Articles in this issue include: Approaching Young Adult Health and Medicine from a Developmental Perspective, Social Media and Health, ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment in College Students and Young Adults, and more.



 


CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS

 

Submit an abstract to Healthy Teen Network’s 2014 Annual Conference
Healthy Teen Network is now accepting proposals to present workshops and roundtable sessions at Synergy: Achieving More Together, our 35th Annual National Conference, October 21-24, 2014 in Austin, TX.
 

Call for Award Nominations
The purpose of the Annual Awards Program is to recognize programs, groups, and individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to promote the health and well-being of youth through personal or professional efforts. Awards will be presented during Synergy: Achieving More Together in October. Nominations and supporting materials are due by May 30, 2014.



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