ADOLESCENT HEALTH IN THE NEWS
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ADOLESCENT HEALTH IN THE NEWS

 

RECENT RESEARCH


Food stamp soda ban would cut obesity and diabetes rates among poor
Banning soda and other sugary drinks from food stamps would lead to significant drops in obesity and diabetes rates among the poor, according to a new study. It would prevent at least 141,000 kids from getting fat and another 240,000 adults from developing Type 2 diabetes, the kind that usually stems from obesity, according to Stanford University medical researchers in a study published in the June issue of the Health Affairs. (CNN, 6/5)
 
Broken Bones, Concussions Most Common Injuries in Youth Hockey
Broken bones and concussions are the most common injuries that children who play ice hockey suffer, a new study reveals. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic found many of the kids with these injuries needed to be hospitalized or undergo surgery. Since ice hockey is gaining popularity in the United States, they noted that children should be reminded to wear all necessary protective equipment and to have respect for opposing players. (HealthDay News, 6/5)
 
Black Market Doses of ADHD Drugs Deemed Unsafe in Adolescents
A meta-analysis of the effects of current attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drugs has led researchers to conclude black market doses are unsafe for adolescent consumers. For their study published in Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, a collaborative research team from the University of Delaware and Drexel University College of Medicine reviewed medical literature focused on current ADHD medications and their effects on developing brains. (Healthcare Professionals Network, 6/6)
 
Physical activity is tied to strong bones, but most teens don’t get enough
Young people who are more active growing up tend to end up with stronger bones, but many older teenagers don’t get enough exercise to see those benefits, a recent study found. The good news, researchers said, is that lots of physical activity during childhood seems to set up young adults for years of strong bones, even if they don’t exercise much during their teen years. (Standard Digital, 6/6)
 
Successes of the Chickenpox Vaccine
Any time a new vaccine is introduced, researchers pay special attention to what happens in the next several decades to the disease that vaccine protects against. Chickenpox is no different. A recent study found that cases of chickenpox have significantly dropped since the varicella, or chickenpox, vaccine was introduced in 1995. Hospitalizations for chickenpox have also declined over this time. (Daily Rx, 6/8)
 
Health-Related Quality of Life is Affected in Adolescents With Cystic Fibrosis
A number of factors influence the health-related quality of life of patients with cystic fibrosis. A new study in the Italian Journal of Pediatrics written by a collaboration of researchers in Hungary evaluated the effects of certain psychological, social, and physiological factors on 59 adolescents from five cystic fibrosis treatment centers. (Cystic Fibrosis News Today, 6/9)

Teen Bullies, Victims Armed More Than Other Kids, Study Says
Teenage bullies and their victims are more likely to carry weapons than kids not involved in these abusive relationships, according to a new research review. With school shootings a concern across the United States, the findings -- culled from 45 previously published studies -- put a spotlight on the potential link between bullying and subsequent violence, experts said.
 
Caring for those with autism runs $2M-plus for life
The parents of children with autism often have to cut back on or quit work, and once they reach adulthood, people on the autism spectrum have limited earning potential. Those income losses, plus the price of services make autism one of the costliest disabilities – adding $2.4 million across the lifespan if the person has intellectual disabilities and $1.4 million if they don't, according to a new study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. (USA Today, 6/9)
 
Recession Forced Many Families to Seek Medicaid Coverage
During the last economic recession, the families of many children with chronic health conditions had to turn to Illinois' Medicaid program, Chicago researchers report. In fact, the number of chronically ill kids enrolled in the state's public health insurance program increased 26.7 percent between 2007 and 2010, compared with only a 14.5 percent increase among kids without a chronic disease, the team found. (HealthDay News, 6/10)
 
Poor quality of life may affect teens’ diabetes management
In the years after being diagnosed with diabetes, adolescents struggling with social and psychological burdens of managing the disease are likely to do a worse job of controlling it, according to a new U.S. study. Teens who reported a lower quality of life were more likely to have rising levels of hemoglobin A1c, a marker of elevated blood sugar over time and a sign of poor diabetes control. (Reuters, 6/10)
 
Many STDs May Go Undiagnosed, U.S. Report Finds
About 400,000 Americans may have the sexually transmitted disease chlamydia, but not know they have it, new research suggests. The chlamydia infection rate is highest among sexually active girls aged 14 to 19, at 6.4 percent, the investigators found. The rate among sexually active boys aged 14 to 19 is 2.4 percent. The study also found significant racial differences. For example, the rate among sexually active black teen girls is 18.6 percent, compared with 3.2 percent among sexually active white teen girls. (HealthDay News, 6/10)
 
Cool Teens, Uncool Future?
In true revenge-of-the-nerds fashion, a new study suggests that people who reach the pinnacle of "coolness" as young teens are more likely to end up less well-adjusted and competent as young adults. This conclusion comes from tracking nearly 200 teens over a decade as they made their way through adolescence and early adulthood. The study suggests that children who place less focus on popularity, and more focus on becoming honest, helpful and hardworking, are the ones who may ultimately come out on top. (HealthDay News, 6/12)
 
Moving during childhood linked to increased schizophrenia risk
Childhood residential mobility is associated with an increased risk of psychotic disorders, particularly schizophrenia, during adulthood, according to results of a study conducted in Denmark. Children who move several times and those who move during adolescence may be particularly vulnerable, report Diana Paksarian and colleagues in Schizophrenia Bulletin. (Medwire News, 6/12)
 
Teens Smoking Fewer Cigarettes, but Texting More While Driving
Cigarette smoking rates among high school students have dropped to the lowest levels since 1991, when the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) began, according to the 2013 results released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than 13,000 U.S. high school students participated in the 2013 National YRBS, which includes data from surveys conducted in 42 states and 21 large urban school districts. (Healthline, 6/13)

 

NATIONAL


Burwell Wins Confirmation as Secretary of Health
The Senate on Thursday confirmed the nomination of Sylvia Mathews Burwell to be secretary of health and human services, which will make her responsible for delivering health insurance to more than one-third of all Americans. Ms. Burwell was confirmed by a vote of 78 to 17. All the no votes were cast by Republicans. But 24 Republicans joined 52 Democrats and two independents in voting for confirmation. (New York Times, 6/5)     
 
School-based health centers gain traction
It's been common for a child who needs a flu shot or who is feeling unwell to miss class because he needs to be seen by a medical provider. But several school districts and health care providers in Southwest Missouri want to change that by putting basic health services directly in the schools. (Education Week, 6/9)
 
How Much Say Do You Really Have in Your Teen's Health Care?
As a parent, your child’s health is in your hands – until it isn’t. Before they reach their teens, in some cases, confidentiality laws allow kids to obtain certain types of health care without your knowledge. And privacy protections may be strongest exactly around topics parents might feel the most need to know: mental health issues, substance abuse problems, pregnancy prevention and sexually transmitted diseases. (U.S. News & World Report, 6/10) 

AMA officially designates cheerleading a sport
The American Medical Association says cheerleading should be considered a sport because of its rigors and risks. The nation's largest doctors' group adopted that as policy Monday at its annual meeting in Chicago. AMA members say cheerleading is as rigorous as many other activities that high schools and the NCAA consider sports. Adding it to the list would mean more safety measures for cheerleaders and proper training for their coaches. (USA Today, 6/10)

Congress takes step to extend children’s healthcare program
Congress is taking its first step toward extending the popular Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) past next year, when more than 8 million children will lose their health coverage unless lawmakers take action. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) introduced legislation Wednesday that would fund CHIP through 2019. While the program is currently authorized through that year, its budget is set to expire next September. (The Hill, 6/11)
 
The tragic, maddening failure of America's juvenile justice system
When you start reading Nell Bernstein's haunting book about juvenile justice in America, you'll surely become heartbroken at the ways in which our nation systematically abuses, neglects, tortures, and otherwise ruins the lives of generations of children. No parent in America could read this wrenching work and not be touched to tears by its depictions of what our laws and our public officials do to our kids. (Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, 6/11)

 

INTERNATIONAL


Sex education 'not taught properly by schools'
Current legislation on sex education is confusing and allows some schools to avoid teaching the subject beyond the basics, say campaigners. The Sex Education Forum wants all state primary and secondary schools to teach about consent and relationships. It argues that all young people should be given the confidence to say "No" and need better knowledge of their bodies in order to stay safe and healthy. (BBC, 6/6)

Students' sexual and mental health services hit by cuts
Students and doctors have warned the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, that he risks "failing an entire generation", as university GP practices attempt to cope with funding cuts which they say threaten to shut down surgeries and wipe out vital sexual and mental health services for students. Several specialist student practices have been disproportionately hit by changes to GP funding, which doctors say has "pulled away the safety net" for surgeries. (The Independent, 6/8)

Mitigating the global malnutrition crisis, with a focus on adolescence
The period between conception and a child's 2nd birthday (the first 1,000 days) is a particularly critical time for health interventions. However, there are other key, but neglected, tipping points along the lifecycle when it comes to health, and particularly nutrition. One critical but neglected period is adolescence, particularly in girls. (Medical Xpress, 6/12)


RECENT PUBLICATIONS


Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States, 2013 
Certain health-risk behaviors are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among youth and adults in the United States. To compare the prevalence of these behaviors among subpopulations of students, the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System monitors six categories of risk behaviors among youth and young adults. This report presents findings for 2013.

 

NEW RESOURCES AVAILABLE


Mobile game for teen girls targets eating disorders
High School Story, a free game app aimed at teen girls, launched a new version of its game on Thursday addressing eating disorders and body image issues. The story line, written with input from the National Eating Disorders Association, exposes the game’s 10 million players to plot lines that deal with common scenarios teens encounter in high school: extreme dieting, body hatred, and the desire to digitally alter images to slim thighs or a bulging belly. (Boston Globe, 6/10)

UPCOMING WEBINARS


Hospice Foundation of America Webinar Focuses on Adolescents and Traumatic Loss
Hospice Foundation of America (HFA) will present a live, online webinar focusing on Adolescents and Traumatic Loss on Tuesday, June 17, from noon—1:30pm ET. Kenneth J. Doka, PhD and Carla Sofka, PhD, MSW, will discuss traumatic losses such as accidents or violence that remain leading causes of adolescent death. This webinar will address the nature of these losses as well as approaches to intervention and prevention.


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