ADOLESCENT HEALTH IN THE NEWS
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ADOLESCENT HEALTH IN THE NEWS

 

RECENT RESEARCH

 

Later sunsets ‘increase children’s activity levels’
Moving the clocks forward by one extra hour all year in the UK could lead to children getting more exercise every day, say researchers. Their study of 23,000 children found that daily activity levels were 15% to 20% higher on summer days than winter days. The UK research team said increasing waking daylight hours would have a worthwhile benefit on public health. (BBC News, 10/23)
 
Trick or treat? Your child may be wearing a toxic Halloween costume
A spooky study published on healthystuff.org finds many Halloween costumes are exposing children to toxic chemicals. The study from the left-leaning Ecology Center found high levels of toxic chemicals in dozens of popular Halloween costumes for children. Toxic chemicals were also found in hanging skeletons and orange pumpkin lights. (The Hill, 10/23)
 
Type 1 Diabetes Rate Rose Among White Youth
A new study found that the rate of type 1 diabetes among non-Hispanic white youth rose between 2002 and 2009. “We have been seeing more children being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes over the 8 years of this study and these children will require specialized health care as they enter young adulthood,” said lead author Jean M. Lawrence, ScD, MPH, MSSA. (Daily Rx, 10/23)
 
Adolescent Hearing Loss Tests Often Fail To Indicate If A Teen Is At Risk
A recent study has revealed that standard screening tests administered by the state and schools fail to identify hearing loss in teenagers due to their inability to test objectively. “We found that you can’t rely on the Bright Futures questions to select out teenagers at high risk for hearing loss who would warrant an objective screen,” Dr. Deepa Sekhar, assistant professor of pediatrics, said. (Medical Daily, 10/24)
 
Girls Treated for Wilms Tumor May Be at Risk for Breast Cancer
Because radiation is thought to increase the risk for other cancers, a group of researchers studied girls with Wilms tumor to see whether they were more likely to develop breast cancer. Girls treated with radiation directed at the chest had a greatly increased risk for breast cancer as young women — compared to those who did not receive radiation. (Daily Rx, 10/26)
 
Overweight Youth With Asthma May Overuse Rescue Meds
Overweight and obese children with asthma may mistake symptoms such as exertional dyspnea and esophageal reflux for loss of asthma control, leading to unnecessary use of rescue medications, according to a study published. Researchers examined qualitative differences in symptoms between overweight/obese and lean children with early-onset atopic asthma. (Physician’s Briefing, 10/27)
 
6 barriers to successful complex care management
Many healthcare observers are showing increased support for the implementation of complex care management teams as an effective means for reducing the cost of care to the small proportion of patients with chronic, complex diseases, according to a recent article.  However, there are several existing financial and nonfinancial barriers that prevent the widespread adoption of CCM. (Becker’s Hospital Review, 10/27)
 
Colleges Could Do More for Students With Chronic Ills, Study Finds
Many college health centers may lack the resources to fully care for students with chronic health conditions, a new study suggests. The research surveyed health center directors at 153 U.S. colleges. It found that while most felt their center could care for students with asthma or depression, only half thought they could manage diabetes. Most centers did not actively identify incoming students with chronic health problems. (HealthDay News, 10/27)
 
Study: Group Approach May Help Parents Of Kids With Autism
With group training sessions, researchers say parents can learn to incorporate autism therapy techniques into their everyday interactions with their children. In a short series of classes, parents were able to learn to apply a language-skills therapy method called pivotal response training and saw meaningful improvement in their kids, according to a study published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. (Disability Scoop, 10/27)
 
Ibuprofen ‘preferable to morphine’ for child fractures
The results of a randomized trial published in the CMAJ suggest that ibuprofen is preferable to morphine as a pain reliever for children with broken limbs. Although both drugs provide effective pain relief, ibuprofen is associated with less severe side effects than morphine among this group.  Researchers compared outcomes of children aged 5-17 years. (Medical News Today, 10/27)
 
Obese Children With Leukemia Fared Worse in Study
Obesity may change the way young people react to chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, new research suggests. The study showed that obesity made young people more than twice as likely to have leftover leukemia cells. That puts them at a higher risk of the cancer coming back and of death, the researchers said. (HealthDay News, 10/27)
 
Fewer teens drink at parties in communities with ‘social host’ laws
When laws hold adults responsible when kids drink on their property, kids are less likely to spend their weekends drinking at parties, according to a new study. States or local governments can enact ‘social host’ laws, which penalize adults hosting underage drinking parties with fines or imprisonment, potentially even if the adults do not furnish the alcohol. Past research on the effectiveness of such laws has been limited. (Reuters, 10/28)
 
Discovery of 100-Plus Genes Tied to Autism May Improve Treatments
More than 100 genes have been identified that appear linked to autism spectrum disorders, two new studies report. And researchers say they are on their way to discovering up to 1,000 genes overall that may contribute to the disorder. But these studies increase that number to 33 and add on 74 others that may play a role in autism risk, said co-authors of one study. (HealthDay News¸ 10/29)
 
Boys who bully peers more likely to engage in sexual harassment
Adolescent boys who bully peers and engage in homophobic teasing are more likely to perpetrate sexual harassment later on, suggests a new study of middle-school students. Boys who engage in bullying are 4.6 times more likely to commit sexual harassment two years later, according to the study, published online by the Journal of Interpersonal Violence. (Health Canal, 10/29)
 
Having controlling parents may affect later relationships
Teens whose parents use guilt or withholding have trouble working out disagreements well into adulthood, according to a new study. “To maintain healthy relationships, it is important to be able to assert one’s own beliefs during a disagreement while also continuing to be warm toward the person,” said study lead author. Experiences with parents do seem to “cascade” into future friendships, the authors found. (Reuters, 10/29)
 
Universal Helmet Laws May Help Save Young Motorcyclists
A new study suggests that state laws requiring “universal” motorcycle helmet use -- instead of helmet laws just for certain ages -- may lower the rates of traumatic brain injuries in young riders. Traumatic brain injuries are “the biggest burden in trauma care, so we wanted to see whether having universal helmet laws versus age-specific helmet laws really made a difference in the younger population,” study co-author said. (HealthDay News, 10/29)
 
Health care shortfalls for LGBT young women
Young sexual minority women, including those identifying as LGBT, were found to have higher elevated odds of adverse health conditions than heterosexual young women and lower odds of receiving a physical or dental examination. The results from a new study highlight the multidimensionality of sexual minority status and call for greater understanding of the health needs of LGBT youth. (Medical Xpress, 10/29)
 
Binge Drinking May Change Teen Brains and Persist into Adulthood
Scientists have found that drinking during adolescence caused structural changes in the brain and memory deficits that persisted into adulthood in rats. The researchers found that the animals who drank alcohol had reduced myelin levels in the prefrontal cortex compared to the rats that just drank water. In addition, the rats that drank alcohol continued to show this deficit even as adults. (Science World Report, 10/29)
 
Social Media Cuts HIV Spread When Users Are Transparent; Testing Rates Go Up
Feel less bad about your slight Twitter addiction when you discuss the where, when, and how of HIV transmission. Turns out, doing so can encourage users to get tested, according to an article published in Trends in Microbiology. The CDC reported HIV testing today is quicker and easier than ever before. Yet, testing rates among high-risk groups, like teens and men having sex with men, are low. (Medical Daily, 10/29)
 
No Shortage of Tanning Beds for Students at Top Colleges in US
College students at top schools in the U.S. have plenty of tanning beds at their disposal, according to a newly published study. Researchers found that nearly half of the top 125 colleges and universities from the U.S. News and World Report had indoor tanning beds either on campus or in off-campus housing. They also found that more than 500,000 students have access to tanning beds on campus. (ABC News, 10/30)
 
Sexualized body image has negative effect on young adolescent girls
Middle-school girls who value sex appeal differ from their peers in troubling ways, according to new research. Researchers found that 10- to 15-year-old girls with higher levels of “internalized sexualization”—a belief that it is important to be sexually attractive—earned lower grades in school and scored lower on standardized tests of academic achievement than their peers. (Medical Xpress, 10/30)
 
Young adults ages 18 to 26 should be viewed as separate subpopulation in policy and research
Young adults ages 18-26 should be viewed as a separate subpopulation in policy and research, because they are in a critical period of development when successes or failures could strongly affect the trajectories of their lives, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. The report calls for an improved understanding and response to the circumstances and needs of today’s young adults. (Medical Xpress, 10/30)
 
Genetics, not upbringing, main influencer in a child’s IQ, study says
New research published in the journal Intelligence suggests they can’t influence intelligence— at least beyond their genetic contribution. To answer the oft-asked question, researchers used an adoption-based research design. Researchers found that parental socialization had no detectable influence on children’s intelligence later in life. (Fox News, 10/30)        

 

NATIONAL


HHS unveils $840M initiative to reform doctors’ offices
Federal health officials unveiled a new initiative aimed at improving care and cost-effectiveness in individual medical practices. HHS will spend $840 million over four years with the goal of helping 150,000 doctors modernize their day-to-day work in ways that improve patient care and reduce costs. The practices could include better use of electronic health records, better coordination of care among providers and expanding ways patients can communicate with doctors, HHS said. (The Hill, 10/23)

Health officials probing death of Tennessee student for possible enterovirus
Health officials were investigating the death of a middle school student in Nashville after preliminary tests suggested the pupil had a potent virus that has infected hundreds of children nationwide. Specific testing to confirm or rule out the student had Enterovirus D68 was pending, according to an email sent to middle school parents by the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools and the Metro Public Health Department. (Reuters, 10/25)
 
FDA Cautions Against ‘Undeclared’ Food Allergens
Some food labels may not reliably list all possible food allergens, according to the FDA. The agency added that these “undeclared allergens” are the leading cause of FDA-requested food recalls. Under federal law, foods marketed in the United States are required to identify all major food allergens on product labels. This mandate is to prevent life-threatening allergic reactions, according to the FDA. (HealthDay News, 10/28)
 
With Obamacare, More Millennials Are Going To The Doctor, Sort Of
A provision of the ACA aimed to make it easier for young adults to access preventive care by allowing them to stay on their parents’ insurance until they turn 26. Researchers found that after the provision took effect, the number of young adults using preventive care services went up slightly. Though the improvement is modest, it is encouraging, says study lead author. (NPR, 10/28)
 
FDA approves new vaccine for meningitis B
The Food and Drug Administration today gave accelerated approval to a new meningitis vaccine that targets the strain of the bacteria that caused outbreaks at Princeton University and the University of California-Santa Barbara last year. Until today, vaccines targeted only four of the five major kinds of meningococcal bacteria -- types A, C, Y and W. The new vaccine, called Trumenba, protects against type B. (USA Today, 10/29)

 

INTERNATIONAL


UNFPA, AMREF Health Africa partner to improve Health of Mothers and Children
The UNFPA has re-affirmed its commitment to a partnership with AMREF Health Africa aimed at improving the health of women and children in Africa. According to Dr Laura Laski, Chief of Sexual and Reproductive Health at UNFPA, providing health services at community level in Africa is important to reduce maternal and child mortality. (Africa Science News, 10/25)
 
Dozens More Girls Abducted by Nigerian Extremists
Dozens of girls and young women are being abducted by Islamic extremists in northeast Nigeria, raising doubts about an announced cease-fire and the hoped-for release of 219 schoolgirls held captive since April. At least 70 young women and teenage girls and boys have been kidnapped in Borno and Adamawa states since October 18, according to local government chairman Shettima Maina and residents. (ABC News, 10/27)
           
Niger Drops Sex Education From Syllabus At Muslim Leaders’ Urging
The Niger government has withdrawn a course on sexual and reproductive health from the school syllabus after Islamic organisations said the teachings were contrary to the country’s values. The predominantly Muslim nation of 17 million has the highest fertility rate in the world, an average of around eight children per woman. (All Africa, 10/30)
 
Research Looks at Tourism as a Driver of Illicit Drug Use and HIV Risk in the Dominican Republic
A new study addresses the role drugs play in tourism areas in potentially fueling the Caribbean HIV epidemic by conducting in-depth interviews with 30 drug users in Sosúa, a major sex tourism destination of the DR.  The study’s results suggest that local demand shifts drug routes to tourism areas, drugs shape local economies, and drug use facilitates HIV risk behaviors in tourism areas. (Health Canal, 10/30)


RECENT PUBLICATIONS

 

Support Urged For Families Weighing Out-Of-Home Placements
While the vast majority of kids with developmental disabilities are cared for at home, pediatricians are being reminded that out-of-home placements remain an important option. In a clinical report this month, the American Academy of Pediatrics said that doctors should be prepared to guide families whose children need more care than they are able to provide at home. (Disability Scoop, 10/28)
 
CDC National Health Report: Leading Causes of Morbidity and Mortality and Associated Behavioral Risk and Protective Factors—United States, 2005–2013
This MMWR Supplement presents data related to disease patterns across the United States and describes recent national trends in health status. Although the United States has made overall progress in improving public health and increasing life expectancy, progress has been slow, and in some aspects of health, change has not occurred or trends are not favorable. (CDC, 10/30)

NEW RESOURCES AVAILABLE

 

Patient safety tool: Updated AHRQ Quality Indicator toolkit
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has updated its Quality Indicators Toolkit for Hospitals. The toolkit offers hospitals resources to improve quality and safety by understanding and using AHRQ’s quality indicators. The quality indicators use hospital administrative data to assess the care quality, identify areas of concern and monitor progress over time. The updated toolkit includes best practices for six more patient safety and quality indicators. (Becker’s Infection Control and Clinical Quality, 10/23)
 
Immunization Works! Newsletter
The current issue of the CDC’s Immunization Works! Newsletter is now available.  It includes new publications, influenza information, and a resources section. (CDC, 10/30)

CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Evidence-based Guidelines Affecting Policy, Practice and Stakeholders
The Guidelines International Network North America (G-I-N/NA) and the Section on Evidence Based Health Care (SEBHC) of The New York Academy of Medicine are co-sponsoring the second conference on ”Evidence-based Guidelines Affecting Policy, Practice and Stakeholders” on March 2-3, 2015. The objectives of this conference are to provide a platform for constructive dialogue between stakeholders in the development, implementation, and use of clinical guidelines, and to enhance successful uptake, implementation, and use of clinical guidelines through fostering ongoing collaboration between relevant stakeholders. (AHRQ, 10/30)


 

CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS AND PAPERS


Public Comment on Draft Research Plan: Screening for Obesity and Interventions for Weight Management in Children and Adolescents
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force posted a draft Research Plan on screening for obesity and interventions for weight management in children and adolescents. The draft Research Plan is available for review and public comment from October 23 to November 19, 2014. (AHRQ, 10/24)
 
Healthy People 2020: Public Comment
The HHS is soliciting written comments regarding new objectives proposed to be added to Healthy People 2020 since the last public comment period in fall 2013. HHS requests public comment on proposed new objectives to be added to specific topic areas and suggestions for additional objectives for consideration that address critical public health issues within the existing 42 topic areas of Healthy People 2020. All proposed new objectives must meet each of the objective selection criteria provided.



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