ADOLESCENT HEALTH IN THE NEWS
      RECENT RESEARCH
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RECENT PUBLICATIONS
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UPCOMING WEBINARS
 



 

 

ADOLESCENT HEALTH IN THE NEWS

 

RECENT RESEARCH


Kids May Leave Hospital Sooner When Antibiotics Are Controlled
New research finds that children who are hospitalized get discharged sooner and come back less often when hospitals take extra efforts to control treatment that uses antibiotics. Some hospitals and other medical facilities have embraced “stewardship programs” designed to make it harder for physicians to prescribe antibiotic medications without a good reason.  (HealthDay News, 10/9)
 
Contact Sports Boost Spread of ‘Superbug’ Germs, Study Says
College athletes in contact sports such as football and soccer are more than twice as likely as other college athletes to carry a superbug known as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, new research finds.  Taking monthly nasal and throat swabs, researchers found that as many as 31 percent of contact sports athletes carried MRSA compared to a high of 23 percent of the other athletes. (HealthDay News, 10/9)
 
Hidden population: Thousands of youths take on caregiver role at home
While the typical preteen or adolescent can be found playing sports or video games after school, more than 1.3 million spend their free time caring for a family member who suffers from a physical or mental illness, or substance misuse. These “caregiving youth” are a hidden population who are at risk of school failure and poor health due to the chronic physical and emotional stress of their responsibilities at home. (Medical Xpress, 10/10)
 
Economic cost of adolescent chronic pain is $19.5 billion a year
Research in The Journal of Pain estimated that the economic cost of moderate to severe chronic pain in adolescents is $19.5 billion a year. Researchers sought to better understand the economic costs to society due to adolescent chronic pain. Study participants were 149 adolescents treated at interdisciplinary pain clinics. (News Medical, 10/10)
 
Today’s Teens Can Be Adept Multitaskers, Study Suggests
A new study conducted by high school students finds that some youngsters do equally well on tasks when moving between their laptops, smartphones and other devices, compared to less media-obsessed teens. “Maybe practice really does make perfect,” Alexandra Ulmer, a senior at Oregon Episcopal School in Portland, Ore., said in an American Academy of Pediatrics news release. (HealthDay News, 10/10)
 
Parents Had Misconceptions About Concussions
For parents of young athletes, safety on the field is a top concern. But some parents may have misconceptions about concussions. Two recent studies looked at how much parents knew about concussions. One study found that most parents knew that concussions required medical care. But both studies found that many parents had misconceptions about symptoms and treatment. (Daily Rx, 10/10)
 
Coaches Don’t Always Protect Young Pitchers’ Arms: Study
Counting pitches reduces young pitchers’ risk of arm damage, but many coaches don’t use this method consistently, according to a new study. Researchers surveyed 61 youth baseball coaches and found that all of them were familiar with pitch counts and limited the number of pitches thrown by players in some way. However, the survey revealed that 44 percent of the coaches do not use pitch counts all the time. (HealthDay News, 10/10)
 
Telemedicine could revolutionize access to mental health treatment
For millions of Americans, mental health treatment is largely out of reach—a fact one psychologist is trying to change. Jonathan Comer is leading the way in telemedicine for mental health disorders – the use of electronic media to provide health care services traditionally delivered in person. (Medical Xpress, 10/13)
 
Exercise Early May Not Prevent Depression in Adolescents Later
Exercise has been shown to have a positive effect on symptoms of depression. But these mental health benefits may not be the same in young people as in others. A new study in the UK looked at whether exercise could prevent later depression in adolescents. The study found that the children’s physical activity in their early teen years did not appear to affect whether they were depressed a few years later. (Daily Rx, 10/13)
 
Suicide and gender roles: reporting distorts reality
A study by the MedUni Vienna which has recently been published in the journal “Sex Roles” demonstrates that the cultural script that bears partial responsibility for this is also found in the reports by Austrian daily newspapers. These gender-specific differences are made visible by the formulation, the nature and frequency of reported suicide motives.  (Health Canal, 10/13)
 
How Family Dynamics at the Dinner Table Affect Kids’ Weight
A new study takes a novel look at why children who eat regular family meals tend to have lower rates of obesity and eat more nutritiously. A team of researchers asked the families of 120 children aged 6 to 12 to record eight days of meals. Children who were overweight or obese had family meals that included more negative emotional interactions compared to children who weren’t obese. (Time, 10/13)
 
Molecule found in broccoli linked to improved autism symptoms
A chemical found in broccoli, cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables may reduce symptoms of autism spectrum disorders, suggests a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  For the study, scientists gave young men with moderate to severe autism, who ranged in age from 13 to 30, a dose of sulforaphane, a phytochemical derived from broccoli. (Fox News, 10/13)
 
In Interrogations, Teenagers Are Too Young to Know Better
In a recent study of 57 videotaped interrogations of teenagers, ages 13 to 17, none of the teens had a lawyer present, none left though all were free to do so, and none remained silent.  Some 37 percent made full confessions, and 31 percent made incriminating statements. The research adds to evidence that teenagers are psychologically vulnerable at the gateway to the criminal justice system. (New York Times, 10/13)
 
Study: Kids likelier to take ADHD drugs in school year
A new study finds that children are about 30% more likely to take a stimulant like Ritalin for ADHD during the school year than in the summer. The study finds that higher-income families are more likely to trust their judgment about medication decisions and fill prescriptions when it seems they’re needed. Lower-income families tend to follow doctors’ recommendations and fill prescriptions for the medication all year long. (USA Today, 10/14)
 
Parents and Teens Aren’t Embarrassed by the Sex Talk Anymore
New data shows that while parents and young people are perfectly willing to chat about sex, they may not be doing it as often as they should. The study surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,663 pairs of parents and their children, ages 9-21, to get a sense of how families are communicating about sex and healthy relationships. The inquiry found that eight out of 10 young people have talked to their parents about sexuality. (Time, 10/14)
 
More Kids Using ERs for Medical Care, Researchers Say
More children are going to the emergency room for health care, a new California study reveals. Children’s visits to the emergency room in California hospitals increased 11 percent between 2005 and 2010. At the start of the study, 2.5 million children were seen in the ER. By 2010, 2.8 million children visited the ER each year, according to the study released in the Journal of the American Medical Association. (HealthDay News, 10/14)
 
Repetitive Pitching Can Cause Teens Serious Shoulder Problems
Young athletes who pitch more than 100 balls a week risk developing acromial apophysiolysis, according to research published in Radiology. Researchers looked at records of 2,372 male and female patients, aged 15 to 25.   All had undergone MRI after complaining of shoulder pain. The researchers found that 2.6 percent had pain at the top of the shoulder and incomplete fusion of the acromion. (Physician’s Briefing, 10/15)
 
Increased Physical Activity Linked to Improved School Performance
Participating in extra physical activity for just two hours every week can boost school performance, a new study states.  Scientists conducted a study on 2,000 participants, aged 12 years. They investigated if physical activity boosts learning and improves school performance. The article was published in the Journal of School Health. (Science World Report, 10/15)
 
Teen Health Better If Parents Understand Daily Challenges
New research suggests the better a parent understands the daily experiences of their teen, the better the mental health of the teen. Moreover, having a parent who “gets” a teen’s daily life may influence the way a teen’s body responds to stress on a cellular level, improving physical health. The study is reported in Psychosomatic Medicine: Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine. (Psych Central, 10/15)
 
ADHD increases major depression to bipolar disorder conversion
Young people with major depression have an increased risk of conversion to bipolar disorder if they have comorbid ADHD, suggest findings from a longitudinal follow-up study. The results showed that 1193 individuals with major depression and comorbid ADHD were 1.5 times more likely to develop subsequent bipolar disorder than 56,830 individuals with major depression alone. (Medwire News, 10/15)
 
ER Visits Linked to Synthetic Pot More Than Double, Report Finds
The number of visits to U.S. ERs linked to synthetic pot have more than doubled in recent years, U.S. officials reported. “Synthetic cannabinoids are a growing public health risk,” Pamela Hyde, administrator at SAMHSA, said. “These injury reports compel us to get the word out to all segments of the community - especially youth - that these products can cause significant harm,” she added. (HealthDay News, 10/16)
 
Social ties, self-esteem vital to low-income black, Latino boys
A study by finds that attributes such as “a positive sense of self” and “a sense of connection to others” are associated with decreased criminal activity for low-income black and Latino urban male teens, who were then also more likely to engage in positive social behaviors such as joining school activities. In addition, those with positive ethnic identities had lower levels of depression. (Medical Xpress, 10/16)
 
Children With Chronic Health Conditions Less Likely to Graduate From High School
Approximately 32 million U.S. children have at least one chronic health condition, which can negatively affect their chances of receiving a high school diploma or its equivalent by age 21, finds a new study.  “Our results also show that addressing depressive symptoms among adolescents with chronic health conditions needs to be a clinical priority to optimize their educational outcomes,” the authors noted. (Health Behavior News Service, 10/16)                                                                     

 

NATIONAL


Senators to FDA: Stronger warning labels needed for e-cigarettes
Senate Democrats urged the FDA to require stronger warning labels for e-cigarettes. Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) wrote to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg asking her to finalize proposed rules to expand the agencies ability to regulate all nicotine products. (The Hill, 10/10)
 
U.S. college students do better than U.K. counterparts in physical activity, healthy diet
U.S. college students do better than their counterparts in the United Kingdom when it comes to physical activity, a healthy diet and less smoking, according to new research published in the latest issue of the journal Education and Health. “Among U.S. students, we see greater consumption of fruits and vegetables, more participation in organized sports, and less smoking,” said lead study author.  (News Medical, 10/15)

 

INTERNATIONAL


Nigeria: Girl Child Day - UN Urges End to Violence Against Women, Girls
The UN called for an end to violence against the young and adolescent girls living around the world. The UN Secretary-General said that an alarming number of adolescent girls were assaulted, beaten, raped, mutilated and even murdered. The International Day of the Girl Child was designated by a resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly to recognise girls’ rights and highlight the unique challenges girls face worldwide. (All Africa, 10/11)
 
Uganda: African First Ladies Tackle Maternal Deaths
African first ladies, affiliated with the Organisation for African First Ladies Against HIV/Aids, have reaffirmed their commitment to advocating a sustainable response to curbing maternal mortality. The first ladies made the announcement in a communiqué released after their high-level meeting on “investing in adolescent girls for Africa’s development” held in New York last month. (All Africa, 10/12)
 
Helping gay homeless youth focus of Calgary symposium
People who work with youth in Calgary say more has to be done to help young homeless adults who are LGBTQ. Front-line workers and experts from across Canada met for a two-day symposium sponsored by Wood’s Homes. Dr. April Elliott, an adolescent medicine specialist, says LGBTQ youth face more barriers when it comes to accessing services for medical and mental health issues. (CBC News, 10/16)

 


RECENT PUBLICATIONS


Why Health Officials Are Concerned About Energy Drinks
The energy drink market is booming, but that’s not necessarily a good thing when it comes to public health, says the WHO’s regional office for Europe. A new report from the WHO reviews data on the health risks of energy drinks and the current policies that regulate them. Researchers concluded that health concerns from the scientific and medical community are valid, and that consuming high levels of caffeine very quickly can cause negative health effects or “caffeine intoxication.” (Time, 10/15)

 

NEW RESOURCES AVAILABLE

 

Working Together to Prevent Bullying This Month and Every Month
October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month - a good time for families, schools, and communities to take stock of current efforts to reduce and prevent bullying. (HHS, 10/14) 
 
National Teen Driver Safety Week — October 19–25, 2014
During National Teen Driver Safety Week, the CDC is releasing an updated Parents Are the Key campaign website. Using the science behind graduated driver licensing programs, this campaign provides families with tools and tips to help keep their teen drivers safe. Additional information regarding National Teen Driver Safety Week is available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (CDC, 10/16)
 
The Science and Art of Legally Interrogating Teenagers
In this episode of Science Times on Stitcher Radio online, Jan Hoffman talks about a new study that reviewed videotaped police interrogations of teenagers. (Science Times, 10/16)

 


UPCOMING WEBINARS


Meet the Experts in NIH Peer Review: Webinars for Applicants
The NIH Center for Scientific Review is holding four webinars in November to give new NIH grant applicants and others useful insights into the submission and review processes. The webinars will cover four different application types, including academic research enhancement awards, fellowship awards, small business grants, and research project grants.
 
Internet Safety and Cyberbullying: Keeping Kids Safe
On October 30, 2014 from 2-3pm EDT, the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention National Training and Technical Assistance Center will host a webinar focused on internet safety and cyberbullying.  This series is a collaborative effort by DOJ, the U.S. Departments of Education and Agriculture, the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Register online.

 


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