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ADOLESCENT HEALTH IN THE NEWS

 

RECENT RESEARCH


Almost Everyone Needs a Flu Shot: CDC
Less than half of all Americans got a flu shot last year, so U.S. health officials urged that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated for the coming flu season. “It’s really unfortunate that half of Americans are not getting the protection from flu they could get,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC. (HealthDay News, 9/18)
 
Cyberbullying Seems to Ramp Up in Middle School
As kids transition from elementary to middle school, they are increasingly the targets of cyberbullies, according to a recent study. But the researchers studying U.S schoolkids in grades 5 through 8 found that verbal and physical bullying declines as students get older. The study was published recently in School Psychology Quarterly. (HealthDay News, 9/19)
 
What doctors say to LGBT teens matters
When doctors speak to teens about sex and LGBT issues, only about 3 percent of them are doing so in a way that encourages LGBT teens to discuss their sexuality, and researchers say other doctors can learn from these conversations. “Physicians are making their best efforts, but they are missing opportunities to create safe environments for teenagers to discuss sexuality and their health,” said the lead investigator. (Medical Xpress, 9/19)
 
Children of College-Educated Parents Eat More Veggies During School Week
In a new study, researchers found that children, whose parents were college educated, ate more vegetables and drank less sugar. At the same time they claim that kids are falling short when it comes to consuming healthier food at school. “Our study provides new insight on what kids are eating, or not eating, in Vancouver public schools,” said study co-author Naseam Ahmadi. (Science World Report, 9/19)
 
Cancer Trials Face a Shortage of Teen, Young Adult Enrollees
According to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), only about 10% of 15- to 19-year-old patients, and 1% to 2% of 20- to 39-yearold patients, enroll in clinical trials in the U.S. This is in stark contrast to the statistics observed in young children: more than 90% of children <15 years of age diagnosed with cancer participate in CTs. (AJMC.com, 9/19)


A brain wave test could diagnose autistic kids more accurately — and earlier
The brains of children and adolescents with severe autism react differently to certain audio-visual stimuli than children and adolescents without autism, according to a new study. The findings have the potential to lead to a more objective and accurate diagnostic tools for the disorder. The study found that a brain wave test shows promising signs of being an accurate biomarker for autism. (The Washington Post, 9/22)
 
Teens Lost Most Weight With Combination Training
Exercise is an important tool in fighting obesity in young people. In a new study, Canadian researchers studied how effective different types of exercise were at reducing body fat and waist circumference. They found that a combination of aerobic exercise and resistance training was better for managing weight in adolescents than just choosing one type.  (Daily Rx, 9/22)
 
Nutritional Supplement and Sports Drink Ads At Major Sporting Events Are Misleading The Public
A recent study suggests that nutritional supplement and sports drink sponsorship at sporting events could be misleading consumers. Researchers claim that marketing these products as “beneficial or essential” for athletic performance or general health can prevent the public from making an informed decision seeing as past research has failed to prove their benefit. (Medical Daily, 9/22)
 
Younger Age at First Drink, Higher Odds for Problem Drinking: Study
Both drinking and getting drunk at an early age are key risk factors for alcohol abuse by high school students, a new study suggests. The conclusions, based on a survey of high school students who drink, could help expand alcohol-prevention efforts aimed at teens to include those who already drink, to stop them from becoming binge drinkers, the researchers suggested. (HealthDay News, 9/23)
 
Obesity Doesn’t Pay: Overweight Teens Could Grow Up To Get Paid 18% Less Than Normal Weight Peers
According to a new study, obese teenage men earn up to 18 percent less than normal weight peers. Researchers examined the data of 145,193 Swedish brothers enlisted in the Swedish National Services for mandatory military service between 1984 and 1997, and found that the trend was visible primarily in obese teenagers who grew up to earn less. (Medical Daily, 9/23)
 
Tiger Moms May Help Their Kids Succeed, But It Comes At A Psychological Cost
For the Chinese at least, the so-called tiger mom is the typical mother — strict, controlling, and unsupportive. But while kids who grow up in this type of parental environment are most likely going to succeed, they’re paying for it through emotional strife, a new study finds. (Medical Daily, 9/23)
 
5 barriers to pediatric telemedicine programs
The use of pediatric telemedicine is underutilized even though it has the potential to improve care quality and access to care in underserved areas, according to a study in Telemedicine and e-Health.  The study surveyed current, planned and closed telemedicine programs, and respondents indicated the five barriers to pediatric emergency telemedicine programs. (Becker’s Health IT and CIO Review, 9/23)
 
American Children With ADHD May Not Be Properly Treated For The Health Issue
New research reveals that the health issue is often grossly under-treated. Less than one in four commercially insured children are treated with medication for the problem or receive any means of psychotherapy, according to recent findings published in the JAMA Pediatrics. (Science World Report, 9/24)
 
Child maltreatment alters hormone levels linked to obesity
Children who are maltreated may be at an increased risk of obesity and inflammatory disorders because of low levels of leptin — a hormone involved in regulating appetite, according to new research. The findings, published in Translational Psychiatry, suggest leptin deficiency may contribute to physical health problems associated with early life stress, and provide a possible target in disease prevention. (Health Canal, 9/24)
 
Perceived norms influence teen sex activity more than peer pressure
Teens’ perceptions of how sexually active their peers are may have the greatest impact on their own sexual behavior, suggests a new analysis of previous studies. But actual peer pressure had the smallest effect on teens’ decisions to have sex, the authors found. Researchers combined the results of 58 studies that were conducted between 1980 and 2012 in 15 different countries around the globe. (Reuters, 9/24)
 
Family Therapies Effectively Treated Anorexia in Teens
Families play an important role in mental health — and that role may be key to treating teens with anorexia, a new study suggests. Researchers looked at which type of family therapy was most effective and found that therapy that taught parents how to teach their children to eat normally (family-based) was more effective than therapy that targeted family strain (systemic). (Daily Rx, 9/24)
 
Lack of Sleep Increases Risk of Failure in School Among Teens
A new study highlights problems linked with lack of sleep. Researchers reveal that adolescents who suffer from sleep disturbance or habitual short sleep duration are unlikely to progress academically as compared to those who receive sufficient sleep. The finding is based on the evaluation of more than 20,000 adolescents, aged between 12-19 years. (Science World Report, 9/24)
 
Teens world-wide self-medicate with over-the-counter and prescription drugs
Adolescents around the world are frequently using over-the-counter and prescription medications without a doctor’s order, a risky practice that can lead to overuse and abuse and is often continued into adulthood, reveals a new review. “Self-medication” is influenced by many factors as adolescents are highly affected by their surrounding environment, explained the lead author. (Medical Xpress, 9/24)
 
Child maltreatment underreported in Medicaid claims, study finds
Medicaid claims are a poor way to identify child abuse and neglect at a population level, according to a new study. Researchers examined Medicaid records from 36 states for 1,921 children in the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being, whom caseworkers had identified as having been maltreated, and who had received Medicaid-funded services. (Health Canal, 9/25)
 
Gene protects teens from alcohol problems but not if they drink with friends
Among more than 1,500 adolescents who had consumed at least one drink before age 18, researchers have found that although a gene variant prevents some young drinkers from developing alcohol problems, the gene’s protective effects can vanish in the presence of other teens who drink. (Health Canal, 9/25)
 
Half of HIV-Positive Gay Men in U.S. Aren’t Getting Proper Treatment
Even though gay and bisexual men make up the majority of Americans infected with HIV, half aren’t receiving ongoing care or getting the virus-suppressing drugs they need to stay healthy, a new report from the CDC finds. Younger men and minority males appear to be at highest risk of not getting the HIV-related treatment they need, said the team (US News and World Report, 9/25).

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NATIONAL

 
More Schools Stocking Shots That Counter Serious Allergic Reactions
More states are passing legislation permitting or requiring schools to stock the medication epinephrine to use for any child having a severe allergic reaction. Epinephrine auto-injectors are the primary treatment for “anaphylaxis,” an allergic reaction that can lead to throat swelling, breathing difficulties, a steep drop in blood pressure and even death. (HealthDay News, 9/19)
 
Docs urge action to stop young drivers’ texting
Texting while driving could be contributing to thousands of car crashes, especially among teens, and the American College of Preventive Medicine wants policy makers, doctors and parents to do something about it. Texting by novice drivers raises the chances of an accident almost four-fold, the authors of a new position statement point out. (Reuters, 9/19)
 
Study: 2.7M children could lose CHIP benefits
As many as 2.7 million children could lose health coverage or benefits next year if Congress does not renew the CHIP, according to a study by the conservative American Action Forum. CHIP is a $13-billion-a-year program that provides insurance to about 8.1 million children nationwide. Unless the program is reauthorized, states’ share of that funding will begin to run dry in October 2015. (The Hill, 9/22)
 
New mental health grants announced to improve mental health services for young people
Federal health officials announced nearly $100 million in new grants to boost mental health services for young people. HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell said the money would be divided between training new mental health professionals to work with youth, educating teachers about signs of mental illness, and widening access to treatment for high-risk groups. (The Hill, 9/22)
 
Food and drink companies agree to restrictions on how they target kids
CEOs from some of the world’s leading food and non-alcoholic beverage companies, plus members of the International Food & Beverage Alliance, have unveiled enhanced global commitments in the field of food and non-alcoholic beverage marketing to children. The commitments form part of a broader package of measures sent in a letter to WHO director general Dr. Margaret Chan. (FoodBev.com, 9/22)
 
Respiratory illness spreads to more than half of U.S. states: CDC
More than half of U.S. states have confirmed cases of a respiratory illness that has sickened children with symptoms ranging from mild colds to more severe breathing difficulties, according to health officials. As of Monday, 175 people in 27 states had been diagnosed since mid-August with illness caused by the somewhat rare enterovirus D68, CDC said. (Reuters, 9/23)
 
Soda Giants Pledge to Make Calorie Cuts in Their Drinks
 The top U.S. soda makers have agreed to help reduce Americans’ consumption of calories from sugary beverages by one-fifth during the next decade -- by shrinking drink sizes and marketing healthier options. The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo Americas Beverages, and the Dr Pepper Snapple Group all pledged to help fight the obesity crisis by steering consumers away from sugary drinks loaded with empty calories. (Physician’s Briefing, 9/24)
 
Magazines draw heat over smoking ads, covers
Top magazines are coming under pressure from congressional Democrats to stop accepting advertisements for tobacco products. A group of eight leading lawmakers wrote to US Weekly, People, Time, Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly, pointing to evidence that their ads increase smoking among teens. (The Hill, 9/24)

 

INTERNATIONAL


Tutu calls for teenagers access to contraceptives
Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu says making contraceptives accessible to adolescents could minimize the effects of sex among teenagers. The anti-Apartheid champion and renowned human rights activist said this at a briefing in Lusaka yesterday after he was asked what he thought about making different forms of contraceptives, including condoms, available to teenagers. (The Post Zambia, 9/19)
 
Africa: Empowering Girls Key to Africa’s Success, Leaders Affirm
“With significant investments in the education of young girls, sexual and reproductive health for youth and adolescents, as well as women’s empowerment in our counties, we will change the face of the Sahel,” President of Chad Idriss Déby said at the UN, during a high-level panel on the potential of young people to drive economic growth in the Sahel region of Africa. (All Africa, 9/23)
 
Call for an end to violence against women
Lawmakers from Asia-Pacific countries called for an end to violence against women, saying that social, religious and cultural norms could not get priority over health and security issues of women. “Childhood abuse and gender inequality are the main risk factors in violence against women and girls,” said Dr Venkatraman Chandra-Mouli, adolescent sexual and reproductive health expert at WHO. (Dhaka Tribune, 9/25)
 
World Contraception Day 2014: Experts advocate improved access to contraceptives
In a bid to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, experts have urged government to increase access to family planning commodities on this year’s World Contraceptive Day. The need to increase contraceptive use among sexually active people in Nigeria is critical to reducing unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion, the experts said. (Premium Times, 9/25)
 



RECENT PUBLICATIONS


Behavioral Counseling Urged for Teens, Young Adults at Risk for STDs
Teens and young adults at risk for sexually transmitted infections should undergo “intensive” behavioral counseling to help prevent risky sexual behaviors, according to new recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. (HealthDay News, 9/22)
 
Screening for Hepatitis B Virus Infection in Nonpregnant Adolescents and Adults
These guidelines from the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force update a previously published guideline summary. (AHRQ, 9/23)
 
Test Young Women for Gonorrhea and Chlamydia, experts say
Sexually active women under age 24 and older women at risk, like those who are pregnant, should be tested for the STDs Chlamydia and gonorrhea, according to new recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The USPSTF recommendation does not include men because there was not enough evidence to recommend for or against screening, the authors said. (Reuters, 9/23) 
 

 

NEW RESOURCES AVAILABLE


Children’s Health Care Quality Measures and Methods Supplement
The September-October 2014 AHRQ-supported supplement of Academic Pediatrics features overviews of work supported by the Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act on children’s health care quality measure development and Center of Excellence-authored articles on topics such as finding evidence, working with Medicaid/CHIP data, electronic health records, patient-reported outcomes, measuring value, and criteria for measure retirement. Articles are free public access. (AHRQ, 9/24)

CALL FOR COMMENT


Improving Mental Health Care for Children: Deadline October 6
A set of draft key questions and background for a planned systematic evidence review of strategies for improving mental health care for children and adolescents has been posted on AHRQ’S Effective Health Care Web site. The deadline for submitting comments is October 6, 2014. (AHRQ, 9/24)  
 
CMS Posts Details of CDC-Developed HIV Screening Measure Currently Under Consideration for Adoption Through Rulemaking for the Medicare Program
On September 22, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) posted details of a CDC-developed draft clinical quality measure for HIV. The measure aligns with the 2013 USPSTF recommendations that all individuals between the ages of 15 and 65 be screened for HIV. CMS will accept public comments through October 20, 2014 (CDC, 9/23)

 



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