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ADOLESCENT HEALTH IN THE NEWS

 

RECENT RESEARCH


Nearly 5 Percent of Young U.S. Women Have Chlamydia: CDC
An estimated 1.8 million Americans aged 14 to 39 are infected with the sexually transmitted disease chlamydia, and many don’t know it, federal health officials reported. Rates of infection are highest among young women. An estimated 4.7 percent of women aged 14 to 24 were infected with the easily treated disease in 2012, which often has no symptoms. (HealthDay News, 9/25)
 
Meta-Analysis: Anti-TNF Therapy Deemed Safe for Children
For children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), treatment with anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) therapy appears to be safe, according to research published in of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. “Our pooled analysis showed that anti-TNF therapy in pediatric IBD appears to be safe and well tolerated,” the authors write. (Physician’s Briefing, 9/25)
 
FDA Approves HUMIRA: New Pediatric Treatment For Crohn’s Disease
A new pediatric treatment for Crohn’s disease has been approved by the FDA. HUMIRA is now the only biological drug that’s FDA-approved for children six years of age and older when all other inflammatory bowel treatments have failed. (Science World Report, 9/26)
 
10 statistics on patient safety culture
Most medical offices show a strong culture of teamwork and patient care tracking while maintaining adequate staff to address work pressures and communication skills remains areas with potential for improvement, according to a recent AHRQ survey. The survey measures the culture of patient safety in medical offices from healthcare providers and staffs’ perspectives. (Becker’s Hospital Review, 9/26)
 
Children With Autism Are More Sedentary Than Peers
Recent findings published in the journal Autism Research and Treatment show that children with autism are more likely to be sedentary than their peers. Researchers found that on average, they were likely to spend 50 minutes less a day involved in moderate physical activity and 70 minutes more each day sitting.  Researchers studied 29 youth between the ages of 9 and 18 years. (Science World Report, 9/26)
 
ACL Tear Won’t Keep Most College Athletes From Returning to Play: Study
An ACL tear typically doesn’t mean the end of a college athlete’s career, a new study finds. The research suggests that the risk for a reinjury of the knee’s ACL goes down as athletes mature from high school into college. However, college athletes who had suffered an ACL injury in their pre-college years were much more likely to suffer recurrent ACL trouble, compared to those who had their first such injury in college. (HealthDay News, 9/26)
 
Teens With Depression Benefit From Collaborative Care Model
A collaborative care intervention for adolescents with depression who are being treated in primary care resulted in greater improvement in depressive symptoms at 12 months than that seen in a comparable group of adolescents treated in a usual-care model. The findings, reported in JAMA Psychiatry, suggest that mental health services for adolescents with depression can be integrated into primary care. (Psychiatric News, 9/26)
 
‘Freshman 15’ may be oversold: analysis
College students may not gain the much-dreaded “freshman 15” but they do gain weight during their years in school, according to a fresh look at some past research. Young adults gained an average of about 3.5 pounds over their college careers with a relatively small gain during the first year, researchers found. (Reuters, 9/29)
 
Head Injuries May Raise Chances of Risky Behavior by Teens
Teenagers who have experienced a traumatic brain injury are much more likely to engage in a wide range of risky behaviors, Canadian researchers report. Both boys and girls were more likely to smoke, use drugs, drink alcohol and get poor grades after they endured a blow to the head that knocked them out for longer than five minutes or landed them in the hospital for a day or more, the study found. (HealthDay News, 9/30)
 
Depression Rates Higher Across The Country
Despite increasing awareness and acceptance about mental health issues, recent findings show that more Americans are depressed than they have been in the past few decades. Analyzing data from 6.9 million adolescents and adults all over the country, researchers found that Americans now report more psychosomatic symptoms of depression than their counterparts in the 1980s. (Science World Report, 9/30)
 
Study: Antibiotic therapy guidelines for pediatric pneumonia not linked to improved outcomes
Following guideline-recommended therapy for pediatric patients with community-acquired pneumonia was not associated with improved clinical outcomes, according to a study. Researchers analyzed data on children aged 3 month to 18 years with CAP who were hospitalized. The differences in clinical outcomes for patients who received guideline-recommended therapy and those who did not were not statistically significant. (Becker’s Infection Control and Clinical Quality, 9/30)
 
Obese in Adolescence, Colon Cancer in Later Life?
Obesity and inflammation in late adolescence are associated with increased risk for colon and rectal cancer in adulthood, a new study of Swedish males suggests. The 35-year study found that 16- to 20-year-olds who were obese had more than twice the risk of developing colon or rectal cancer compared to normal-weight teens. (HealthDay News, 9/29)
 
Intervention helps decrease ‘mean girl’ behaviors, researchers find
Researchers have developed and tested an intervention that effectively decreases relational aggression among teen girls. The intervention, Growing Interpersonal Relationships through Learning and Systemic Supports (GIRLSS) is a 10-week, group counseling, caregiver training and caregiver phone consultation intervention for relationally aggressive middle school girls and their families. (Medical Xpress, 10/1)
 
No-cost, long-acting contraception cuts teen pregnancy by 79 percent
A program that offered long-acting no-cost contraception to U.S. girls and women age 15 to 19 reduced the teenage pregnancy rate by 79 percent over five years and cut the abortion rate by 77 percent, according to the results of a new study. The new study comes from the Contraceptive CHOICE Project conducted in the St. Louis area. (Reuters, 10/1)
 
Given Choice, Parents Pick Cheaper Medical Procedure for Children
It is common wisdom that patients don’t like to think about cost when it comes to health care. But what if the problem is that they’re so rarely even given that information? A recent study in the Annals of Surgery found that parents who were asked to decide which form of surgery their children should undergo and told about the price difference tended to select the cheaper option. (The New York Times, 10/1)
 
Beware, smoking marijuana at early age can weaken your immunity in adulthood
According to a new research published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, smoking marijuana early in life can trigger immune-related diseases in adulthood. The study treated adolescent mice with the chemical THC that is found in cannabis. Later in adulthood these mice developed serious alterations in immune responses due to a switch towards a pro-inflammatory and cytotoxic phenotype. (The Health Site, 10/1)
 
Practicing Judaism could protect against suicide, study claims
A study published in European Psychiatry approaches the hypothesis that religion could protect against suicidal impulses through the lens of Judaism. According to the research, religious Jewish teens exhibit 45% less suicide-risk behavior, including attempted suicide, than their secular Jewish peers, suggesting that religious observance indeed helps protect Jewish adolescents against suicide. (Medical Xpress, 10/2)
 
Most Who Abuse Painkillers Are Unprepared If Overdose Strikes: Study
Although teens and young adults who abuse prescription painkillers face a high risk of overdose, most don’t know how to respond when one occurs, new research shows. “What we found is that when it comes to how to handle an overdose, prescription opioid users who weren’t using drugs for official medical reasons were less savvy than, say, more traditional heroin-using populations,” said study author David Frank. (HealthDay News, 10/2)                                                 

 

NATIONAL


Study: ObamaCare cut Hispanic uninsured rate
Hispanic groups saw their uninsured rates drop substantially thanks to ObamaCare’s new coverage options, according to a new study. The increase in health insurance was particularly visible among young Hispanics between the ages of 19 and 34 and non-elderly Hispanics who speak predominantly Spanish. (The Hill, 9/25)
 
First lady to children: ‘Don’t be mad’ over healthier school lunches
First lady Michelle Obama said it was “natural” that kids are “grumbling” over new requirements for schools to fill vending machines and lunch lines with healthier food, but that it would not deter her from improving child nutrition. “Change is hard,” the first lady said in an interview. “And the thing about highly processed, sugary, salty food is that you get addicted to it. I don’t want to just settle because it’s hard.” (The Hill, 9/26)
 
For Many New Medicaid Enrollees, Care Is Hard to Find, Report Says
Enrollment in Medicaid is surging as a result of the ACA, but the Obama administration and state officials have done little to ensure that new beneficiaries have access to doctors after they get their Medicaid cards, federal investigators say in a new report. The report, to be issued by the inspector general of the HHS, says state standards for access to care vary widely and are rarely enforced. (The New York Times¸ 9/27)

New York City to end solitary confinement for teens at Rikers jail
New York City plans to end the use of solitary confinement to punish teenage inmates at the troubled Rikers Island jail complex by the end of the year, according to a Department of Correction memorandum. The policy shift comes less than two months after the U.S. Department of Justice said its investigators had found a pattern of abuse of 16- and 17-year-old inmates that breached their constitutional rights. (Reuters, 9/29)
 
Colorado, CDC probing 10 cases of virus-related paralysis in kids
U.S. health officials are investigating at least 10 cases of children under 21 years old in Colorado who developed limb weakness or paralysis after testing positive for a respiratory virus, state health officials said on Monday. All of those experiencing limb weakness have recently been diagnosed with either some form of enterovirus or rhinovirus. MRI scans of all 10 cases show lesions in the spinal column. (Reuters, 9/29)
 
New challenge to Alabama law that puts pregnant teens on trial
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Alabama to block what appears to be the nation’s most restrictive law targeting teenagers who seek an abortion. That law, which took effect in July, opens the door to the district attorney calling witnesses in a teenager’s life to weigh in on whether she is fit to decide to have an abortion – and includes the appointment of an attorney for the fetus. (MSNBC, 10/2)
 
Enterovirus link probed in deaths of girl, 3 others
Federal health officials are investigating whether a rare respiratory virus sweeping the country contributed to the deaths of four people, including a 10-year-old Rhode Island girl who was hospitalized. So far, no deaths have been directly attributed to enterovirus D68. 500 people in 42 states and DC were confirmed to be sick with EV-D68, the CDC reported. Almost all infections have been among children. (USA Today, 10/2)           

 

INTERNATIONAL


A cry for help: No psychological relief for Pakistan’s children
The SAARC Psychiatric Federation president announced that there are only around 400 psychiatrists serving Pakistan’s population of 200 million people, adding that there were less than 10 child psychotherapists in Pakistan. “Apart from congenital mental disorders, the crippling mental health conditions among children result from factors such as poverty, the loss of parents, trauma, child abuse and labour,” he said.  (The Tribune, 9/29)
 
Male circumcision goes into overdrive, targets schools
Population Services International (PSI) Zimbabwe says it is planning to take its male circumcision campaign to schools as part of efforts to encourage adolescent boys to go under the knife and curb the spread of HIV. PSI has entered already into a partnership with the National Association of Schools Heads where the agency would sponsor a schools Under-20 football tournament to reach out to school-going male children. (News Day, 9/30)
 
Malawi: Condomize! Targets Cultural Practices in Malawi
UNFPA Malawi is incorporating the CONDOMIZE! campaign in deep-rooted and prominent cultural practices in the country in its quest to increase condom use among the youth and ultimately, reduce unplanned pregnancies and HIV infection. (All Africa, 10/2)
 
Bangladesh: ‘‘Govt under pressure for lowering marriage age”
The government has planned to lower the age limit for the marriage of girls and boys since it is under pressure from rural areas as rural girls ‘flee home’ to get married, says a junior minister.  The State Minister for Health and Family Affairs said the government is thinking of reducing the age limit of marriage for girls from 18 years to 16 years and for boys from 21 years to 18 years. (Prothom Alo, 10/2)


RECENT PUBLICATIONS


Long-acting reversible contraceptives best for teens: pediatricians
For adolescents who choose not to abstain from sex, the AAP favors long-acting reversible contraceptives, such as contraceptive implants and intrauterine devices. The AAP’s Committee on Adolescence updated the organization’s 2007 policy statement on prescribing contraception for adolescents. The policy statement also urges pediatricians to ensure that adolescents have access to these methods. (Reuters, 9/29)
 
New Guidelines for Bone Health in Children and Adolescents
Once thought to simply be a part of aging, osteoporosis may have roots in bone mass acquired in childhood. That’s why the AAP recently released a report that looked at bone health in childhood and adolescence. In addition to providing guidelines for calcium and vitamin D, the report also called for kids to exercise to strengthen their bones. (Daily Rx, 9/28)
 
A.S.P.E.N. clinical guidelines: support of pediatric patients with intestinal failure at risk of parenteral nutrition–associated liver disease.
The guidelines provide recommendations for the care of children with parenteral nutrition–dependent intestinal failure that have the potential to prevent parenteral nutrition–associated liver disease (PNALD) or improve its treatment. (AHRQ, 9/30)
 
Appropriate Use Criteria Established for Pediatric ECHO
Appropriate use criteria have been developed for the initial use of transthoracic echocardiography in outpatient pediatric cardiology. The guidelines were published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. In an effort to help clinicians in the care of children with possible heart disease, appropriate use criteria for the initial use of outpatient pediatric echocardiography were established and evaluated. (Physician’s Briefing, 10/1)



 

CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENTS


AAP advocacy day trainings
The AAP will be hosting two Advocacy Day trainings on Oct. 27 and Jan. 23, 2015. Beginning with an in-depth training session on how to advocate to members of Congress, the day will culminate with in-person visits to federal legislators on Capitol Hill. The October training will take place in Washington, D.C. There is no cost to attend the Advocacy Day trainings other than travel. If you are interested in attending either of the trainings, please e-mail Devin Miller. (AAP, 10/2)


UPCOMING WEBINARS


How To Get Published in the Digital Era
This interactive SAHM webinar, held by Tor Berg and Charles Irwin, Jr., MD, FSAHM, is designed to demystify the publishing process. Attendees will learn how best to use academic publications to disseminate their research findings. The session will be led by the editors of the Journal of Adolescent Health and will include a Q&A session with a panel of experienced editorial board members, reviewers, and authors. Attendees are encouraged to bring specific examples and anecdotes for discussion and consultation. This 90 minute webinar will be held on Tuesday October 21, 2014 at 1:00 pm EDT/12:00 pm CDT.  Register in advance.

 


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