Down Syndrome Kids Fare Better Than Others After Heart Repair
Children with Down syndrome, compared with those without this genetic condition, are more likely to survive to discharge following surgical repair of congenital heart disease, according to research published online April 22 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. (Physician’s Briefing, 4/24)
Bullying Rates Drop Among American Teens: Study
American teens are much less likely to engage in bullying than they were a decade ago, new research suggests. Surveys completed by middle school and high school students between 1998 and 2010 suggest that instances of both verbal and physical bullying dropped by roughly half, with much of the decline seen specifically among boys. (HealthDay News, 4/24)
Friends Can Be Dangerous
I’m not sure whether it’s a badge of honor or a mark of shame, but a paper I published a few years ago is now ranked No. 8 on a list of studies that other psychologists would most like to see replicated. Good news: People find the research interesting. Bad news: They don’t believe it. The paper in question described a study in which we randomly assigned subjects to play a video driving game, either alone or with two same-age friends watching them. The mere presence of peers made teenagers take more risks and crash more often, but no such effect was observed among adults. (New York Times, 4/25)
Health Care Costs Among Young Adults Are About The Same, Whether They’re Insured Or Not
Among surprises from a new study on U.S. health spending is the realization: Whether insured or not, young adults spent about the same on out-of-pocket health expenditures throughout the year. Researchers analyzing federal data from 2009 reported this week in the Journal of Adolescent Health that young Americans covered by health insurance for at least part of the year also incurred greater expense for emergency care than their uninsured counterparts (Medical Daily, 4/27)
Changing hormones, glowing gadgets can leave youngsters sleep-deprived
A chronic lack of quality sleep can become a serious health problem, no matter a child’s age. Sleep researchers and pediatricians say it has been linked to everything from memory issues and behavioral problems to changes in cardiovascular health. One major obstacle to good sleep parents cited was busy evening schedules. Another issue is the use of electronics. (Las Vegas Review-Journal, 4/27)
Real world v online world: teens do not distinguish
Teenagers no longer distinguish between real life and the online world, according to a major new survey. The Digital Lives survey, commissioned by Google and Vodafone, raises questions about whether schools are providing sufficient education about how young people should guard against dangers that exist online, and warns that the jump between primary and secondary school precipitates a sudden and major change in digital behavior. (The Telegraph, 4/27)
Pro-Social Teens Less Likely to Be Depressed
University of Illinois investigators have found that 15- and 16-year-olds who find pleasure in activities such as giving their money to family members are less likely to become depressed than those who get a bigger thrill from taking risks or keeping the money for themselves. (Psych Central, 4/28)
High antidepressant dose linked to self harm in youths
When it comes to the link between antidepressants and suicidal behavior in young people, dose may matter quite a bit, a new study suggests. The Food and Drug Administration has for years required antidepressants to carry warnings that they may increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children and adults under age 25. The study finds the risk for deliberate self harm doubles when depressed young people start treatment with higher-than-usual doses. (USA Today, 4/28)
Being Called Fat Can Lead to Obesity in Girls
New research reveals that simply being called “fat” at the age of 10 increases girls’ risk of becoming obese by age 19. Study data revealed that 58 percent of participants had been told they were too fat at age 10. The findings reveal girls who had been called “fat” were 1.66 times more likely than other girls to be obese at 19. The study also revealed as the number of people who told a girl she was fat increased, so did her chance of becoming obese nine years later. (Counsel & Heal, 4/28)
Exposure to violence declining among children, teens: study
Despite frequent media reports of school shootings and child abuse, a new analysis says the amount of violence U.S. children are exposed to fell considerably during the past decade. The reductions persisted even through the economic recession period from 2008 to 2011, indicating the hard times experienced by many families did not translate to an increase in violence. (Reuters, 4/28)
Stressed Teens May Be Better Drivers
Researchers have discovered that teenager drivers who have a high sensitivity to stress actually have lower rates of car accidents than their mellow friends. Turned out that the teens who had a lower response to stress actually had higher rates of crashes and near crashes than did those with higher stress sensitivity. (Scientific American, 4/28)
Higher Doses Of Antidepressants May Raise Teen Suicide Risk
Antidepressants are thought to increase the risk of suicide in young people, but that may be caused by starting them on larger doses of the drugs, a study finds. Children and young adults who started taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants in higher-than-average doses were twice as likely to attempt suicide as people taking average doses, according to a study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine. (NPR, 4/28)
Working with horses reduces stress hormones in young people
Stress levels are lower in adolescents who work with horses than in those who don’t. A randomly controlled study involving 130 students age 10 to 15 found that 5th graders through 8th graders who participated in a series of weekly 90-minute equine learning sessions had lower cortisol levels than children who were wait-listed for the program, the control group. Cortisol is the hormone released in response to stress. (The Oregonian, 4/28)
Exposure to violence declining among children, teens: study
Despite frequent media reports of school shootings and child abuse, a new analysis says the amount of violence U.S. children are exposed to fell considerably during the past decade. The reductions persisted even through the economic recession period from 2008 to 2011, indicating the hard times experienced by many families did not translate to an increase in violence. (Reuters, 4/28)
Obesity in Teens Can Damage Kidneys
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity rates have more than quadrupled over the past 30 years, and the condition has shown both immediate and long-term effects on the health and well-being of those children affected. In fact, research shows that severe obesity in teens can damage kidneys. (Liberty Voice, 4/29)
Report Card: US Kids Still Need More Exercise 
Childhood obesity has gotten plenty of attention, but are behaviors that may prevent it really changing? A new report explored the state of physical activity among US youth. The report examined a variety of aspects of the physical activity levels of American children and teens, and found mixed results.The report found that only about a quarter of children meet the recommended guidelines for daily physical activity levels. (Daily Rx, 4/29)
The Masculine Mystique
A recent study published in Pediatrics has raised alarms about the way some gay teens are responding to bullying. Researchers analyzed government surveys from 2005 to 2007 of boys whose age averaged 16, 4% of whom self-identified as gay or bisexual. While only 4% of the survey’s straight respondents said they used steroids, 21% of the gay ones did. (The Advocate, 4/30)
Coached extracurricular activities may help prevent pre-adolescent smoking and drinking
Dartmouth researchers have found that tweens (preadolescents aged 10-14) who participate in a coached team sport a few times a week or more are less likely to try smoking. Their findings on the relationship between extracurricular activity and health risk behaviors are reported in “The relative roles of types of extracurricular activity on smoking and drinking initiation among tweens,” which was recently published in Academic Pediatrics. (Science Codex, 4/30)
MRI Shows Disrupted Connections in the Brains of Young People with ADHD
A new study has found that children and adolescents with ADHD have disrupted connections between different areas of the brain that are evident on resting-state rfMRI. The results of this research are published online in the journal Radiology. The findings point to the potential of rfMRI to help provide objectively accurate, early diagnosis of a disorder that affects approximately 5 percent of children and adolescents worldwide. (Science Codex, 4/30)
OSA Screener of Limited Clinical Use in Children, Study Finds
A widely used screening tool for obstructive sleep apnea in children is wrong more than 75% of the time compared with polysomnography, Canadian researchers found. The study found that the 16-item American Society of Anesthesiologists screening tool for moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea has a 78% false-positive rate in pediatric patients compared with polysomnography, which is considered the gold standard method for identifying the breathing disorder. (Anesthesiology News, 4/30)
Afternoon Exercise May Up Overnight/Next-Day Hypoglycemia
Afternoon moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) increases the risk of overnight and next-day hypoglycemia in adolescents with type 1 diabetes, according to research published in the May issue of Diabetes Care. (Physician’s Briefing, 4/30)
E-Cigarette Makers Going After Youth, Report Finds
E-cigarette makers may say they welcome regulation and don’t want to sell to teenage nonsmokers, but their advertising dollars paint a very different picture, according to a report released Thursday.E-cigarette makers spent $39 million on ads from June through November 2013, much of it on programming targeting youth, the anti-tobacco organization Legacy found. (NBC News, 5/1)     



Educational Changes Suggested for Patient-Centered Medicine
Changes in medical education and training are suggested to help new physicians address the needs of patients and their families, according to an ideas and opinions piece published in the April 22 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. To transform the process and experiences of training, the authors note that training programs and faculty, together with patient and family advisors and leaders, should design and implement a concrete action plan with specific steps. (Physician’s Briefing, 4/24)
Vaccines prevent more than 700,000 child deaths in the U.S.: CDC
A federal government program launched 20 years ago to increase vaccinations for low-income children in the United States will prevent more than 700,000 deaths, but measles remains a stubborn adversary, with more than 129 cases so far this year, a federal agency said on Thursday. (Reuters, 4/24)       
FDA May Ban Shock Devices Used On Those With Special Needs
The Food and Drug Administration is considering banning devices used to administer electric shocks to children and adults with developmental disabilities in an effort to modify their behavior. In a 126-page report issued this week, the federal agency said it is currently reviewing what are known as electrical stimulation devices and could move to bar their continued use. (Disability Scoop, 4/24)
Sex Education Teacher Standards Needed, Coalition of Health Groups Says
While many teacher preparation programs offer sex education courses, many of them don’t require them, a coalition of sex education groups say. And that lack of consistent training combined with a patchwork of state and district policies can leave teachers ill-prepared for the unique challenges they may face when teaching students about sex and sexuality, the groups say. To remedy that situation the Future of Sex Education Initiative have proposed national teacher preparation standards for sex education. (Education Week, 4/25)

National Campaign for Youth Shelter launches
The National Coalition for the Homeless and the Ali Forney Center have joined together to launch the National Campaign for Youth Shelter, a collaboration that will build a grassroots campaign to demand a national response to youth homelessness. Over 30 organizations have endorsed of the National Campaign for Youth Shelter. (Windy City Times, 4/27)
First Reproductive Health Visit Suggested at Age 13-15 Years
An initial visit for screening and provision of reproductive preventive health care services is recommended between the ages of 13–15 years, according to a Committee Opinion published in the May issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology. Researchers from the Committee on Adolescent Health Care from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists discuss the initial reproductive health visits for screening and provision of reproductive preventive health care services and guidance. (MPR, 4/28)
More STD Screening on Horizon for Women?
A federal task force is poised to advise doctors to regularly screen all sexually active American women and girls up to age 24 for the sexually transmitted diseases chlamydia and gonorrhea, which often don’t have outward symptoms. (HealthDay News, 4/28)
White House to Press Colleges to Do More to Combat Rape
Reacting to a series of highly publicized rapes on college campuses, the White House on Monday released guidelines that increase the pressure on universities to more aggressively combat sexual assaults on campus. The recommendations urge colleges, among other measures, to conduct anonymous surveys about sexual assault cases, adopt anti-assault policies that have been considered successful at other universities and to better ensure that the reports of such crimes remain confidential. (New York Times, 4/28)
More Hospitals Tailor Cancer Care to Teens and Young Adults
New treatments and earlier detection have led to steady gains in cancer survival for children and adults. But survival rates for teens and young adults with some types of cancer have barely budged in 30 years. A push is on for better care and better outcomes for patients in what the National Cancer Institute calls a “no man’s land” between pediatric and adult oncology. At present, adolescents and young adults may be treated in adult units or in children’s wards—which both are places they are likely to feel isolated and distressed. (Wall Street Journal, 4/28)
Will the Parental Notice of Abortion Act help or hurt young women?
Last August the Parental Notice of Abortion Act, which requires women in Illinois under the age of 18 to notify a parent or guardian before having an abortion, was put into effect for the first time in Illinois. It’s the 39th state to require parental notification or consent for minors seeking an abortion. (Chicago Reader, 4/28)




Nigeria: ‘Why Adolescents in Nigeria Are Prone to HIV Infection’
High social tolerance for and the frequent resort to non-consensual sex, including rape and cases of early and high levels of exposure to unsafe sex are among the factors that have perpetually predisposed Nigerians of adolescent and young age grades to HIV infection, officials of Population Council in Nigeria have disclosed.
 (All Africa, 4/26)
Ensuring that adolescents living with HIV are not left behind
Despite the unprecedented progress made in the AIDS response in recent years, emerging evidence suggests that adolescents are falling behind as a result of not receiving the attention and services they require. To advance the adolescent treatment and care agenda, UNAIDS, the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition, the Global Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (GNP+) and PACT brought together key treatment actors, United Nations and youth organizations and networks of young people living with HIV. (UN AIDS, 4/30)
‘Superbugs’ that can overpower antibiotics are spreading: WHO
he spread of deadly superbugs that evade even the most powerful antibiotics is no longer a prediction but is happening right now across the world, United Nations officials said on Wednesday. Antibiotic resistance has the potential to affect anyone, of any age, in any country, the U.N.’s World Health Organisation (WHO) said in a report. It is now a major threat to public health and “the implications will be devastating”. (Reuters, 4/30)





Two new SAHM position papers offer guidance on electronic health records use, sexual and reproductive health services
Two new SAHM position papers appear in the April 2014 issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health and are available to view. The first offers recommendations for effective use of electronic health records that provide optimal care and protect patient confidentiality. The second asserts a need for adolescents and young adults to have unconstrained access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information and services. 
Pediatricians Say Training Can Help Teens Avoid Knee Injuries                                                               
A torn ACL often requires surgical repair. But so-called neuromuscular training programs can cut the risk of a serious ACL injury and should be recommended to at-risk young athletes, especially girls, according to a clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics. (NPR, 4/24)

AAP offers two new videos highlighting the clinical report. A parent-oriented video explains the risk of ACL tears in young female athletes and highlights the importance of neuromuscular training exercises. A second video features an extended interview with Dr. LaBella as she explains the report’s key recommendations for physicians.

AM:STARs: Young Adult Health
AM:STARs:  Adolescent Medicine: State of the Art Reviews is the official publication of the AAP Section on Adolescent Health. Published 3 times per year, the journal offers adolescent medicine specialists and other primary care physicians who treat adolescent patients with state of the art information on all matters relating to adolescent health and wellness. In this issue, Young Adult Health, topics include: Approaching Young Adult Health and Medicine from a Developmental Perspective ; Seizing the Opportunity: Improving Young Adult Preventive Healthcare; Social Media and Health; and Mental Health Among Late Adolescents and Young Adults from a Population-level and Clinical Perspective.



Public Health Grand Rounds Session Examines Youth Violence Prevention
Public health Grand RoundsOn February 18, 2014, OJJDP Administrator Robert L. Listenbee made remarks at a Public Health Grand Rounds session on youth violence prevention, organized by the CDC. Other speakers included Dr. Howard Spivak, director of CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention; Dr. Deborah Gorman-Smith, professor at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration; and Sheila B. Savannah, division manager, Office of Health Planning, Evaluation and Program Development, Houston Department of Health and Human Services. 



Webcast: How Positive Youth Development Offers Promise for Teen Health & Teen Pregnancy Prevention
May is Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. In observance, the HHS Office of Adolescent Health is hosting a live webcast on positive youth development. The webcast is being held on Wednesday, May 7th, 2014 between 2-3 p.m., ET. Evelyn Kappeler, Director of the Office of Adolescent Health, will moderate the discussion, which will include the research behind youth development programs, their value and success in curbing teen pregnancy, and what the future holds.



CMS Issues Call for PQRS Quality Measures
On May 1, 2014, CMS will begin accepting recommendations for potential Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) quality measures for 2016 and future rulemaking years. Quality measure proposals also will be considered for use in other physician quality programs, including the Value Based Modifier, Physician Compare, and the Medicare Shared Savings Program. (Health Industry Washington Watch)
Opportunity to Submit Comments: Draft USPSTF Recommendations for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea Screening and Behavioral Counseling for STI Prevention
The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently posted draft recommendation statements and evidence reviews on 1) screening for chlamydia and gonorrhea and 2) behavioral counseling interventions to prevent sexually transmitted infections. Both are available for review and public comment from April 29 through May 26, 2014. (National Chlamydia Coalition)

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A Weekly Digest of Adolescent Health News in Traditional and New Media


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