Migraine Drug May Up Risk of Eating Disorders in Some Teens
A new report has linked a migraine medication, called topiramate (Topamax), to increased odds of eating disorders in some teens. The report details the case histories of seven young women, aged 13 to 18. The teens developed an eating disorder or had an existing disorder worsen after starting the drug. It’s important to note that the report only showed an association between taking the drug and eating disorders. (HealthDay News, 4/9)
Fewer U.S. Children Getting Melanoma: Study
The incidence of deadly melanoma skin cancer is falling among American children, a new study finds. Researchers looked at national cancer registry data and found that the number of new melanoma cases among children fell 12 percent each year from 2004 to 2010. Among 15-to-19-year-olds, cases of melanoma decreased by almost 8 percent a year for boys from 2000 to 2010, and by 11 percent per year for girls. (HealthDay News, 4/9)
Too Few Kids With Epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy Get Flu Shot: Study
Children with neurological disorders such as epilepsy or cerebral palsy are at increased risk for complications from the flu, but are no more likely to receive a flu shot than other kids are, a new U.S. study shows. It’s possible that many doctors don’t know that some of these disorders put children at increased risk for flu-related complications, the researchers said. (HealthDay News, 4/10)
Sense of ‘mission’ may keep young women from risky behaviors
Having a sense of purpose in life might help young people avoid sexually risky behavior, a new study suggests. The researchers defined a sense of mission or purpose as having far-reaching goals, wanting to make a difference in the world and making progress toward that. The study team analyzed data from the “Growing Up Today Study,” which followed the children of adults in the nationwide Nurses Health Study II. (Reuters, 4/10)
Stem Cells, Fecal Transplants Show Promise for Crohn’s Disease
Two experimental therapies might help manage the inflammatory bowel disorder Crohn’s disease, if this early research pans out. In one study, researchers found that a fecal transplant seemed to send Crohn’s symptoms into remission in seven of nine children treated. In another, a separate research team showed that stem cells can have lasting benefits for a serious Crohn’s complication called fistula. (HealthDay News, 4/10)
Children take more risks crossing streets than parents think
Children may cut things closer than their parents realize when it comes to guessing how far cars are from an intersection or how long it takes to safely reach the other side, a small study suggests. Using virtual reality, researchers tested how often kids might walk into oncoming traffic in real life. The results show that “parents may be over-estimating how careful their children are” study author Dr. Barbara Morrongiello said. (Reuters, 4/10)
The Power of the Silver Screen: Teens, Movies and Alcohol
Teens may imitate some of what they see in movies. That means that when they see alcohol consumption, teens may tend to drink more, a new study found. Researchers from the United Kingdom found that 15-year-olds who had the highest levels of exposure to alcohol use in films were more likely to try alcohol and to binge drink than peers who saw fewer movies with alcohol use. (Daily Rx, 4/12)
HPV Vaccine in Men Would Save Costs of Treating Throat Cancer
A new study underscores the effect of HPV on men, and points out that vaccinating men against the virus could prevent throat cancer as well. About 9,300 men in the U.S. each year are affected by HPV-caused cancers, among them oropharyngeal cancer that occurs in the middle part of the throat behind the mouth and can develop around the tonsils and the back of the tongue. (US News and World Report, 4/13)
U.S. emergency rooms getting better-prepared for kids
U.S. emergency departments are better prepared these days to care for young patients, a new study shows. The average readiness score for emergency departments responding to a survey in 2013 was about 69 percent, compared to an average score of about 55 percent in 2003, researchers say. Readiness includes having the proper processes, staff and equipment in place to treat children. (Reuters, 4/13)
Kids With Type 1 Diabetes Face Much Higher Hospitalization Rates
Children with type 1 diabetes are nearly five times more likely to be hospitalized than those without the disease, a new British study finds. The risk is highest among preschoolers and children in poor families. Researchers tracked data from almost 1,600 Welsh infants and children up to age 15, all of who had type 1 diabetes and found that these children were almost five times more likely to be hospitalized. (HealthDay News, 4/13)
Not Interested in School? Maybe They’re Born That Way
Kids who avoid doing homework and don’t care about getting A’s may have inherited their indifference toward school from their parents, new research suggests. As much as half of a child’s motivation to learn - or lack of motivation - may be driven by a genetic predisposition, according to an analysis involving more than 13,000 identical twins in six countries. (HealthDay News, 4/13)
Liquid Medical Marijuana Shows Promise Against Severe Epilepsy
A liquid form of medical marijuana may help people with severe epilepsy that does not respond to other treatments, according to a new report. The study included 213 child and adult patients with 12 different types of severe epilepsy. Some of them had Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, which are types of epilepsy that can cause intellectual disability and lifelong seizures. (HealthDay News, 4/13)
About 1 in 10 Kids Tries E-Cigarettes but Fewer than 2 Percent become Regular Users, Study Finds
While many teenagers try electronic cigarettes, few become regular users, according to a new study. The research included more than 10,000 children from Wales who were asked about their use of e-cigarettes. About 1,600 children were between the ages of 10 and 11. More than 9,000 were between 11 and 16 years old. Nearly 6 percent of the younger group had tried e-cigarettes. Just over 12 percent of the older kids had tried e-cigarettes, the study revealed. (HealthDay News, 4/15)
Lansoprazole Worsens Asthma Control in Poor Metabolizers
Children with poor metabolizer phenotype based on CYP2C19 have worse asthma control after six months of lansoprazole treatment, according to a study published online in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society. Recent upper respiratory infection correlated with worse asthma control, and this effect was more pronounced among lansoprazole-treated poor metabolizers. (Physician’s Briefing, 4/15) 



How a transgender teen’s cries for help on reddit and Tumblr powered a movement against ‘conversion therapy’
Seventeen-year-old Leelah Alcorn came from a household, which, she wrote, reacted “extremely negatively” to her decision to come out as transgender. Convinced that she would never be able to transition successfully into a woman, Alcorn committed suicide. The Transgender Human Rights Institute started a petition to call on U.S. government leadership to forbid licensed clinicians from practicing conversion therapy on minors. (Washington Post, 4/13)
A scientific look at the damage parents do when they bully their gay kids
Politicians and activists have been vocal about how businesses, churches and government institutions treat LGBT people – children and teenagers, in particular. But the most important arena has escaped criticism: their homes. The disdain and discrimination that many gay or gender non-conforming youth receive from their parents has the potential to do far more damage than hostility they experience from others. (Washington Post, 4/14)
Study Finds Broad Rise in Medication Use by Those Newly Joining Medicaid
People newly covered by Medicaid drove a significant increase in prescription drug use in 2014, even as those with private commercial coverage filled fewer prescriptions and, over all, patients did not visit the doctor as often, according to a new report by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, which tracks the health industry. (New York Times, 4/14)
When Keeping a Secret Trumps The Need For Care
Millions of young adults have been able to stay on their family insurance plans since that provision of the Affordable Care Act took effect in 2010. But studies show that young people often hesitate to get certain types of medical care, such as mental and behavioral health care, birth control and sexual health screenings, because they don’t want their parents to find out through insurance statements. (NPR, 4/15)
Many unaware of required tax-time insurance reporting
The special health insurance enrollment period set up for people surprised by their tax penalties hasn’t appeared to increase either awareness or enrollment by much, new research shows. Nearly half of people planning to file taxes said they had heard nothing or very little about the requirement to report whether they have insurance on their tax return, according to new research funded by RWJF. (USA Today, 4/15)
E-Cig Use Triples in Adolescents, CDC Says
The number of middle and high school students who say they’ve used e-cigarettes has tripled in just one year, according to new research that underscores health experts’ fears about the growing popularity of these nicotine delivery devices among adolescents. About 660,000 high school students reported using e-cigarettes in 2013, but in 2014, that number increased to about 2 million, according to a study published by the CDC. (ABC News, 4/16)
California bill to kill personal-beliefs exemption for vaccines stalls
A bill requiring all children in California public schools to be vaccinated for such diseases as polio and measles stalled in the legislature Wednesday, amid opposition from parents who fear vaccines will harm children’s immune systems or cause autism. The bill is one of several under consideration in U.S. states aiming to forestall a loss of group immunity as parents take advantage of personal beliefs exemptions. (Reuters, 4/16)
A Swim Team for Teens With Autism
Team sports are a right of passage for many children, but kids with disabilities often can’t participate. A new documentary called “Swim Team“ chronicles the Jersey Hammerheads, a swim team for children with autism. “A lot of these kids don’t have friends. At one time or another, all of our kids have been ostracized,” says Michael McQuay, the Hammerheads’ coach. “For them to be part of a team is unbelievable.” (New York Times, 4/16)                    



Youth Leaders Urged to Prioritize Adolescent Health with Resources and Results
Youth leaders gathered at the UNFPA offices in Kampala to share their recommendations on priorities for inclusion in the updated Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health. Representatives of a wide range of interests, the youth largely agreed on a need for the Global Strategy to focus on inclusivity – with a concerted effort to include the most vulnerable. (News Hour, 4/15)
Ghana: DFID, NYA educates youth leaders on reproductive health
The National Youth Authority in collaboration with DFID and the Futures Group an NGO, has organised a one day seminar on adolescent reproductive health for national youth leaders. The one day clinic, which attracted about 50 youth leaders, was aimed at discussing and identifying critical areas of concern in Adolescent and Sexual Reproductive Health, afford the leaders to make an advocacy statement for increased support for out-of-school adolescents and reproductive health services. (GhanaWeb, 4/16)


Confidentiality Shortcomings With EHR Use for Parents, Teens
EHRs and personal health records (PHRs) require significant modifications in order to meet the confidentiality requirements of specific populations according to a perspective piece published in Pediatrics. Noting that confidential information shared by adolescent patients and parents is accessible in EHRs and PHRs, the authors discuss ways to overcome these challenges in protecting confidentiality. (Physician’s Briefing, 4/13)
HPV (Human Papillomavirus) Gardasil®-9 VIS
A new vaccine information statement for HPV Gardasil-9 is now available from the CDC, and may be used immediately. Note that the VIS for standard Gardasil should not be used for Gardasil-9.  The new HPV Gardasil-9 VIS should be used instead. (CDC, 4/15)

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New Resource from
The newly updated Your Feelings section of, from the HHS Office on Women’s Health, covers such issues as eating disorders, self-esteem, self-harm, and depression. It offers guidance to girls 10 to 16 on recognizing a mental health problem, getting help, and talking to parents about mental health issues. A companion section for parents is available as well.
Meningococcal meningitis: Managing outbreaks among adolescents and young adults
Each year clusters of meningitis cases break out in the U.S. in the fall and winter months, particularly among adolescents and young adults. Sixty percent of patients with meningitis are adolescents or young adults. Patients commonly present to a primary care provider early in the infection when it appears to be an upper respiratory infection or influenza. (Clinical Advisor, 4/14)

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Practical Pediatrics CME Course
Register now for the Practical Pediatrics CME Course from May 22 to 24. This course at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco will feature: Allergy and immunology, dermatology, developmental and behavioral pediatrics, genetics, infectious diseases, and orthopaedics. Register by April 22 for early-bird rates. (AAP, 4/15)

Last chance to register for the 2015 Conference on Adolescent Health!
The Adolescent Health Initiative is thrilled to host the second annual Conference on Adolescent Health! This conference will take place on April 23-24 in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and you may register for the entire conference or each individual day. Registration closes on April 20th , so don’t wait any longer! Join us as we transform the landscape of adolescent health across the country! 


Introduction to a Trauma Informed Approach in Relationship Education
Childhood trauma impacts growth and success in all areas of a young person’s life, including their capacity to form and maintain healthy relationships.  Learn what trauma informed care is and its importance in the development of healthy relationships in a pre-recorded presentation from Carolyn Rich Curtis, Ph.D. The webinar will be held on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at 4 pm EST and is free of cost. (Dibble Institute, 4/16)


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


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