More support maintains adolescent’s healthy turnaround
Health professionals say more support is needed to help adolescents maintain healthy lifestyle changes after a period of intervention. The recommendations come after researchers analysed behavioural changes in adolescents during and after completing Curtin’s Activity, Food and Attitudes Program. (Medical Xpress, 12/12)
Medication Linked to Fewer Injuries in Kids With ADHD
Taking medication for ADHD might reduce the risk of young patients accidentally injuring themselves, new research suggests. When several thousand children and teens were taking methylphenidate, which is marketed as Ritalin or Concerta in the U.S., they were a little less likely to end up in the emergency room than when they weren’t taking the drug, the study found. (HealthDay News, 12/15)
Timing of First Period Tied to Women’s Later Heart Risk: Study
The timing of a woman’s first period may be linked to her later risk of heart disease, British researchers report. In a study of more than 1 million women, those who had their first period at age 10 or younger, or at age 17 or older, appeared to have a higher risk of heart disease, stroke and complications from high blood pressure. (HealthDay News, 12/15)
Potential Drug Interactions Common in Peds Hospitalizations
Among 498,956 children and teenagers who were hospitalized in 2011, 49 percent were given combinations of drugs that could have potential interactions, according to a new study. The findings were based on a year’s worth of administrative records from 43 U.S. children’s hospitals. Researchers looked for potential drug interactions in each patient’s case by checking a standard alert system used by hospitals. (Physician’s Briefing, 12/15)
Vaccinating Schoolkids Cuts Flu in Communities: Study
Giving flu shots to schoolchildren also protects others, a new study finds. “The effect of school-based vaccination was profound, both on the students and on the community,” the study lead author said. When half of the children aged 5 to 17 in Alachua County, Fla., received seasonal flu vaccinations through a school-based program, the flu rate in the entire age group fell by 79 percent. (HealthDay News, 12/15)
E-cigarette use among teenagers on the rise in the US
A new study published in the journal Pediatrics finds that e-cigarette use among teenagers in the US continues to grow, particularly in Hawaii. The research team surveyed 1,941 high school students in Hawaii who were aged 14 or 15 years. The researchers found that 30% of students reported using e-cigarettes. Use of both conventional cigarettes and e-cigarettes was reported among 12% of students. (Medical News Today, 12/15)
Smoking, drinking, prescription drug abuse by teens is down, survey says
The latest Monitoring the Future survey, released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, finds children are smoking fewer cigarettes, drinking less alcohol and abusing fewer prescription and synthetic drugs. Marijuana rates are stable, even with the increase in the number of states that allow people to use marijuana recreationally. (CNN, 12/16)
Indoor tanning injuries send thousands to the ER each year
A new report highlights the alarming trend of tanning bed injuries. An average of 3,234 people visit the emergency room each year for reasons related to indoor tanning, according to research. Skin burns, fainting and eye injuries were among the most common injuries documented in the study. A large number of the patients were college-age -- more than 35 percent were between the ages of 18 and 24. (CBS News, 12/16)
Reduce Screen Time To Trim the Fat
To help parents and inactive kids take a stand against childhood obesity, public health experts recommended cutting down screen media time among kids. In a recent report, the Community Preventive Services Task Force found that reducing the amount of TV and screen media helped lower kids’ risk of being overweight and obese. (Daily Rx, 12/16)
Work Steals Valuable Sleep Time, Study Finds
Chronic sleep loss is rampant in the U.S., and work commitment is a big reason why, new research suggests. A survey of nearly 125,000 Americans, ages 15 years and older, found that work is the main activity exchanged for sleep. Short sleepers worked 1.55 more hours on weekdays and nearly two more hours on weekends and holidays than those who slept longer, the researchers found. (HealthDay News, 12/16)
Blackouts After Boozing All Too Common in Teens
Teens are one of the groups most prone to binge drinking — a practice that can lead to alcohol-related blackouts. A new study found that alcohol-related blackouts in some teens increased as they aged from 15 to 19. Thirty percent of the teens who drank reported an alcohol-related blackout at age 15, and 74 percent reported them at age 19. (Daily Rx, 12/17)
Teen contraband cigarette use linked to other drugs
Compared to those who don’t smoke illicit tobacco, kids who do are more likely to try other illegal drugs like cocaine, heroin and amphetamines, according to a recent Canadian study. The researchers used survey data from one point in time, so they can’t say that smoking illegal cigarettes leads to drug use, only that the two often coincide and that’s enough to warrant stronger tobacco control policies. (Reuters, 12/18)
Study Explores Effects of Metformin in Obese Children
For obese hyperinsulinemic children, metformin seems to decrease perceived hunger and increase perceived fullness, according to a study published in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism. Researchers examined the effects of metformin on body weight and energy balance in 100 obese hyperinsulinemic children aged 6 to 12 years. (Physician’s Briefing, 12/18)              




Patchwork State Coverage for Pediatric Essential Health Benefit
A state-by-state benchmark plan approach results in a patchwork of coverage for the ACA’s pediatric essential health benefit, according to research published in Health Affairs. Under the ACA, “pediatric services” is one of the required classes of coverage. In a review of summaries of all state benchmark plans, the researchers found that none of the states specified a distinct pediatric services benefit class. (Physician’s Briefing, 12/15)
The U.S. Has A Surgeon General, For The First Time In 17 Months
A job that’s been open in President Obama’s administration since July of 2013 was finally filled this week, as the Senate voted to confirm Vivek Murthy as America’s new surgeon general. The tally was 51-43, ending a confirmation process that began after Obama nominated Murthy to the post in November of 2013 — yes, that’s one year ago. “Dr. Vivek Murthy is an MD and an MBA,” NPR reported in March. (NPR, 12/15)
Syphilis spikes among sexually transmitted diseases in U.S.: report
Syphilis is rapidly spreading among gay and bisexual men in the U.S., leading to the highest new case numbers reported in two decades, while other common sexually transmitted diseases appear to be under control, a federal study found. In 2013, the number of syphilis infections reported to the CDC rose by more than 10 percent to 17,535 cases, according to the agency’s annual report card on STDs. (Reuters, 12/16)
U.S. to sue NYC over rights violations of teen Rikers inmates
The U.S. Department of Justice plans to sue New York City over widespread violations of the civil rights of teenage inmates at the Rikers Island jail complex, it said on Thursday. The move by Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for New York’s southern district, followed a report in August that found there was a pattern of violent abuse of 16- to 18-year-old male inmates by guards and by others held at Rikers. (Reuters, 12/18)



New Study from Population and Development Review Finds Adolescent Childbearing in Iraq Has Risen Due to Increased Early Marriage Among Less-Educated Women
A new study published is the first detailed assessment of whether the 8-year Iraq War had an effect on childbearing. The study found that before the war, from 1997 to 2003, adolescent fertility in Iraq was stable at just below 70 births per 1,000 girls aged 15–19. However, soon after the beginning of the war, adolescent fertility rose by more than 30 percent, reaching over 95 births per 1,000 girls in 2010. (Health Canal, 12/15)
Nestle-NGO tie-up to provide adolescent health education
In order to inform adolescents about the benefits of proper nutrition and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, Nestle India signed an agreement Wednesday with Magic Bus India Foundation, an NGO, a company statement said. Magic Bus will create a curriculum based on the Sports for Development approach, imparting knowledge about nutrition, and a healthy and active lifestyle, the statement said.(The Health Site, 12/18)



Health Care Innovations Exchange: Advancing the Practice of Patient- and Family- Centered Care in Hospitals
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has released the December issue of the Health Care Innovations Exchange. This month’s issue is the first in a series of three issues on the Innovations Exchange’s new initiative to expand scale up and spread efforts through Learning Communities. (AHRQ, 12/18)
Quality of Care for Children in Medicaid and CHIP
The Secretary of Health and Human Services recently released the 2014 annual report related to quality of care for children in Medicaid and CHIP. The report discusses the status of Federal and State efforts to improve quality measurement and reporting, summarizes State-specific findings on Federal fiscal year 2013 reporting on the Child Core Set, and summarizes information on the quality measures and performance improvement projects. (AHRQ, 12/18)
HIV Risk, Prevention, and Testing Behaviors Among Heterosexuals at Increased Risk for HIV Infection — National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System, 21 U.S. Cities, 2010
Heterosexual sex is the second most common route of transmission of HIV in the United States. The National HIV Behavioral Surveillance System (NHBS) collects HIV prevalence and risk behavior data. This report summarizes data from the second NHBS data collection cycle among heterosexuals at increased risk for HIV, which was conducted during June–December 2010. (CDC, 12/18)



OAH Picks: Recapping 2014 and Six Trends in Adolescent Health
This month’s OAH Picks includes a recap of some major themes and helpful resources included in the OAH Picks e-updates from this year.  Themes include increasing global attention on adolescence and an emphasis on young adulthood, encouraging positive youth development, implementing evidence-based programs for adolescents, promoting physical activity and health eating, preventing teen violence, and promoting preventive health services for adolescents. (OAH, 12/18)


AHRQ solicits comments on pediatric EHR core functions
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is requesting feedback on a draft technical brief on core functions of pediatric EHRs. The document aims to help healthcare decisionmakers, such as patients, providers, health system leaders and policymakers, make well-informed decisions and ultimately improve healthcare quality. (Clinical Innovations and Technology, 12/15)

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