Think Hookahs Filter Out Tobacco Toxins? Think Again
Contrary to what many people think, hookah water pipes do not filter out most of the heavy metals in tobacco, a new study warns. Researchers tested four of the most popular tobacco brands in Jordan. The investigators found that hookahs remove only about 3 percent of heavy metals in tobacco, which is not enough to protect smokers against exposure to these toxic substances. (HealthDay News, 2/20) 

YouTube Videos of Drunkenness Don’t Show Alcohol’s Harms
YouTube videos of drunkenness are popular, but fail to show the harms of too much drinking, a new study finds. In the study, the researchers used five terms - drunk, buzzed, hammered, tipsy and trashed - to search YouTube and found that the 70 most popular videos depicting drunken behavior had a total of more than 330 million views. Humor was featured in 79 percent of the videos, and motor vehicle use occurred in 24 percent. (HealthDay News, 2/20)

Most HIV Infections Come From Undiagnosed or Untreated People: Study
If an American becomes infected with HIV, chances are he or she contracted the virus from someone who didn’t know they were infected or wasn’t getting proper treatment. That’s the message of a new U.S. study, which found that undiagnosed and untreated people with HIV may be responsible for more than nine out of 10 new infections. (HealthDay News, 2/23)

Providers, patients differ on birth control choices
When women who are family planning experts need to pick a birth control method for themselves, what do they generally choose? Not the same thing the average woman chooses, a new study found. About 42 percent of the family planning experts in the study used long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) – a choice made by only about 12 percent of women in the general population. (Reuters, 2/24)

Preventative treatment dramatically reduces HIV risk in gay men
Gay men at high risk of HIV who took a daily dose of a Gilead AIDS drug as a preventative measure cut their risk of infection by 86 percent, according to results of a British trial released at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. Researchers who conducted the trial of PrEP said the results offer real hope of reversing the HIV epidemic among men who have sex with men, one of the highest risk groups. (Reuters, 2/24)

SNP Linked to Vincristine-Related Neuropathy in ALL
A single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the promoter region of the CEP72 gene, which encodes a centrosomal protein involved in microtubule formation, correlates with risk and severity of vincristine-related peripheral neuropathy in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. (Physician’s Briefing, 2/24)

Nasal flu vaccines may be safe for kids with egg allergies
Nasal-spray flu vaccines appear to be safe for children over age two who have egg allergies or asthma, say UK researchers. No systemic or severe allergic reactions were seen among 282 egg-allergic children who received the vaccine. Eight kids had mild reactions, such as a runny nose and 26 reported coughing or wheezing up to three days after the vaccine. (Reuters, 2/26)

ADHD ‘doubles the risk of early death’
Having a diagnosis of ADHD increases the risk of death and reduces overall life-expectancy, a large study published in The Lancet shows. It finds that people with ADHD have a more than doubled risk of premature death - and that accidents are the most common cause. The researchers found the relative risk of dying was much higher for women than for men with ADHD. (Medical News Today, 2/26)

Combining PrEP and ART could almost eliminate HIV infection, east African study finds
Giving both PrEP and ART to heterosexual couples where one partner has HIV (serodiscordant couples) can almost eliminate the chance of infection in the HIV-negative partner, a study presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections has shown. The Partners Demonstration Project is being run in Kenya and Uganda in four centres that had hosted the Partners PrEP study. (AIDS Map, 2/26)



Partners for Kids, Nationwide Children’s demonstrate cost savings, quality as pediatric ACO
A new study published in Pediatrics demonstrates the cost-saving and health care quality outcomes of the pediatric Accountable Care Organization (ACO) Partners for Kids. Results of this study indicate that Partners for Kids successfully improved the value of pediatric healthcare over time through cost containment, while maintaining quality of care. (Medical Xpress, 2/18)
Americans Still Divided Over Obamacare
Americans remain deeply divided over the Affordable Care Act, a HealthDay/Harris Poll released Thursday found. A consistent 30 percent of Americans favor repeal of the law, although they’re outnumbered by a majority of people who like the law as it is (26 percent) or want to keep the law with some changes (28 percent), the poll revealed. (HealthDay News, 2/19)
Sign-Up Window to Shift Ahead for 2016 Obamacare Coverage
Next year’s window for signing up for insurance under the health law will clash with Christmas, but not Halloween, as part of a final rule released late Friday by federal officials. Open enrollment for 2016 coverage under the ACA will start Nov. 1, 2015 and end Jan. 31, 2016, according to revised regulations. Obama administration officials had previously suggested starting Oct. 1, 2015 and finishing Dec. 15, 2015.  (Wall Street Journal, 2/20)
US measles outbreak not linked to illegal immigration, health official says
A top US health official again quashed claims of a link between a recent measles outbreak and illegal immigration. Anne Schuchat of the CDC said there was no evidence to support claims that measles is being imported to the US by undocumented immigrants. Most commonly, she said, measles reaches the US through unvaccinated Americans who travel to Europe or Asia. (The Guardian, 2/23)
Measles Cases Pass 150 Mark, CDC Says
The number of people infected with measles has increased slightly to 154 patients in 17 states and the DC, U.S. health officials reported. Last week, the number of cases was 141, officials said. The outbreak began at two Disney theme parks in southern California in December, according to the CDC, and it’s believed that the source of the infection was likely a foreign visitor or a U.S. resident returning from abroad. (HealthDay News, 2/23)
Changes at the top of Medicare, Medicaid agency
Big changes are in store later this month at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services after Administrator Marilyn Tavenner officially steps down. Andy Slavitt, CMS’ principal deputy administrator and a top spokesman for the improved ACA rollout this year, takes over for Tavenner, the agency said.  Slavitt will be replaced in an acting capacity by Dr. Patrick Conway, who is chief medical officer at CMS. (USA Today, 2/23)
Administration Bars Health Plans That Won’t Cover Hospital Care
The Obama administration has blocked health plans without hospital benefits that many large employers argued fulfilled their obligations under the ACA. Plans lacking substantial coverage of hospital and physician services don’t qualify as “minimum value” coverage under the law and so do not shield employers from fines of $3,000 or more per worker, HHS said. (NPR, 2/23)
Oklahoma House committee advances ‘conversion therapy’ bill
A bill that would protect an Oklahoma parent’s right to take a child to conversion therapy aimed at eliminating same-sex attraction or gender confusion advanced on Tuesday from a state House of Representatives committee. The proposal, approved in a 5-3 vote in the Republican-dominated Oklahoma legislature, bars local or state governments from restricting or prohibiting the therapy or counseling. (Reuters, 2/24)
Medicaid Enrollment Surges Across the U.S.
HHS announced  10.8 million low-income adults and children have enrolled in public health insurance since 2013, when the portion of the ACA involving the program took effect. The number represents an 18.6 percent increase in enrollment. Now, Medicaid and CHIP cover nearly 70 million people, or 1 in 5 people in the country. Under the ACA, more people can qualify for Medicaid based on their income. (US News and World Report, 2/24)
~4 Percent Increase in Primary Care Visits Expected With ACA
The greater number of Americans with health insurance under the ACA will lead to only a slight increase in the use of medical services, and the health system can cope with the added demand, according to a new report from The Commonwealth Fund. Once the law is fully implemented, the expansion in health coverage will lead to a 3.8 percent increase in visits to primary care doctors nationally, according to the report. (Physician’s Briefing, 2/25)                  



Africa: How the HIV Response Is Failing Teens Across Southern Africa
Adolescents across Southern Africa face barriers to HIV prevention and treatment, contributing to increasing AIDS-related deaths in this age group. A regional study has highlighted areas where the current HIV response is failing young people, including in sexual health education, HIV prevention and support in adhering to treatment. (All Africa, 2/22)

Child dies of measles in Berlin, Germany vows to boost vaccinations
An 18-month-old boy who was not vaccinated against measles has died of the virus in Berlin, health officials said, adding they would try to boost vaccination rates and increase checks on children’s status. The German capital has seen about 600 cases of measles since an outbreak began last October, and the boy’s death reignited a debate about whether to make vaccination compulsory. (Reuters, 2/23)
Mother, child and adolescent health high on Government agenda: Shri J P Nadda India hosts Global Stakeholder Consultation
The health of women, young adults and children is central to the governance agenda the Government and it is not just the concern of the global community. Reaffirming the commitment of the government towards meeting the health needs of mothers, adolescents and children, the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Shri J P Nadda stated this at the inauguration of the Global Stakeholders Consultation.  (Business Standard, 2/26)
Wales: Youth mental health referrals double in four years
The number of children and young people referred to mental health services has more than doubled since 2010. In December 2010, 1,200 under-18s were waiting for their first outpatient appointment, rising to 2,500 in December 2014. It comes after a report by assembly members last year found mental health services for children and young people in Wales could not cope with demand. (BBC, 2/26)


A Little Fat, Sugar OK for Kids If Diet Is Healthy
Cutting junk food from kids’ diets is important, but if a little sugar and fat helps them eat their veggies, that’s a good trade-off, a leading group of pediatricians says. New recommendations from AAP emphasize the importance of introducing kids to a wide variety of “whole foods” -- from fruits and vegetables, to whole grains and nuts, to fish and low-fat dairy. (HealthDay News, 2/23)

Essential Role for Pediatricians in Care of Sexual Exploitation Victims
Pediatricians have a role to play in identification and treatment of victims of child sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), according to a clinical report from AAP. To help doctors recognize potential victims and respond appropriately, the report discusses risk factors, recruitment practices, possible indicators, and common medical and behavioral problems experienced by victims. (Physician’s Briefing, 2/25)

CDC Grand Rounds: Preventing Youth Violence
This report is a part of a series of occasional MMWR reports titled CDC Grand Rounds. These reports are based on grand rounds presentations at CDC on high-profile issues in public health science, practice, and policy. (CDC, 2/26)

Sex, contraception, or abortion? Class gaps in unintended childbearing
A poor woman is about five times as likely as an affluent woman to have an unintended birth, which further deepens the divides in income, family stability, and child outcomes. But what is behind the gap? This report and data interactive from the Brookings Institute explores that question.


ONC releases guide on maximizing e-prescribing
To help boost and support e-prescription use, the ONC has released a guide called “A Prescription for e-Prescribers: Getting the Most Out of Electronic Prescribing.” The guide offers resources to learn more about and improve e-prescribing at every step of the process, from identifying the patient to selecting the drug to authorizing and signing to the pharmacy review process. (Becker’s Health IT & CIO Review, 2/19)
Immunization Works! Newsletter
The current issue of the CDC’s Immunization Works! Newsletter is now available online. The newsletter includes influenza information and coverage, information regarding the measles outbreak, and resources on vaccination. (CDC, 2/25)

CDC Schedule App: Updated for 2015 Recommendations
The CDC Vaccine Schedules app has been updated with the 2015 recommended immunization schedules and footnotes.  If you previously downloaded the 2014 app, you must download the 2015 version, release 2.0.1. Check your app store or app library for updates. If you are new to the free Vaccines Schedules app, see instructions on downloading to iOS and Android devises. (CDC, 2/26)

February OAH Picks: Four Sets of Teen Health Resources We Love
This bulletin from the Office of Adolescent Health includes resources on protecting teen hearts, teaching teens about health love, encouraging teens to succeed, and keeping up-to-date with data. (OAH, 2/27)


Register for SAHM annual meeting today
Join the adolescent health community in Los Angeles in March 2015, for SAHM’s annual meeting. The program offers innovative research, clinical workshops and discussion forums for attendees of diverse disciplines. View the meeting program and registration information.
Violence, Abuse, and Toxic Stress in Pediatrics: An Update on Trauma-Informed Care in Children and Youth
Many children and youth are exposed to trauma and adverse experiences that, if left unaddressed, can lead to toxic stress and affect lifelong health, wellness and development. This course will help health care providers to identify children who have experienced adversity and toxic stress and to understand trauma, its presentation and risk factors. This AAP sponsored conference will be held in San Francisco, CA on July 30 – August 2, 2015.
NFID Clinical Vaccinology Course 
Register now for The National Foundation for Infectious Disease course on  March 13 – 15, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. This course focuses on new developments and issues related to the use of vaccines. Expert faculty will provide the latest information on both current and prospective vaccines, updated recommendations for vaccinations across the lifespan, and innovative and practical strategies for ensuring timely and appropriate vaccination.


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