Starting Football Young May Lead to Higher Cognitive Risks
Boys who start playing tackle football before the age of 12 may face a higher risk for neurological deficits as adults, according to research published online in Neurology. “Now I want to be clear that we’re not talking about the impact of concussions here,” study coauthor Robert Stern, Ph.D. “But what I’m more concerned about are all of those repetitive hits that we refer to as sub-concussive trauma.” (Physician’s Briefing, 1/29)
Cardiovascular, Cerebral Effect for Red Bull + Mental Stress
Red Bull consumption combined with mental stress correlates with increased blood pressure and heart rate, according to a new study. Researchers examined the consequences of Red Bull ingestion in combination with mental stress. “The combination of Red Bull and mental stress impose a cumulative cardiovascular load and reduces cerebral blood flow even under a mental challenge,” the authors write. (Physician’s Briefing, 1/30)
Overweight kids can have celiac disease, too
Overweight children are just as likely as thin children to have celiac disease, a new study confirms. To find out the prevalence of celiac disease among overweight and obese children, researchers used data collected at a nutrition center at the University of Rome between 1998 and 2003, from 1,527 overweight and obese children and young adults between the ages of two and about 24 years. (Reuters, 1/30)
Adverse medication events may be behind many child emergency room visits
A new study found that, like adults, many children visit the ER due to medication-related issues. The majority of these visits could be prevented, the authors of this study said. Many adults visit the ER or are admitted to the hospital for medication-related issues. Few studies, however, have focused on the rates and impact of medication-related ER visits in children. (Daily Rx, 2/1)
Timing of Kidney Transplants Doesn’t Affect Pregnancy Chances
Pregnancy outcomes are similar for women who received a kidney transplant whether they were a child or an adult when they got their transplant, a new study says. Researchers reviewed data on women who received a new kidney and got pregnant at least once between 1963 and 2012. There were 101 pregnancies among 66 women who had a childhood kidney transplant, defined as getting a transplant before they were 18. (HealthDay News, 2/2)
Some Kids Use Tobacco, E-Cigarettes Together, Study Finds
American children and teens who smoke may also use a variety of other nicotine delivery systems, including e-cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, hookahs and pipes, a new study finds.  Public health experts are also concerned that these products could attract kids who might not otherwise use cigarettes or tobacco products, she said. The study used data on almost 25,000 students between 9 and 18 years old. (HealthDay News, 2/2)
Patient-Centered Medical Home Reduces Cost, Raises Quality
The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) is an effective way to reduce healthcare spending while raising quality indicators, says the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative.  The organization’s annual review of evidence of the impact of the PCMH shows that the model can produce widespread cost cutting, improvements in service utilization, higher patient satisfaction scores, and better access to care for patients. (Health IT Analytics, 2/2)

58 Million Americans Exposed to Secondhand Smoke: CDC
Although fewer Americans are smoking and more communities have smoke-free laws, 58 million nonsmokers are still being exposed to secondhand smoke, U.S. health officials said. And that’s despite the fact that exposure to secondhand smoke dropped by half between 1999-2000 and 2011-12, according to new research. (HealthDay News, 2/3)
Electronic Devices May Disrupt Teen Sleep, Study Reports
Spending too much time using electronic devices during the day harms teens’ sleep, a new study suggests. The research included nearly 10,000 Norwegian teens, aged 16 to 19, who were asked how much screen time (computer, smartphone, tablet, video game console, television, MP3 player) they got during the day outside of school, and about the amount and quality of their sleep. (HealthDay News, 2/3)
Income Inequality Affects Kids’ Health, Research Shows
There is a growing disparity in the health of rich and poor children and teens in the U.S. and other wealthy countries, a new study and accompanying commentary reveals. The analysis showed that poorer kids living in countries with greater income inequality were more likely to be in worse health, get less exercise, have more body fat, have lower life satisfaction, and report more physical and mental health symptoms. (HealthDay News, 2/4)
Scientists create smartphone accessory that detects syphilis, HIV in 15 minutes
Engineers at Columbia University have invented a smartphone accessory that can detect three markers for STDs with a finger-prick. Compared to traditional laboratory tests administered in the U.S. and around the world, which can take days to deliver results, the dongle can tell if a person has either syphilis or HIV in only 15 minutes. Researchers have already tested the contraption in Rwanda. (Fox News, 2/4)
Medical marijuana for children with developmental and behavioral disorders
As medical marijuana becomes increasingly accepted, there is growing interest in its use for children and adolescents with developmental and behavioral problems such as autism spectrum disorders and ADHD, according to a new review. That's despite a lack of studies showing any clinical benefit of cannabis for young patients with these disorders. (Medical Xpress, 2/5)
More African Americans still die of HIV than whites and Latinos combined, CDC says
More African Americans still die of HIV than whites and Latinos combined, the CDC reported, but the black death rate is generally declining more quickly than it is for those other groups. In 2012, the latest year for which data was compiled, 8,165 African Americans died of HIV, down from 9,920 in 2008, the new report shows. (Washington Post, 2/5)



Flu’s Grip on U.S. Starting to Weaken: CDC
After a rough start to the flu season, the number of infections seems to have peaked and is even starting to decline in many parts of the nation, federal health officials reported. “We likely reached our highest level of activity and in many parts of the country we are starting to see flu activity decline,” said Dr. Michael Jhung, a medical officer in the CDC’s Influenza Division. (HealthDay News, 1/29)
Sylvia Mathews Burwell pledges HHS support for mHealth compliance with HIPAA
HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell confirmed in a letter to Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) that the agency would take additional steps to ensure HIPAA compliance with mHealth apps. The letter lists three additional steps the department will take to ensure compliance. Ms. Burwell said HHS would step up its efforts to assure compliance as the use of apps becomes more widespread. (Becker’s Health IT & CIO Review, 1/29)

More than 100 cases of measles now confirmed in U.S
More than 100 people in the United States have been confirmed as infected with measles including 91 in California, most of them linked to an outbreak that began at Disneyland in December, public health officials said. No deaths have been reported in connection with the outbreak. The White House and the CDC urged parents to heed the advice of public health officials and scientists in getting their children vaccinated. (Reuters, 1/30)
Budget Plan Sees Savings in Changes to Medicare
In his new budget, President Obama proposed to squeeze $399 billion over the next 10 years out of Medicare, Medicaid and other programs run by HHS. Under the proposals, many Medicare beneficiaries would have to pay more for their care and coverage. In addition, the budget would reduce scheduled Medicare payments to teaching hospitals, hundreds of small rural hospitals, nursing homes and HMOs. (New York Times, 2/2)

House votes to repeal and eventually replace Obamacare
The U.S. House of Representatives approved a measure that would scrap the healthcare law and direct oversight committees to come up with a replacement. Defying a White House veto threat, lawmakers voted 239-186 on a measure to eliminate the complex web of federal subsidies, insurance reforms, taxes and regulations that have extended health coverage to millions of Americans since the ACA became law in 2010. (Reuters, 2/3)
Presidential candidates split on mandatory vaccines
Three potential GOP presidential candidates disagreed with rivals Chris Christie and Rand Paul, asserting unequivocally Tuesday that parents should vaccinate their children against measles and other infectious diseases. The comments Tuesday by Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal and Marco Rubio highlight the uproar over childhood vaccinations as a measles outbreak that has sickened more than 100 people continues to grow. (USA Today, 2/3)
ACA sign-ups estimated near 10 million as deadline looms
The federal health insurance marketplace will have 40% more call center workers on hand starting Monday to help consumers deal with the final week of Obamacare open enrollment, HHS said. When all states are combined, HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell estimated about 9.9 million people enrolled or were automatically re-enrolled. The rate of sign-ups is expected to accelerate until the Feb. 15 deadline. (USA Today, 2/4)
U.S. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to step down
Dr. Margaret Hamburg, who as commissioner of the FDA for almost six years has overseen public health initiatives ranging from tobacco control and food safety to personalized medicine and drug approvals, is stepping down, the agency said. Hamburg, 59, is one of the longest-serving FDA commissioners in the modern era. She was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in May 2009. (Reuters, 2/5)

California lawmakers seek to end ‘personal belief’ vaccine exemptions
Responding to an outbreak of measles that has infected more than 100 people, two California lawmakers said on Wednesday they would introduce legislation to end the right of parents in the state to exempt their children from school vaccinations based on personal beliefs. California public health officials say 92 people have been diagnosed with measles in the state. (Reuters, 2/5)
Colleges joining National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day efforts
Many universities across the nation to hold events on February 7 for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, which began in 1999 in response to the growing HIV and AIDS epidemics in black communities nationwide. What began as a grassroots effort within the black community to increase awareness has since become a tool for universities to educate students about HIV and AIDS and the importance of getting tested. (USA Today, 2/5)           



Girls Outperform Boys Academically Around the Globe, Study Says
Girls tend to get better grades in reading, math and science than boys, according to a study that challenges the widely held belief that boys do better in these subjects than girls. “Even in countries where women’s liberties are severely restricted, we found that girls are outperforming boys by age 15, regardless of political, economic, social or gender equality issues and policies found in those countries,” said author David Geary. (HealthDay News, 1/30)
UK: One in four teens now obese by 15
A “staggering” one in four teenagers is clinically obese by the age of 15, new research shows. The study of more than 370,000 children in England shows that 25 per cent of girls and 24 per cent of boys between the ages of 11 and 15 are now obese. The research shows that in the last decade, the increase in the numbers who are obese or overweight has slowed, with levels beginning to “plateau”. (The Telegraph, 1/30)
Rise in cancer among youth a worry: Doctors
The biggest concern that oncologists have is the rising incidences of cancer among the younger generation. While there has not been any conclusive research on the causes of cancer in India, doctors attribute it to increased pollution, unhealthy lifestyle, increased consumption of chemicals in the form of food and medicine. (The Times of India, 2/6)



How much sleep do you need? An expert panel releases its recommendations.
The National Sleep Foundation’s newly released set of recommendations for various points of life includes sleep-duration numbers that were developed after an extensive review of past scientific literature and input from a variety medical professionals. The recommendations for age categories from newborns to older adults were published this week in the foundation’s journal Sleep Health. (Washington Post, 2/3)
Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Recommended Immunization Schedules for Persons Aged 0 Through 18 Years — United States, 2015
Each year, ACIP reviews the recommended immunization schedules for persons aged 0 through 18 years to ensure that the schedules reflect current recommendations for Food and Drug Administration–licensed vaccines. For 2015, the figures, footnotes, and tables are being published on the CDC immunization schedule website. (MMWR, 2/6)



Understanding and addressing excessive media use 
A new AAP online course “Media: Wired Kids and Your Practice” provides ideas for screening for media use, specific suggestions for anticipatory guidance including adolescent behaviors on social media sites, and ways in which pediatricians can utilize media for health promotion. (AAP, 1/30)



Register early for SAHM annual meeting and save
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. Register by February 18, 2015, to secure the lowest rates. View the meeting program and registration information.
Registration is open for NASPAG’s Annual Clinical and Research Meeting
Registration is now open for NASPAG’s Annual Clinical and Research Meeting, which will be held in Orlando on April 16-18, 2015.  This meeting is a forum for education, research and communication among health professionals who provide gynecologic care and/or consultation to children and adolescents. 


Sports Concussion in Adolescents: Prevention and Treatment, with Cora Breuner, MD, MPH
Join this upcoming SAHM webinar on sports concussions in adolescents on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 from 1:00 – 2:30 EST.  All new members to SAHM or existing members who renew for 2015 can register for this webinar free of charge.  Participants must register in advance.


Apply for SAHM committees by February 6th
SAHM invites you to share your passion by serving on one of its many committees.  In keeping with the multidisciplinary and global perspective of SAHM, we encourage applications from members worldwide and from all disciplines and experience levels. This is a unique opportunity for you to share your expertise and enthusiasm, expand your professional resume, learn from others and get involved with SAHM.

Health IT Strategic Planning
The Federal Health IT (HIT) Strategic Plan for 2015-2020 is currently being reviewed by the public through February 6. This plan will guide the expectations of HIT and electronic health records for the next 5 years. SAHM’s Sub-Committee on Electronic Health Records has submitted a formal response on behalf of our organization with key recommendations for attention to HIT issues which impact patient privacy and confidentiality. 

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


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