It’s a Virtual World: Kids’ Screen Time Limits May Be Too Strict
As children and adolescents use more screens in their daily lives, guidelines on their limits may need to be reconsidered. That’s the message from a new study on kids and screen use. The authors of this study said that limiting kids’ screen time may be healthy, but current guidelines may be unrealistic because screens are so integrated into daily life. (Daily Rx, 1/22)
Heavy soccer playing before age 12 tied to later hip deformities
In a study of Dutch professional footballers, a bone deformity at the hip was much more common among men who started playing the sport at least four times a week before age twelve. If the bones of the hip don’t develop normally during childhood, a so-called cam deformity can occur, potentially leading to joint damage and pain, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. (Reuters, 1/22)

School-wide prevention program lowers teen suicide risk
After a school-based prevention program, European teenagers were about half as likely to attempt suicide or to feel suicidal, a new study shows. Danuta Wasserman, a professor of psychiatry at the Karolinska Institute, said the program was likely successful because students “felt that the power of mastering their feelings, coping with stress and choosing solutions was in their hands and not decided or forced by adults.” (Reuters, 1/23)
Many U.S. Girls Aren’t Getting HPV Vaccine, Study Finds
Only about half of American girls begin receiving the HPV vaccine at the recommended age, a new study finds. The study found that the number of girls in the U.S. who started the vaccine series at the recommended age was 14 percent in 2008. By 2012, that number was 56 percent. The trends did not differ by race or ethnicity, according to the study published in the journal Vaccine. (HealthDay News, 1/23)
Menu Calorie Counts May Mean Less Fattening Meals for Kids
Parents might order fewer calories for their children if menus included calorie counts or information on how much walking would be required to burn off the calories in foods, a new study suggests. The new research also found that mothers and fathers were more likely to say they would encourage their kids to exercise if they saw menus that detailed how many minutes or miles it takes to burn off the calories consumed. (HealthDay News, 1/26)
Troubled Boys, Girls Have Sex Earlier, Study Finds
Children with certain behavior problems are more likely to have sex at an early age, a new study reveals. Boys and girls who are unruly and aggressive from a young age were found to be more likely to start having sex before age 16, researchers reported in the journal Pediatrics. The Australian study also found that boys – but not girls – who are socially anxious or withdrawn also tended to begin sex at a younger age. (HealthDay News, 1/26)
More Differences Than Similarities Are Found in Autistic Siblings
Most siblings with a diagnosis of autism do not share the same genetic risk factors for the disorder and are as distinct in their behaviors as any brothers and sisters, scientists reported in a study that came as a surprise to many doctors, if not to parents. Scientists analyzed genetic material from 85 families, using a technology called whole-genome sequencing. (New York Times, 1/26)
It’s official: Twitter loves #weed
Researchers have found, first, that roughly 1 out of every 2,000 tweets is about marijuana. That adds up to about 7.7 million weed-related tweets per month, according to their analysis of the totality of tweets in February of 2014. The researchers note, with some alarm, that most of the people tweeting about weed were relatively young.  (Washington Post, 1/26)
Autism: EEGs and Staring Spells
Since children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders may also have epileptic disorders, physicians usually want electroencephalograms (EEGs) of their brains. One sign of autism is staring spells. That can also be a form of epilepsy, an absence seizure. But an Australian study of children referred for these episodes showed EEGs offer little diagnostic benefit. (HCP Live, 1/27)
Student Loans Take Emotional Toll on Young Adults
Student loan debt is a major cause of stress for young adults, a new study finds. Researchers looked at survey responses from adults aged 25 to 31 across the United States and found that those with higher student loan debt reported higher levels of depressive symptoms. This was true even after adjusting for factors such as parents’ wealth, the researchers said. (HealthDay News, 1/27)
Teenage misperception of weight may lead to adult obesity
A new study due to be published Psychological Science suggests that teenagers who have a false perception of themselves as being overweight are more likely to become obese as adults. Teens who falsely believe themselves to be overweight may be more likely to using diet pills or vomiting in an attempt to control their weight - behaviors linked with long-term weight gain. (Medical News Today, 1/28)
ADHD Linked to Earlier Use of Illicit Drugs in Teens: Study
Among people who use illicit drugs, those with ADHD start using them one to two years earlier in their youth than those without the disorder, a new study finds. The findings show the need to begin substance use prevention programs at an earlier age among teens with ADHD, the researchers said. The study looked at questionnaires completed by more than 900 adults who had used illicit drugs in the past six months. (HealthDay News, 1/28)

It does get better for LGBT and questioning youth
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning adolescents who face bullying and other types of abuse have been told in the media, “It gets better” - and new research supports that claim. In a multi-year study of LGBTQ youth, researchers found that being the victim of bullying and other abuse was linked to psychological distress, but both distress and victimization decreased as the adolescents grew up. (Reuters, 1/28)
Students turn to porn for sex education
The majority of students view porn to find out about sex and don’t rate the sex and relationship education they receive in schools highly, according to research by the National Union of Students. The survey spoke to more than 2,500 school and university students in the UK and found 60% of respondents watch porn to get information about sex – despite almost 75% saying that it creates unrealistic expectations. (The Guardian, 1/29)
Support found for peer-mentoring diabetes management program
A new study that will appear in of The Diabetes Educator reports that about a third of teens and young adults surveyed by researchers reported social barriers to diabetes management. Most fell short of what is considered optimal management of the disease, and a majority of those surveyed expressed an interest in a peer mentoring program to improve diabetes control. (Medical Xpress, 1/29)
Good Sleep Habits, Enforced Rules Help Kids Sleep: Study
A regular bedtime and other sleep-related rules help children and teens get a good night’s sleep, a new study suggests. Researchers analyzed survey responses from more than 1,100 American parents or guardians of youngsters aged 6 to 17. Even though most of the parents believed sleep was important, only 10 percent of the children and teens in the study got the recommended amount of sleep for their age group. (HealthDay News, 1/29)
Acne Gel Linked to Rare Side Effect, Doctors Warn
For certain people, the acne treatment Aczone may be linked to a rare blood disorder, a new case study contends. A 19-year-old woman who had used Aczone for a week developed a serious condition called methemoglobinemia. The patient showed up at a Pittsburgh emergency room with a headache, shortness of breath, and blue lips and fingers. Her symptoms initially confounded her doctors. (HealthDay News, 1/29)    



FDA approves second vaccine against meningitis strain
The Food and Drug Administration said it cleared Novartis’ Bexsero vaccine against a subtype of meningococcal bacteria in people ages 10 to 25. The agency cleared a similar vaccine from Pfizer last October. Prior to that, vaccines available in the U.S. only covered four of the five main subtypes of bacteria that cause meningococcal disease. (Medical Xpress, 1/23)
HHS adds privacy protections to
The Obama administration says it is taking steps to protect consumers’ personal information on after privacy concerns were raised. HHS is adding a layer of encryption to the website to help cut back on the information it shares with outside companies.  This comes after the AP reported that the ObamaCare website was providing companies with personal information about healthcare customers. (The Hill, 1/24)
CMS: Population Health Management Reduces Admissions, ER Use
Two population health management initiatives that focus on increasing the use of primary care providers have reaped significant results for patients, says CMS Deputy Administrator and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Patrick Conway.  The Comprehensive Primary Care and Multi-payer Advanced Primary Care Practice Demonstration have saved approximately $4.2 million, according to a report. (Health IT Analytics, 1/26)
U.S. pediatricians reaffirm opposition to legalized pot
Despite moves by some states to allow recreational and medical use of marijuana, a large group of U.S. pediatricians says in a new statement that the substance should remain – for the most part – illegal. In an update to its 2004 position statement on the matter, the AAP also calls for decriminalization of marijuana to lessen the lasting effects of criminal charges brought against youths – especially minorities.  (Reuters, 1/26)
CBO lowers cost forecast for Obamacare’s insurance subsidies
Obamacare will cost 7 percent less than expected over the next decade for federal subsidies to help lower-income people pay for private health insurance, congressional researchers said. A report by the nonpartisan CBO said insurance coverage would cost $964 billion from 2015 to 2024, $68 billion below its April 2014 projection. (Reuters, 1/26)
New HHS goal: Make half of Medicare payments under alternative models by 2018
HHS has released a series of goals in its transition from volume- to value-based payments, including a benchmark for 50 percent of all Medicare provider payments to fall under an alternative payment model by 2018. By 2016, the benchmark is to have 30 percent of all Medicare provider payments fall under an alternative model. (Becker’s Hospital Review, 1/26)
U.S. says 9.5 million people enroll for 2015 Obamacare insurance
More than 9.5 million people have signed up for 2015 individual health insurance on the new exchanges created under the national healthcare reform law, the U.S. government said, a number that surpasses its enrollment target for the year. The DHHS said it had signed up or automatically enrolled more than 7.1 million people on its website through Jan. 16. The federally run site covers 37 states. (Reuters, 1/27)
FDA Approves Generic Form of Nexium
The first generic version of Nexium (esomeprazole magnesium delayed-release capsules) has been approved by the FDA to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease in adults and children ages 1 and older. A medication guide distributed with the drug warns of potential problems, including severe diarrhea and, with extended use, the greater potential for bone fractures, the FDA said. (Physician’s Briefing, 1/27)
Why Teens Are Impulsive, Addiction-Prone And Should Protect Their Brains
Teens can’t control impulses and make rapid, smart decisions like adults can — but why? Research into how the human brain develops helps explain. In a teenager, the frontal lobe of the brain, which controls decision-making, is built but not fully insulated — so signals move slowly. “Teenagers are not as readily able to access their frontal lobe to say, ‘Oh, I better not do this,’ ” says Dr. Frances Jensen. (NPR, 1/28)
If Supreme Court Rules Against Insurance Subsidies, Most Want Them Restored
A new poll finds that most people think Congress or states should act to restore health insurance subsidies if the Supreme Court decides later this year they are not permitted in states where the federal government is running the marketplace. The court in March is set to hear King v. Burwell. Less than half the respondents in the monthly tracking poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation said they had heard about the case. (Kaiser Health News, 1/28)
Venaxis’ appendicitis test not found equivalent to standard care
Venaxis Inc said the U.S. FDA did not find its appendicitis test to be “substantially equivalent” to standard of care, dampening its hopes of marketing the test faster and sending its shares down 65 percent in premarket trading. Venaxis’ blood-based test, APPY1, helps identify patients who are less likely to develop acute appendicitis. (Reuters, 1/29)   



Gates, UK take lead in $7.5 billion pledge for children’s vaccines
International donors pledged $7.5 billion on Tuesday to immunize 300 million children in poor countries against deadly diseases such as diarrhea and pneumonia. At a Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) conference, Bill Gates and the British government topped the donations list at $1.55 billion and $1.5 billion respectively. (Reuters, 1/27)

Nations will only succeed if women are successful, Obama tells India
U.S. President Barack Obama raised the issue of women’s rights as he ended a visit to India, saying that if countries wanted to develop effectively, they must educate and empower their daughters as much as their sons. “We know from experience that nations are more successful when their women are successful,” said Obama, speaking at a meeting attended mainly by students and broadcast live on local news stations. (Reuters, 1/27)
Canada: Liz Sandals ‘taken aback’ by sex ed criticism
Ontario’s education minister is surprised by some of the criticism over the province’s proposed changes to the sex ed curriculum, saying the concept of consent is already taught to primary school children. “I’ve been quite taken aback by things that people are trying to label as sex ed,” Liz Sandals said Wednesday. The current physical and health education curriculum teaches Grade 1 students parts of the body. (CBC, 1/28)
UNICEF makes record appeal to help 60 million children in crisis
The U.N. Children’s Fund launched a record $3.1 billion appeal to enable it to help children caught up in a “new generation” of conflicts and disasters round the world. A series of more complex and destructive crises, natural disasters and emergencies such as the Ebola epidemic, are putting some 60 million children in extraordinary danger of violence, hunger, disease and abuse, UNICEF said. (Reuters, 1/29)
Ireland: New guidelines on promoting mental health in primary schools
New guidelines on promoting positive mental health in primary schools have been published, highlighting the need for collaboration between parents, schools and health agencies. The guidelines, published by the department of education’s National Educational Psychological Service, identifies best practice and support structures available. (The Irish Times, 1/29)


AAP Approves 2015 Vaccine Schedule for Children, Teens
The 2015 recommended childhood and adolescence immunization schedules have been approved by the AAP and other medical organizations, according to a policy statement published in Pediatrics. Carrie L. Byington, M.D., from the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases, and colleagues present the updated 2015 recommended childhood and adolescent immunization schedule. (Physician’s Briefing, 1/26)


Immunization Works!
The current issue of the CDC’s newsletter “Immunization Works!” is now available online. (CDC, 1/26)

Sexual and Reproductive Health Clinical Care Resources
The Youth Providers 2.0 initiative has released of a compilation of Sexual and Reproductive Health Clinical Care Resources intended to provide guidance and resources for adolescent and young adult health care providers and youth serving professionals. It includes clinical care guidelines and resources such as training tools, clinical resources, publications, videos, and webinars. (SAHM, 1/29)
What’s the Latest with the Flu?
This January 2015 message from the American Academy of Pediatrics provides influenza updates regarding risk of infection and flu activity for this season. (AAP, 1/29)


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.


Register Now: February 4 Webinar on Using Payment, One of 9 National Quality Strategy Aims, To Improve Health Care Quality
AHRQ will host a webinar from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. ET on February 4 about how organizations are using payment, one of the nine National Quality Strategy levers, to improve health care quality. The webinar will highlight the work of Buying Value, an initiative of private health care purchasers, in refocusing payment on person-centered care and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts’ Alternative Quality Contract. (AHRQ, 1/28)
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.


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