Misuse of ADHD-Type Drugs Starts Long Before College: Study
Young Americans start misusing prescription stimulant medications such as Ritalin and Adderall at an earlier age than previously believed, a new study says. The study suggests efforts to prevent misuse of ADHD drugs and other prescription stimulants should begin in middle school. The researchers analyzed data from more than 240,000 people ages 12 to 21 and found the peak ages for using these drugs are between 16 and 19. (HealthDay News, 6/4)
Cat parasite linked to mental illness, schizophrenia
There can be a little-known danger lurking behind that furry little face and that innocent-sounding meow of a cat: a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii), which has been associated with mental disorders. Now two more studies explore the mental health issues in greater detail.  Results indicated that cat exposure in childhood may be a risk factor for developing mental disorders. (CBS News, 6/5)
College Kids Don’t Understand the HPV Threat
Many American college students don’t get vaccinated against HPV, and many don’t fully understand the threat posed by the virus or their risk for infection, new findings suggest.  Researchers surveyed 192 female undergraduate students at Oakland University in Michigan. The results showed that most of the respondents knew about the HPV vaccine, but 54 percent were not vaccinated. (HealthDay News, 6/5)
Cyberbullying Less Stressful Than In-Person Bullying, Study Claims
Young people who face bullies both online and in-person may have much greater distress than kids who deal with just one form of bullying, especially cyberbullying, a new study contends. When bullying starts and stays online, it may not persist as long or involve a major imbalance of power. As a result, cyberbullying may be somewhat easier for young people to endure than bullying that occurs face-to-face, researchers said. (HealthDay News, 6/5)
Study Examines Psychotropic Medication Use in Children, Teens with Down Syndrome
A new study gives insight into the mental health of children and teens with Down syndrome and the behavioral medications that medical caregivers sometimes prescribe for them. The study shows that teens and young adults between the ages of 12 and 21 were significantly more likely to be on psychotropic medications than children 5 to 11 years old. (Health Canal, 6/6)
Tougher Night Driving Rules for Teens May Lower Crash Rates
Tougher rules for night driving by teen drivers in Massachusetts reduced their risk for serious and fatal crashes, a new study shows. In 2007, the state introduced a number of new regulations for young drivers. Researchers analyzed data about police-reported crashes and found that rates of serious and fatal crashes among drivers aged 16 to 17 fell by 40 percent after the new rules were implemented. (HealthDay News, 6/8)
25(OH)D Inversely Linked to Arterial Stiffness in Some Teens
In lean adolescents and in obese adolescents with type 2 diabetes (T2DM), but not obese adolescents with normoglycemia, 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) is inversely associated with some measures of arterial stiffness, according to a study in Diabetes Care. Researchers conducted a cross-sectional analysis to examine the correlation between 25(OH)D levels and arterial stiffness in obese youth with and without T2DM. (Physician’s Briefing, 6/8)
More than one in four U.S. kids exposed to weapon violence
More than one in four U.S. children are exposed to weapon violence before their eighteenth birthday, either as victims or witnesses, a large study suggests. About one in 33 kids are directly assaulted during incidents involving guns or knives, researchers report in the journal Pediatrics.  All told, more than 17.5 million children in the U.S. are witnesses to, or victims of, assaults with weapons. (Reuters, 6/8)
Brains of Teens With Bipolar Disorder Develop Differently: Study
Teens with bipolar disorder seem to have abnormal development in areas of the brain that help regulate emotions, researchers report. Over two years, the research team conducted a series of MRI scans on 37 teens with bipolar disorder and a control group of 35 teens without the condition. Compared to the control group, teens with bipolar disorder lost more gray matter and had no increase in white matter connections. (HealthDay News, 6/9)
Autism Risk Higher For Children Of Teen Moms And Parents With Age Gap
Children of teen moms and kids of parents with a wide gap in age are at higher risk for autism, researchers found in the largest multinational study to date on the well-known link between parental age and autism. The study, which pooled data from the national health systems of five countries, suggests more aspects of a parent’s age than previously thought may play a role in determining the risk of autism for their child. (International Business Times, 6/9)
How Screen Time Might Affect Teenage Bones
A new study from Norway found that increased time spent on screen-based activities may be tied to decreased bone density in teen boys. “Our study suggests persisting associations of screen-based sedentary activities on bone health in adolescence,” wrote lead study author Anne Winther, PhD, and colleagues. The study team studied nearly 1,000 teen boys and girls between 15 and 17 years of age. (Daily Rx, 6/10)
1 Dose of HPV Vaccine May Offer Protection: Study
One dose of the HPV vaccine Cervarix could prevent as many cases of cervical cancer as the current two- and three-dose schedules, a new study contends. Researchers conducted two large phase 3 clinical trials that included more than 26,000 women between the ages of 15 and 25. The researchers found that one dose of Cervarix offered similar levels of protection over four years when compared to two and three doses. (HealthDay News, 6/10)
College Rape Prevention Program Proves a Rare Success
A program that trained first-year female college students to avoid rape substantially lowered their risk of being sexually assaulted, a rare success against a problem that has been resistant to many prevention efforts, researchers reported. In a randomized trial, first-year students at three Canadian campuses attended sessions on assessing risk, learning self-defense and defining personal sexual boundaries. (The New York Times, 6/10)
Teenagers should exercise like kids to achieve best health outcomes
As little as two minutes of high-intensity exercise four times a day improves health outcomes in adolescents, but the same amount of moderate-intensity exercise does not reap the same rewards, according to a new study. Researchers found that when exercise is broken up into short bursts over a day only high-intensity exercise is effective in improving blood sugar levels, fat metabolism and blood pressure in adolescents. (Medical Xpress, 6/10)
Underage drinking rates down over the past decade
Both underage drinking and binge drinking have declined over the past 10 years, according to a new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The report shows that the rate of young people between the ages of 12 and 20 who drank alcohol within the last month decreased from 28.8 percent in 2002 to 22.7 percent in 2013. (CBS News, 6/11)

Neurological changes during the transition from adolescence to young adulthood found in autism spectrum disorder
A new study demonstrates that the atypical trajectory of cortical/brain development in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) extends well beyond young childhood and into late adolescence and young adulthood. In one of the first studies to examine longitudinal cortical development in ASD, researchers found an exaggeration of the normal thinning of the cortex that occurs during this age range. (Medical Xpress, 6/11)                         



White House: Medicaid expansion would save billions, 5,200 lives
Hospitals’ non-reimbursed costs for treating patients would be $4.5 billion lower next year if Medicaid coverage was expanded to the poorest residents in states that haven’t done so, according to a new White House report. The 28 states that have already expanded Medicaid are on track to reduce these costs by almost the same amount, an estimated $4.4 billion in 2016, the White House Council of Economic Advisers said. (USA Today, 6/4)
HHS, CVS Health partner to offer preventive health services information
At the Health Datapalooza 2015 conference in Washington D.C., Karen DeSalvo, MD, national coordinator for health IT, announced a new partnership between HHS and CVS Health to help consumers more easily access information about preventive health services. Through the new partnership, CVS Health will use the API to integrate the HHS online tool called myhealthfinder into its MinuteClinic websites. (The Hill, 6/4)
CDC Tweaking Flu Vaccine for Better Protection
Having acknowledged that the 2014-2015 flu vaccine was mismatched to the circulating influenza strains, U.S. health officials have ramped up next season’s shots for broader protection. Components of the coming “2015-16 season vaccine have been changed to more optimally match circulating viruses,” the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. (HealthDay News, 6/5)
States zero in on ObamaCare rescue plan
It may be easier than expected for states to save their ObamaCare subsidies, if the Supreme Court rules against the law this month. Two states — Pennsylvania and Delaware — said they would launch their own exchanges, if needed, to keep millions of healthcare dollars flowing after the decision. Both want to use existing pieces of the federal health insurance exchange, like its website and call center. (The Hill, 6/8)
What’s At Stake When The Supreme Court Rules On Health Plan Subsidies
Later this month, the Supreme Court is expected to rule on King v. Burwell, a case challenging the validity of federal tax subsidies helping millions of Americans buy health insurance if they don’t get it through an employer. If the court rules against the Obama administration, those subsidies could be cut off for people in the approximately three dozen states using, the federal exchange website. (Kaiser Health News, 6/8)
What Health Law? Many Poor People Still Unaware Of Obamacare Options
Even in Kentucky, which championed the 2010 health care law by expanding Medicaid and running its own insurance marketplace, about half of poor people say they have heard little about the Affordable Care Act, according to a new study published in Health Affairs. Awareness of Obamacare was even lower in Arkansas and Texas—two states that have not embraced the law as warmly. (Kaiser Health News, 6/8)
Doctors’ group looks to ban nonmedical vaccine exemptions
The country’s leading medical group wants to make it illegal for parents to opt their children out of vaccine mandates because of religious or personal beliefs. The American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a policy Monday that pushes states to allow vaccine exemptions only for medical reasons — not “as a matter of personal preference or convenience,” Dr. Patrice Harris, an AMA board member, said. (The Hill, 6/9)
Meningitis awareness groups advocate for meningitis B vaccines for all adolescents
Two prominent meningitis awareness and support organizations are promoting the use of the meningitis B vaccines on all children (middle school through college freshman) as the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) meets June 24. The National Meningitis Association hopes that serogroup B meningococcal disease vaccines will be recommended for all adolescents. (Outbreak News Today, 6/10)



Botswana: NACA Targets Adolescents
New HIV infections among adolescents are a cause for concern, National AIDS Coordinating Agency (NACA) coordinator, Ms Grace Muzila has said. Speaking at a National Multi-Sectoral Stakeholders Consultative meeting in Gaborone on June 3, she said there was need to come up with programmes targeting youth and key populations. (Daily News, 6/8)
Africa: Women and Girls in Africa ‘Being Left Behind’ in Fight Against HIV/Aids - UN Report
Despite considerable advances made in the global response to the AIDS epidemic over the last several decades, young women and adolescent girls in Africa “are still being left behind,” according to a new joint report from the United Nations and the African Union. In the sub-Saharan region, AIDS-related illnesses remain the leading cause of death among girls and women of reproductive age. (All Africa, 6/10)


Serogroup B Meningococcal Disease Outbreak and Carriage Evaluation at a College — Rhode Island, 2015
On February 2, 2015, the Rhode Island Department of Health was notified of a case of meningococcal disease in a male undergraduate student at Providence College. In response to the outbreak, potential contacts received antibiotic chemoprophylaxis, and a mass vaccination campaign with a recently licensed serogroup B meningococcal vaccine was implemented. (MMWR, 6/11)


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