Congress to Introduce Marijuana Studies Act
Members of Congress will introduce the Marijuana Effective Drug Studies (MEDS) Act of 2016, bipartisan legislation that would make it easier for researchers to study the medical effectiveness and safety of marijuana. The MEDS Act is supported by numerous professional societies including American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, and Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. (Big Island Now, 6/20)

Remaining Youth Providers 2.0 Materials
As the Youth Providers 2.0 project comes to an end, we have several leftover materials from the SAHM Annual Meeting. We currently have sets of the five vinyl cards with QR codes for the Adolescent and Young Adult Clinical Care Resources, attached to an YP2.0 lanyard that we would be happy to send to our members and colleagues if interested. Some members have handed these out to their residents and medical school students as great resources, as well as at national conferences they have attended. If you are interested, please send Monica Chase Fuentes and email at with the number of sets you would like and a mailing address. (SAHM, 6/23)






Teen Drinking May Damage Ability to Cope with Stress
Binging in the early- to mid-teen years can alter how the brain deals with stress, even in adulthood, a new study finds. In the study, pre-adult rats who drank a lot, especially males, seemed unable to adapt to stress. So cortisol releases continued to be high. This can be harmful, leading to long-term illnesses such as depression or anxiety, the authors point out. (Student Society for Science, 6/13)
When Black and White Children Grow Apart
According to a new study of elementary and middle-school students, teacher behaviors may shape how students select and maintain friends and affect the longevity of interracial friendships. As students move through a single school year, their number of cross-racial friendships decreases. Students’ perceptions of their teachers also influenced the rate of growth in same-race friendships from the fall to the spring. (The Atlantic, 6/14)
Teen Birth Rates Rose in Schools That Gave Out Free Condoms With No Instruction
A new data analysis of in-school condom distribution programs has added new complexity of teen pregnancy prevention. Researchers found that teen births rose 10% at schools that gave out free condoms to students. Unsurprisingly, the 10% increase among condom-distributing schools was mostly caused by schools that did not give their students mandatory counseling about how to properly use condoms. (Slate, 6/15)
Teen Obesity May Mean Liver Disease Later
Older teen boys who are overweight or obese could be at increased risk for severe liver disease later in life, a new study suggests. Men who were overweight or obese in their late teens were 64% more likely to develop severe liver disease compared with men who had a low normal weight in their late teens. The researchers said that worked out to a 5% increased risk for every one point increase in BMI. (HealthDay News, 6/16)
Disparities in Adolescents’ Residence in Neighborhoods Supportive of Physical Activity
In 2013, only 27% of adolescents aged 10–17 years lived in a neighborhood supportive of physical activity, based on parental perceived neighborhood safety; availability of sidewalks or walking paths; and the availability of parks, playgrounds, or recreation centers. The proportion was lower among adolescents who were Black or Hispanic, overweight or obese, with lower socioeconomic status, or from rural areas. (MMWR, 6/17)
More With Developmental Disabilities Medicated, Study Finds
Young people with autism and intellectual disability account for a burgeoning number of those prescribed antipsychotics, new research suggests. Nearly one out of every 10 youths given antipsychotics is diagnosed with one of the developmental disabilities. Meanwhile, one in six with autism or intellectual disability has taken the drugs, the study found. (Disability Scoop, 6/17)
Study Identifies Factors Influencing Vitamin D Levels in Kids with Kidney Disease
A new study has found that Vitamin D levels in children with chronic kidney disease are influenced more strongly by seasonal factors, the type of disease and nutritional supplementation than by common variants in vitamin D regulating genes. The findings identify certain modifiable and non-modifiable factors associated with vitamin D deficiency in children with CKD. (Nephrology News, 6/17)
Up to 2 Million Youngsters may get Concussions Every Year, Study Says
As many as 2 million concussions from sports or play activities occur in U.S. children and teenagers each year, and many receive no treatment, a new study suggests. The estimate is based on 2013 data from emergency room visits, hospitalizations, visits to doctors, concussion reports made to high school athletic trainers, and information from previous concussion studies. (The Washington Post, 6/20)
As Childhood Diabetes Rates Rise, So Do Costs And Families Feel The Pinch: Study
Childhood diabetes rates are on the rise, and a report pointed to the impact that the cost of their care could have on families. The study found that children as old as 18 with diabetes who were insured through an employer-sponsored plan racked up $2,173 per capita in out-of-pocket health care costs in 2014. That spending level was nearly five times higher than that of kids without the illness. (Kaiser Health News, 6/20)
HbA1c Variability Predicts Retinopathy, Nephropathy in Teens with Type 1 Diabetes
In adolescents with type 1 diabetes, greater HbA1c variability appears to be predictive of retinopathy, early nephropathy and cardiac autonomic neuropathy, according to recent findings. A 1-unit increase in SD-HbA1c more than doubled the odds of cardiac autonomic neuropathy. The effect size was greater than that observed for any other microvascular complication. (Healio, 6/20)
Teen Marijuana Use in Colorado Found Lower than National Average
Marijuana consumption by Colorado high school students has dipped slightly since the state first permitted recreational cannabis use by adults, a new survey showed. The biannual poll by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment also showed the percentage of high school students indulging in marijuana in Colorado was smaller than the national average among teens. (Reuters, 6/20)
Want to Change your Teen’s Behavior? Study Suggests Focusing on the Positive
Parenting is hard, and parenting teens brings about an entirely new set of challenges, from keeping their rooms clean to getting them home before curfew. But, a new study suggests parents who want their teenagers to keep their grades up could have better success if they focus more on rewarding good behavior and less on threatening to punish the bad. (Today, 6/21)
Overweight Adolescents at High Risk of Heart Failure
Men who are overweight in their adolescence are at an increased risk of heart failures in their middle age, reveals a new study. The findings showed that adolescent males with a body mass index (BMI) between 20 to 22.5 had a 22 per cent increased risk of heart failure as adults. In addition, obese men with a BMI of 35 and above were found to develop a ten-fold increase in the risk of heart problems. (First Post, 6/21)
Overusing Social Media as an Adolescent May Hurt your Love Life Later On
Social media may keep young people, particularly boys, from developing key interpersonal skills they need to successfully manage relationships. A new study finds that when it comes to romance, the more teens communicate online with their boyfriends and girlfriends, the worse they manage conflict and asserting themselves in romantic relationships at a time when kids are developing complex interpersonal skills. (Medical Xpress, 6/22)




LELO HEX Condoms Could Be A Gamechanger
We’re constantly seeing cutting-edge innovations designed to make our sex lives hotter, but there’s one important part of sex that society still struggles to think of as sexy: condoms. While the CDC reports that STI rates are at an all-time high, condom usage rates are declining. Last week, LELO HEX was launched, a new condom that is structurally different from others and aims to fix a lot of common complaints. (Bustle, 6/14)
School Lead Testing: The Race for Tighter Regulations and More Funding
The Flint water crisis has exposed a gaping legal hole: There’s no requirement that schools using public water test for lead. Congress – and particularly state legislatures – are scurrying to tighten regulations and provide financial help for lead testing and infrastructure renovations as parents around the country are pressing school districts to act. (Politico, 6/16)
Federal Mandate Aims to Improve How Gender Identity is Recorded in EHR
The topic of gender identity recently has focused national attention on the tension between federal nondiscrimination policies and state laws that restrict transgender individuals to the sex identified on their birth certificate. In response to any perceived ambiguity, the U.S. Depts. of Justice and Education released joint guidance to treat a student’s gender identity as the student’s sex for the purposes of enforcing Title IX. (AAP News, 6/16)

To Manage the Stress of Trauma, Schools are Teaching Students How to Relax
Neurological research shows that traumatic experiences can transform the developing brain. The research is motivating educators to rethink zero-tolerance discipline policies that punish kids for outbursts that can be signs of trauma and to rally support for efforts to bring more mental health care into schools, where students and families have ready access to them. (The Washington Post, 6/18)

Recovery Schools for Addicted Teens on the Rise
PEASE Academy is one of about 36 recovery high schools nationwide that pair traditional classes with addiction support groups, drug testing and a community of peers committed to recovery. Though such schools have been around since 1979, they have become an increasingly popular option amid the spike in U.S. opioid abuse, with seven new ones planning to open in five states. (New York Times, 6/19)
Cancer Doctors Leading Campaign to Boost Use of HPV Vaccine
The nation’s leading cancer doctors are pushing pediatricians and other providers to help increase use of the HPV vaccine, which studies show could help avert tens of thousands of cancer cases during young Americans’ lives. Yet a decade after its controversial introduction, the vaccine remains stubbornly underused even as some of those diseases surge. (The Washington Post, 6/19)
Birth Control via App Finds Footing Under Political Radar
A quiet shift is taking place in how women obtain birth control. A growing assortment of new apps and websites now make it possible to get prescription contraceptives without going to the doctor. Public health experts hope it will encourage more to start, or restart, using contraception and help reduce the country’s stubbornly high rate of unintended pregnancies, as well as the rate of abortions. (The New York Times, 6/19)
Researchers Study New Ways to Treat Suicide Risk
Scientists are developing new ways to directly target the suicidal thoughts and behaviors of people at risk. Researchers are finding that certain medications, like ketamine, clozapine and lithium, may alleviate suicidal thinking. Scientists are also tweaking existing psychological treatments, like cognitive behavioral therapy, and coming up with new ones to combat the desire for self-harm. (The Wall Street Journal, 6/20)
Senate Rejects Gun-Control Measures After Orlando Shooting
The U.S. Senate rejected four measures restricting gun sales after last week’s massacre in an Orlando nightclub. A group of senators was still hoping to forge a compromise for later in the week aimed at keeping firearms away from people on terrorism watch lists, although that effort faced an uphill battle with critics in both parties skeptical about its chances. (Reuters, 6/21)
HHS Targets Young Adults In 2017 Obamacare Enrollment Plan
Amid early signs that insurance premiums under the ACA might rise significantly next year, administration officials previewed their plans to increase enrollment in the marketplaces, particularly among young adults who have been slow to sign up. About 45% of 2014 taxpayers who paid a penalty or claimed an exemption from the penalty were under age 35, according to the HHS Department. (Kaiser Health News, 6/21)




Abortion Pill Orders Rise in 7 Latin American Nations on Zika Alert
Orders for abortion pills by women in seven Latin American countries with Zika outbreaks have increased, according to a women’s organization supplying such pills. Orders from women in Brazil, Ecuador and Venezuela roughly doubled, while those from Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Honduras went up by from 36-76%, researchers said. (The New York Times, 6/22)
Safe Schools is ‘Extreme Sex Education’, Says Flyer Sent to Homes in Victorian Marginal Seats
Flyers accusing the Greens and Labor of promoting “extreme sex education” by backing the Safe Schools initiative aimed at reducing homophobic bullying have been distributed by a conservative activist to homes across Victoria’s marginal electorates. It warns voters that Safe Schools encourages boys to “cross-dress as school girls” while providing a program which “sexualizes and confuses Aussie kids”. (The Guardian, 6/23)




The State Of Climate & Culture Initiatives In America’s Schools
In this important research brief, over 2,500 educators weigh in on: The state of school culture initiatives, where teachers, principals, and district admins agree and disagree about the intimate details of school culture, how data should be utilized when tracking, measuring, and reporting school culture, and the barriers and challenges of maintaining a positive school culture initiative district-wide. (Kickboard For Schools, 5/21)

Doctors’ Group Backs Later School Start Times
To help ease sleep deprivation among teens, the American Medical Association recommends that middle and high school classes should not start until 8:30 a.m. The new policy also states that doctors need to educate parents, teachers, school officials and others about the importance of sleep for teens’ physical and mental health. (HealthDay News, 6/16)

U.S. Not Doing Enough to Halt Childhood Lead Poisoning
A statement from the AAP comes at a time when lead is receiving renewed public attention, largely due to the apparent poisoning of thousands of children who drank contaminated water in Flint, Mich. But the problem is more widespread, as a recent study made clear: it found six U.S. zip codes in which at least 14% of tested children had high lead levels in their blood. (USA Today, 6/20)

Use SBIRT Approach to Identify Teens who Need Help for Substance Use
In a pair of reports, the AAP has reaffirmed its recommendation to incorporate universal screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) practices for adolescent substance use into routine health care. A revised policy statement has been simplified from a 2011 statement, and a new clinical report contains updated guidance, including screening tools and intervention procedures. (AAP News, 6/20)
Menstrual Management for Teens with Disabilities
A new clinical report from the AAP Committee on Adolescence and the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology provides guidance to pediatricians as they help patients with disabilities and their families navigate the pubertal transition and consider options for menstrual management. (AAP News, 6/20)




Zika And Children: What Parents Need To Know
A report from NPR provides information and resources for parents about Zika including what we know and the dangers to pregnant women and their future babies, as well as after babies are born and older children. (NPR, 6/20)
Top Summer Reads for LGBTQ Teens
LGBTQ teens will see more of themselves in books this summer. In its BNTEEN Blog, Barnes and Noble’s released its list of 22 most anticipated summer reads for LGBTQ young adults. Among the top 22 reads are M-E Girard’s Girl Mans Up, about a girl who looks like a guy and is just fine with that, and Eric Devine’s Look Past, about a transgender teenager who receives death threats after his girlfriend is murdered. (NBC News, 6/22)




Newly Released Findings on Drop Out, Push Out, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline among LGBTQ Youth
Join GLSEN on Wednesday, June 29th at 4:00pm EST for or a webinar sharing findings from their newest upcoming research report, providing an in-depth look at the conditions that effectively push youth out of school and potentially into the justice system. This webinar will also discuss the implications and provide specific, real world guidance to address the hostile school climates and damaging policies and practices. (GLSEN, 6/17)
Use of Health IT to Improve Health Care Delivery for Children
Join AHRQ on June 30, 2016, from 12:30 to 2:00 PM ET, to discuss recent research on how health information technology can better support the quality of health care delivered to children and adolescents.  This webinar will include discussions on pediatric-specific electronic health record functionality and the use of a pediatric registry for reporting quality measures data. (AHRQ, 6/22)

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


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