CDC Finds Obesity Risk Double For Those With Autism
New research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that adolescents with developmental disabilities are significantly more likely than others their age to struggle with weight and those with autism are at greatest risk. Overall, obesity is 50 percent more common in individuals ages 12 to 17 with developmental disabilities as compared to typically-developing adolescents, according to findings published recently in the Maternal and Child Health Journal. That risk increases to more than double when looking specifically at those with autism. (Disability Scoop, 3/14)
Stress Can Quickly Harm Kids’ Health: Study
Stressful events can have an almost immediate impact on children’s health and well-being, a new study finds. Previous research has shown that stressful events in childhood increase an adult’s risk of health problems, but this study shows that these consequences may occur much sooner. (HealthDay News, 3/14)
Riding with impaired drivers tied to riskier teen driving
Teens who’ve been in cars with impaired drivers may be more likely themselves to get behind the wheel drunk or drugged, a recent study suggests. And the more times they’re driven around by an impaired driver, the more risky their own driving habits become. While other studies have found ties between riding with impaired drivers and teen impaired driving risk, the new study surveyed about 2,500 U.S. students each year between 10th and 12th grades to examine rates over time - not at just one point. (Reuters, 3/17)
Study: Mental Health Hospitalizations Increasing in Children
More than 4 million American children and adolescents have a mental illness, and a study from the University of California, San Francisco shows mental health hospitalizations among this demographic increased by 24 percent between 2007 and 2010. The latest findings suggest nearly 1 in 10 hospitalized children have a primary diagnosis of a mental health problem. (U.S. News & World Report, 3/17)
ADHD medications tied to teenage weight gain
Stimulant medications, rather than the childhood ADHD they are used to treat, could be linked to weight gain during the teenage years, according to a new analysis of medical records. As of 2011, 11 percent of U.S. kids ages four to 17 had been diagnosed with ADHD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About half of those kids were taking stimulant medications like Adderall or Ritalin. (Reuters, 3/18)        
Teens Say They Don’t Text Or Drink While Driving
Many teen drivers are earnest when they say they know the risks of drinking and driving or texting behind the wheel. But it seems many either ignore those dangers or don’t fully understand what it means to drive safely. About half of teens who say they never text while driving admitted to texting at red lights or stop signs. And while 86 percent of teens consider driving under the influence to be dangerous, one in 10 who say they never drive under the influence actually do drive after drinking. (NPR, 3/18)     
Adolescents who have ACL reconstruction are more likely to demonstrate osteoarthritic changes later in life
Researchers presented results today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s (AOSSM) Specialty Day in New Orleans that adolescents who have an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) reconstruction are more likely to demonstrate osteoarthritic changes later in life. (News Medical¸3/18)
Salt’s Harm Evident in Heavy Teens, Study Finds
Teens aren’t immune to the ill effects of salt: A new study suggests that eating too much salty food might speed cellular aging in overweight and obese teenagers. Researchers divided nearly 800 teens, aged 14 to 18, into two groups based on their salt intake. Those in the high-intake group consumed an average of more than 4,100 mg of salt a day, while those in the low-intake group consumed an average of less than 2,400 mg a day. (HealthDay News, 3/20)
MRI Effective Alternative for Diagnosing Pediatric Appendicitis
Magnetic resonance imaging without contrast is a viable alternative test for suspected pediatric appendicitis, according to a study in the journal Radiology. Researchers from the Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston performed a study of 81 patients (34 male, 47 female) to prospectively compare MR imaging without contrast and ultrasound for diagnosis of pediatric appendicitis. The mean age was 12.3 years. (Diagnostic Imaging, 3/20)
Childhood Abuse May Lead to Health Ills in Adulthood
Childhood abuse or neglect could take a lasting toll on physical health, a new study suggests. It found that child maltreatment may trigger long-term hormone problems that increase the risk of obesity, diabetes and other health problems in adulthood. (HealthDay News, 3/20)
Obesity, depression linked in teen girls, new study shows
Depression and obesity have long been associated, but how they relate over time is less clear. New research shows that adolescent females who experience one of the disorders are at a greater risk for the other as they get older. It is unknown why no associations across time between the two disorders were found in male adolescents, but researchers hypothesize that it could be a result of different developmental processes leading to obesity and depression in males and females. (Science Daily, 3/21)
Violent video games may be tied to aggressive thoughts
Playing violent video games may be linked to violent thoughts and behavior among kids, according to a new study. The report, based on data from Singapore, found that kids who often play violent video games end up showing more aggression later on, and more often believe hitting is acceptable, than kids who don’t play them. (Reuters, 3/24)      
Pushed Out of School, Black Girls Lose Huge Ground
Just 60 percent of black females graduate high school in four years, the National Women’s Law Center reports, compared to 78 percent of white females. Black girls are three times more likely than white girls to receive out-of-school suspensions, according to a 2012 report by the Department of Education, and are more likely to repeat a grade. Data show the steep price that veering off course at school costs later in life. (Women’s eNews, 3/24)
Team sports help children be healthier, do better in class: Study
Children who take up team sports before the age of eight and play for at least two years are more likely to be healthier, have better relationships and do better at school than those who do not, an Australian study says. This is particularly true for girls, researchers from the University of Wollongong say. (Toronto Sun, 3/24)
Sports aggression may ‘spillover’ in teen relationships
Teenage boys who played football, basketball or both were about twice as likely as other boys to have recently abused their girlfriends in a new study from California. Researchers say the “hypermasculine” attitudes encouraged in some sports may foster aggression off the field, but the locker room can also be a place to teach boys about healthy relationships and avoiding violence. (Reuters, 3/25)        
A Staggering Percentage of Military Kids Have Mental Health Issues—Will This Simple Fix Help?
A study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that kids from military families have significant mental health challenges. About 30 percent of “participants reported feeling sad or hopeless almost every day for 2 weeks during the past 12 months,” while nearly one in four reported having considered suicide.  (Take Part, 3/25)
Adolescent drug and alcohol emergency department intervention to be assessed
Ten years ago, a study began into adolescents admitted to hospital emergency departments (ED) after abusing alcohol and other substances. The researchers investigated what happened if, in ED, some of the adolescents received a brief visit from a counsellor. After 12 months, the researchers found that the group who had the brief counselling intervention had less subsequent admissions to ED for alcohol and substance issues. A decade later, the adolescents will be followed up again in a new study (Health Canal, 3/25)       
One in 25 patients has an infection acquired during hospital stay, CDC says
One in 25 patients in U.S. hospitals has an infection acquired as part of his or her care despite modest progress in controlling those pathogens inside medical facilities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday in its most comprehensive look at a stubborn and lethal health-care problem. (Washington Post, 3/26)
‘Hypermasculine’ attitude in sports may lead to aggression in teenage relationships
Teenage boys who played football, basketball or both were about twice as likely as other boys to have recently abused their girlfriends in a new study from California. Researchers say the “hypermasculine” attitudes encouraged in some sports may foster aggression off the field, but the locker room can also be a place to teach boys about healthy relationships and avoiding violence. (Reuters, 3/26)
Availability of junk food in schools encourages obesity, study finds
Kids who go to schools where sugary drinks are readily available from vending machines or cafeterias are more likely not only to drink them but also to be obese, a new University of B.C. study shows. The findings in the study of 29,315 students in Grades 7 to 12 prompted researchers to conclude that schools should get better at creating environments more conducive to healthy eating. Adolescents consume about 40 per cent of their daily dietary intake while at school. (The Vancouver Sun, 3/26)
Life expectancy gains elude overweight teens
Although people live longer today than they did 50 years ago, people who were overweight and obese as teenagers aren’t experiencing the same gains as other segments of the population, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. The life expectancy of the average American born in 2011 was 78.7 years, according to the CDC. The average lifespan has increased by more than a decade since 1950, but rising obesity rates threaten to take a toll on this progress. (EurekAlert, 3/26)
Loyola study finds fewer children at risk of inadequate or deficient vitamin D levels
Under new guidelines from the Institute of Medicine, the estimated number of children who are at risk for having insufficient or deficient levels of vitamin D is drastically reduced from previous estimates, according to a Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine study. (News Medical, 3/26)
Studies Find Religion Promotes Healthy Body Image for Young Women
Worship, prayer and a strong sense of the importance of religion can help teens and 20-somethings with eating disorders overcome feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness, new research indicates. A study of nearly 2,500 young women just published online in the Journal of Religion and Health adds weight to other U.S. and international research suggesting religion can be a countercultural force in promoting healthy body images. (Huffington Post, 3/26)
Physically Active Youth May Retain Bone Health
Bone size and strength developed with physical activity in males during youth is maintained to some extent in old age, regardless of activity level, according to research published online March 24 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (HealthDay News, 3/26)
CDC: 1 in 68 U.S. children has autism
One in 68 U.S. children has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a 30% increase from 1 in 88 two years ago, according to a new report released Thursday by the CDC. This newest estimate is based on the CDC’s evaluation of health and educational records of all 8-year-old children in 11 states: Alabama, Wisconsin, Colorado, Missouri, Georgia, Arkansas, Arizona, Maryland, North Carolina, Utah and New Jersey. (CNN, 3/27)
Pot-Smoking Students Outperform Cigarette Smokers: Why Marijuana Use Alone May Be Linked To Better Grades
Holding a cigarette in the back of the school parking lot was once considered a form of initiation for “in” crowds in high school, but now cigarettes have gone out of vogue. The students who hide behind the bushes and pass the “doobie,” or marijuana, are in the spotlight for a possibly good reason. According to a study published in the Journal of School Health, pot-smoking students outperform their marginalized tobacco-smoking counterparts in school. But why? (Medical Daily, 3/27)
Peer-Group Approach Helps Teens Limit Sugary Drinks
Consumption of sugary soft drinks is a behavioral trait often associated with overweight and obese younger adults. A new study finds teens can be persuaded to cut back on sugary soft drinks, especially with a little help from their friends. Researchers found that a 30-day challenge encouraging teens to reduce sugar-sweetened drink use lowered their overall consumption substantially. (Psych Central, 3/27)
Sugary drinks: The worst offenders in fight against youth obesity
New research shows sugary drinks are the worst offenders in the fight against youth obesity and recommends that B.C. schools fully implement healthy eating guidelines to reduce their consumption. The study found that students in schools where sugary drinks were available consumed them more often and were more likely to be obese on the BMI scale. (News Medical, 3/27)
Early gang participation makes lasting mark
It’s pretty much a no-brainer that a kid who joins a gang — even briefly during adolescence — stands a greater chance of committing crimes, using drugs and winding up in prison as an adult. Less obvious, however, are the lasting consequences of gang membership on physical and mental health, educational and occupational prospects, and reliance on public assistance like welfare, according to a new study. (Seattle Times, 3/27)                                     



Obamacare enrollment hits 5 million with two weeks to go
Just in time for March Madness, Obamacare’s getting its game on. The administration said 5 million people have signed up for coverage with two weeks to go until the March 31 deadline,. The surging pace could revive White House hopes of enrolling 6 million by the end of the month. (Politico, 3/17)
Obamacare campaign highlights sports injuries to enroll young people
With the clock running down on Obamacare enrollment, the administration sought to persuade young people to sign up for health coverage on Tuesday by telling them how much it hurts not be insured - that is, how much it can hurt the wallet. (Reuters, 3/18)
PCORI Names Jean Slutsky Chief Engagement and Dissemination Officer
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) announced today the appointment of Jean Slutsky, PA, MSPH, as Chief Engagement and Dissemination Officer, a new position in which she will lead PCORI’s Engagement Program and growing dissemination and implementation planning efforts. (Sys Con Media, 3/18)
More than 10 percent of emergency room visits involving energy drinks result in hospitalization
More than 10 percent of emergency room visits by people age 12 or older for problems involving energy drinks are serious enough to result in hospitalization, the federal government warned this week. SAMHSA said that 20,783 people visited emergency rooms in 2011 for difficulties involving the high-caffeine drinks, which are heavily marketed to youths and young adults. (Washington Post, 3/19)
U.S. teens using inhalants such as glue declining
U.S. adolescents ages 12 to 17 using inhalants decreased from 820,000 in 2011 to about 650,000 in 2012, federal health officials say. A report SAMHSA defined inhalants in the survey as “liquids, sprays and gases that people sniff or inhale to get high or to make them feel good.” Rates decreased from 4.4 percent in 2006 to 2.6 percent in 2012. (UPI, 3/19)
Obesity prevention programs might help lower kids’ blood pressure
Programs designed to prevent obesity in children may help lower kids’ blood pressure, according to a new review of past studies. Researchers found that programs targeting both diet and physical activity were more effective than programs that focused on one or the other. (Reuters, 3/19)
Eating Disorders Do Not Discriminate
For all the information and raised awareness, the stereotype won’t die—eating disorders are a white-woman problem. And it’s not just a false image set forth by Lifetime movies and the author pics of eating disorder memoirists. Communities of color buy into it, too. Doctors have this misconception, too.  (Slate, 3/20)
Selling a Poison by the Barrel: Liquid Nicotine for E-Cigarettes
A dangerous new form of a powerful stimulant is hitting markets nationwide, for sale by the vial, the gallon and even the barrel. The drug is nicotine, in its potent, liquid form — extracted from tobacco and tinctured with a cocktail of flavorings, colorings and assorted chemicals to feed the fast-growing electronic cigarette industry. (New York Times, 3/23)
President Obama names director, Office of Nat’l AIDS Policy
Today, President Obama announced the appointment of Douglas M. Brooks, MSW, as the Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy. As the Director of ONAP, he will lead the Administration’s work to reduce new HIV infections, improve health outcomes for people living with HIV, and eliminate HIV health disparities in the United States. (Windy City Times, 3/24)
Insurers Push to Enroll People as Health Care Deadline Nears
It’s last call for health insurance. Many are concentrating on hard-to-reach groups, sponsoring community events to attract people who had trouble enrolling on their own or need a nudge to take the time to sign up. Some are offering policies inside highly trafficked venues like drugstores or local Y’s; Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield even had sign-up stations in Goodwill stores. (New York Times, 3/24)              
PCORI Appoints First Members of New Advisory Panel on Rare Disease
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Board of Governors today approved 13 people as members of PCORI’s new Advisory Panel on Rare Disease. It is one of two new advisory panels for which the Board approved members at its meeting today; the other focuses on clinical trials. The diverse group of panelists will apply their experience and expertise to advising PCORI on its research priorities in the area of rare disease, as well as on engaging with the rare disease research community. (PCORI, 3/25)




Lower HPV Uptake for Women in UK Sexual Health Services
For young women attending sexual health services in England, human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination uptake and completion rates are lower than national data, with an overall completion rate of 47%, according to a study published online March 17 in Sexually Transmitted Infections. (HealthDay News, 3/17)
Malta objects to UN’s call for better adolescent sex education
Malta was one of just four countries that yesterday registered their reservations against a United Nations Commission on the Status of Women document promoting equality for women that reaffirms the sexual and reproductive rights of all women and endorses sex education for adolescents. (The Malta Independent, 3/18)
Teenage girls will be able to stock up on morning-after pill under new NHS guidance
Teenage girls will be able to stock up on the morning-after pill under new NHS guidance which will allow young women to pre-order the drugs, despite Government fears the move will increase promiscuity. The guidance for GPs and chemists says under-25s—including girls under 16—should be able to obtain the morning-after pill more easily, in advance of having sexual intercourse. It also says school nurses should be able to dispense free emergency contraception to pupils, while pharmacists—who normally charge £25 for the pills—should be able to dispense pills free (The Telegraph, 3/25)
Age curb ‘blocks diagnosis’
The Medical Council of Thailand plans to have the age restriction for minors receiving HIV tests removed from the Child Protection Act to help diagnosis. Somsak Lolekha, chairman of the council, said HIV testing for youngsters under 18 requires their parents’ consent, and the age limit poses problems for HIV checks for adolescents and providing contraceptive injections to prevent teen pregnancies. (Bangkok Post, 3/26) 





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