Traffic Smog Tied to Hospital Stays for White Kids With Asthma
High levels of traffic-related air pollution greatly increase white children’s risk of being readmitted to the hospital due to asthma, a new study finds. Researchers looked at 758 children, aged 1 to 16, who were admitted to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center for asthma or wheezing. About one-third of the kids were white and nearly two-thirds were black. Within a year after being released from the hospital, (HealthDay News, 3/27)
Overweight Teens Don’t Share in Life-Expectancy Gains: Study
Gains in life expectancy don’t extend to adults who were overweight or obese as teens, according to a new study. The average lifespan in the United States has increased by more than a decade since 1950, to nearly 79 years for someone born in 2011, the researchers said. But rising obesity rates may stall that progress, they said. (HealthDay News, 3/28)
One-third of adolescents in the U. S. have a cholesterol problem
Almost 33 percent of adolescents in the United States have an undetected and untreated cholesterol problem according to research conducted by Dr. Thomas Seery, pediatric cardiologist at Texas Children’s Hospital, that was presented at the March 28, 2014, session of the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session. (Examiner, 3/29)
Obese adolescents lacking sleep at risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke
Obese adolescents who do not get enough sleep may have a higher risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and stroke compared with other obese teens who get more sleep, according to a new study from the University of Michigan Health System and Baylor University. Researchers said the latest study is important because 30 percent of U.S. adolescents, an age group notorious for not getting enough sleep, are obese or overweight. (Daily Digest News, 3/30)
UW study shows early gang involvement 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 paper published this month. (Yakima Herald, 3/30)
Study: Children need more time away from screens
Parents who limit their children’s time staring at screens – TV, computers and mobile devices – are increasing their kids’ chance for better sleep, better achievement in school and behavior, according to a new study. Researchers concede changing children’s habits would be difficult and the effects would not be immediate. However, the long-term results could result in better-adjusted children who have less chance of suffering obesity. (The Des Moines Register, 3/31)
Stronger kids have lower risks for diabetes and heart disease
It is well known that having good physical fitness lowers risks for a number of health problems. But now, the first study to make the link between strength capacity in adolescents and reduced risk for diabetes, heart disease or stroke. Staying physically fit is an important value to instill in young people, not only because it creates healthy habits that can extend into adulthood, but also because it positively affects both short- and long-term health. (Medical News Today, 3/31)

As popularity rises, so does risk of being bullied
Adolescents are often targeted for bullying because of their appearance, sexual orientation or loner status. But not all bullying victims fit that profile. New research suggests that as students become more popular and climb the social hierarchy of middle and high school, they are at increased risk for gossip, harassment and even physical attacks from rivals competing for status. (USA Today, 4/1)

Parental Messages That Stress No Alcohol Do Get Through, Survey Finds
Making it clear to your teen that underage drinking is unacceptable is a highly effective way to reduce the risk that he or she will use alcohol, a new survey shows. The online poll included 663 U.S. high school students who were asked if their parents approved of underage drinking. Only 8% of the teens who said their parents thought underage drinking was unacceptable were active drinkers. This compared with 42% among those whose parents believed underage drinking was somewhat unacceptable, somewhat acceptable or completely acceptable. (Doctors Lounge, 4/1)
Report finds wide racial disparity in U.S. children’s well-being
African-American children’s poverty, poor housing and lack of access to education pose a national crisis, said a report released Tuesday that found a wide gap in well-being among U.S. children of different races. In almost every region of the United States, African-American, Latino and Native American children face far greater barriers to their future success than their white and Asian counterparts, according to the study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which aims to improve the life of all children. (Reuters, 4/1)
How Gender Affects the Behavior of Teen Drivers
In a study in the  New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that, compared with the risk of crashing when not performing these tasks, novice teen drivers were eight times more likely to crash or have a near-miss when dialing a phone; seven times more likely to crash when reaching for a phone or another object; almost four times more likely when texting; and three times more likely when eating. (The Atlantic, 4/1)
What makes teens terrible: Scientists find brain ‘disconnect’ causes emotional outbursts and bad behaviour
As any parent will tell you, teenagers can be emotional, display irrational behaviour and make bad choices. Now, scientists believe they have found out why. They say a teenage brain really does work differently to an adults. The Duke University team say making a snap decision usually means following your initial reaction -- going with your gut. (Daily Mail, 4/1)
Why are U.S. schools failing to reduce bullying?
Schools that conduct limited programs to reduce bullying have had limited success, while more comprehensive programs have had some success but require enormous commitment and school resources. Overall, a new study suggests that efforts to reduce bullying in K-12 schools are not making the grade.
 (UPI, 4/2)

Can Obesity Influence Cognition?
A provocative new study finds that obese children are slower than healthy-weight children to recognize when they have made an error and correct it. Researchers say this is the first evidence to suggest that weight status not only affects how quickly children react to stimuli but also impacts the level of activity that occurs in the cerebral cortex during action monitoring. (Psych Central, 4/2)
Insomnia May Raise Stroke Risk, Especially for Younger Adults
People plagued with insomnia might have an increased risk of stroke, particularly if they are young adults, a new, large study from Taiwan suggests. Over the course of four years, researchers found that insomnia seemed to raise the likelihood that a person will be hospitalized due to stroke by 54 percent. That risk skyrocketed for people between the ages of 18 and 34, who were eight times more likely to suffer strokes if they had insomnia when compared to their peers who got good sleep, the study found. (HealthDay News, 4/3)



PCORI Offers $100K for Top Matchmaking App
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), Washington, D.C., is offering a $100,000 prize for the winner of the PCORI Matchmaking App Challenge, the organization’s newest initiative to encourage research partnerships. (Health Data Management, 3/28)
What A Small Town’s Teen Pregnancy Turnaround Can Teach The U.S.
Thirty years ago, the small town of Denmark, S.C., had one of the state’s highest teen pregnancy rates. Efforts like hers have paid off in Denmark and around the country in the past couple of decades. Since the 1990s, teen pregnancies have decreased by more than 50 percent, as a recent policy brief from The Brookings Institution reports. (NPR, 3/30)
Topamax Approval for Migraines Expanded to Younger Users
FDA approval of the drug Topamax (topiramate) to prevent migraine headaches has been expanded to include adolescents 12 years to 17 years, the agency said Friday. It’s the first migraine-prevention drug approved for adolescents, the FDA said in a news release. Topamax was first sanctioned in 1996 to prevent seizures, and was approved to prevent migraines in adults in 2004. (HealthDay News, 3/31)
Congress approves bill to avert Medicare pay cut for doctors
The U.S. Senate gave final congressional approval on Monday to legislation to avert a pay cut for doctors who participate in the Medicare insurance program for the elderly and disabled. By a vote of 64-35, the Democratic-led Senate sent the measure, approved last week by the Republican-led House of Representatives, to President Barack Obama to sign into law. (Reuters, 3/31)
Obamacare enrollment exceeds 7 million target despite setback
President Barack Obama’s national healthcare program signed up more than 7 million people by the end of March, the president said on Tuesday, notching a rare victory after a months-long, glitch-filled rollout of the law. The president said 7.1 million people had signed up for coverage under the law and called for Republicans to end their bid to repeal it. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner repeated his pledge to repeal the law on Monday. (Reuters, 4/1)
Ohio mumps outbreak grows to 116 cases, mainly at Ohio State
The number of mumps cases from an outbreak in central Ohio has more than quadrupled over the last two weeks, to 116, mostly students at Ohio State University or people connected to the school, authorities said Tuesday. The reported cases stood at 28 two weeks ago. At least three of the infected people are confirmed as not having received vaccinations for the mumps. (Reuters, 4/1)
Justina Pelletier’s mitochondrial disease : Boston Children’s Hospital suspects medical child abuse
Linda and Lou Pelletier brought their daughter to Boston Children’s Hospital last year. They were looking for a gastroenterologist to help with 14-year-old Justina’s mitochondrial disease, a rare disorder that causes widespread and nonspecific symptoms. Justina Pelletier never saw a GI specialist, though. Instead, she officially became a ward of the state last week.  (Slate, 4/1)
Panel backs permanent change to child lung-transplant rules
A panel of transplant experts is recommending permanent adoption of the temporary rule change that enabled a 10-year-old from Newtown Square to receive adult lungs in a transplant nine months ago. The panel advises the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, which sets national organ allocation policy. The OPTN will accept public comment on the proposed rule change through June 13, then make a decision. (Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/2)              



Health minister tells of ‘worrying’ school statistics in obesity, diabetes
Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan has told a two-day conference in Port of Spain that the Global Health School survey completed in 2011 showed 30 per cent of teenagers between the ages of 13 and 15 were overweight. He said in this country, the figure was 17 per cent with 15 per cent obese and more than 40 per cent having at least one risk factor of developing diabetes. (Trinidad Express Newspapers, 3/29)
One in every 10 female Filipino teens a mother: study
One in every 10 female Filipino teenagers is a mother, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said today. Citing the 2013 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study conducted by the University of the Philippines Population Institute and Demographic Research Development Foundation, PSA said that one in every 10 Filipina aged 15-19 has already had a child. (The Philippine Star, 3/31)
More children waiting longer for mental health services
The growing problem of children waiting for psychiatric services in Wales is being ignored by ministers, it has been claimed. The number waiting more than 14 weeks has soared in the past year. Ongoing problems with mental health services in Wales were previously highlighted in a report last year. The Welsh government said cutting waiting times was a priority, and extra funding of £250,000 had been announced recently. (BBC, 4/2)
Condom use falls in SA as HIV/AIDS fear declines — survey
South Africans are using fewer condoms, sleeping around more and becoming less knowledgeable about HIV/AIDS, says the latest household survey by the Human Sciences Research Council. The survey found just over two-thirds (67.5%) of young men aged between 15 and 24 reported using condoms at their last sexual encounter in 2012, down from 85.2% in 2008. (Business Day, 4/2)


Brookings Teen Births Are Falling: What’s Going On?
The United States has experienced a remarkable 52 percent decline in teen childbearing since 1991. Understanding the causes of this decline are important for developing subsequent policies to continue this trend. This decline can be distinguished by two periods. Teen births fell at a rate of 2.5 percent per year between 1991 and 2008; that rate tripled to 7.5 percent per year between 2008 and 2012. We investigate these two periods separately.


Office of Adolescent Health: Our Picks: Finding Healthy Recipes, Preventing Underage Drinking, and More
Each month, the Office of Adolescent Health pulls resources that can help promote healthy adolescents. This month’s resources include information on healthy eating, underage drinking prevention, and more.
CDC: April is STD Awareness Month!
April marks the annual observance of STD Awareness Month. Individuals, health care providers, and community-based organizations are encouraged to bring a renewed sense of enthusiasm and focus to their STD awareness and prevention efforts throughout the month. Studies show that people who have STDs such as gonorrhea, herpes, and syphilis are more likely to get HIV compared to people who are STD-free. And the same behaviors that put you at risk for acquiring these STDs can put you at risk for getting HIV. Also, check out the GYT: Get Yourself Tested campaign for additional youth-focused materials such as posters, flyers, buttons and other resources that can be downloaded and printed.


AAP: Food Allergies in the School Setting: What a pediatrician needs to know
Children with food allergies are 2-4 times more likely to have asthma or other allergic conditions. With support from the CDC, the AAP is proud to present Scott Sicherer, MD, FAAP and Lani Wheeler, MD, FAAP in a discussion of Food Allergies in the School Setting. This free webinar will provide an overview of best practices for the pediatrician in treating and managing children with food allergies, based on the CDC’s new Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies in Schools and Early Care and Education Centers.

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