Sherrel Hammar, MD, FSAHM
It is with great sadness that we share that Dr. Sherrel Hammar passed away in Honolulu, HI on Tuesday, May 17, 2016, at the age of 84. Dr. Hammar was very involved in the Society for Adolescent Medicine for much of his career, was a charter member and served as President in 1981. He was the longtime former chair of Pediatrics at the University of Hawaii medical school and was very active both locally and nationally in pediatrics, serving frequently as a visiting professor and lecturer. (University of Hawaii, 5/26)






Another Reason Why Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Smoke: Schizophrenia
A new study finds that heavy cigarette smoking by a pregnant woman raises the risk of her child developing the severe mental disorder by 38% during their youth. The researchers reported this was the first biomarker-based study to show a relationship between fetal nicotine exposure and schizophrenia. (The Washington Post, 5/24)
Hyperglycemia Tied to Outcomes in Pediatric Stroke
For children with arterial ischemic stroke, infarct volume and hyperglycemia, but not hypertension and fever, correlate with poor neurological outcome, according to a recent study. The researchers found that 65.3% of children age 29 days to 18 years had hypertension, 68.4% had hypotension, 18.1% had hyperglycemia, and 37.8% had fever. (Physician’s Briefing, 5/24)
School Obesity Prevention Program Helps Seventh Graders Lose Weight Over Long-Term Period
A five-week obesity prevention program for seventh grade students in Southern California helped obese students lose weight over a long-term period, according to a new study. The average reduction in BMI measured for obese students of average height two years later when they entered high school translated into about nine pounds lower bodyweight. (News Medical Net, 5/24)
Hormone May Be Linked to Teenage Obesity
Obese teens may have lower levels of a weight-regulating hormone than normal-weight teens, a new study says. Previous studies in adults concluded that spexin is likely involved in regulating the body’s energy balance and fat mass. Teens with the lowest levels of spexin were more than five times as likely to be obese than those with the highest levels of the hormone, the researchers found. (HealthDay News, 5/24)
Majority Of Texans And Floridians Want Medicaid Expansion, Survey Shows
Americans who live in the two biggest states that haven’t expanded Medicaid have more complaints about health care costs and quality, according to a new survey. They’d also like their states to expand Medicaid. The survey assessed attitudes about the health care system, and possible solutions, in five populous states: Texas, California, Florida, New York and Ohio. (Kaiser Health News, 5/24)
Poverty Linked to Epigenetic Changes and Mental Illness
Children from impoverished families are more prone to mental illness, and alterations in DNA structure could be to blame, according to a recent study. Researchers found that impoverished adolescents in their study acquired DNA marks, brain changes and depression over time. (Nature, 5/24)
Online Autism Training Shows Promise For Families
A new study suggests that families may be able to boost their skills without even leaving home. In a pilot study looking at 28 families, researchers found that parents could be taught to improve their children’s social communication through an online program. They also found that adding in regular videoconferencing with a therapist further increased the positive impact. (Disability Scoop, 5/24)
For Zika-Infected Pregnancies, Microcephaly Risk May be as High as 13 Percent
Typically, microcephaly occurs in .02% to .12% of all U.S. births. The prevalence of even more common congenital conditions, such as Down syndrome, is often less than 1 percent. By contrast, the recent study found the estimated risk for microcephaly with Zika infections in the first trimester of pregnancy ranged from 1% to 13%. (The Washington Post, 5/25)
2 New Findings Offer Hope for Those With Severe Hemophilia
Two new studies could pave the way to major changes in how doctors treat severe cases of hemophilia. Both studies tackle a key challenge: Up to one-third of children with severe hemophilia develop antibodies against the standard therapy. One study highlights the value of an old therapy, while the other shows promising early results with an experimental drug. (HealthDay News, 5/25)
What Doctors Aren’t Telling Obese, Young Adults
Many obese young adults in the United States don’t know they’re at increased risk for kidney disease, researchers report. Researchers analyzed data from nearly 7,000 adults, aged 20 to 40, and found that 11% of obese Mexican-Americans and about 6% of obese whites and blacks had elevated levels of the protein albumin in the urine, a sign that the kidneys are not functioning normally. (HealthDay, 5/25)
Girls’ Early Puberty and Breast Development Tied to Depression
Girls who go through puberty and develop breasts earlier than peers may have a higher risk of depression as well, a Chinese study suggests. The study found that each one-year increase in age at the time of breast development was associated with 17 percent lower odds of depression. (Reuters, 5/26)
1.2 Million College Students Drink Alcohol on a Typical Day, and More than 703,000 Use Weed
On any given day, 1.2 million full-time students are drinking alcohol and more than 703,000 are using marijuana, according to a report released by SAMHSA. The results suggest that roughly 60% of full-time college students drank alcohol at least once in the past month. That includes the 39% who engaged in binge drinking. (The Los Angeles Times, 5/26)

Major New Report Identifies Complex Factors and Final Events that Contribute to Child Suicide Risk
Bereavement, bullying, exams and physical health conditions such as acne and asthma are some of the experiences linked to suicide in children and young people according to a new report by The University of Manchester’s National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness (NCISH). (Medical News Today, 5/26)
Internet Addiction and School Burnout Feed into Each Other
Excessive internet use contributes to the development of school burnout. School burnout, in turn, may lead to excessive internet use or digital addiction. Mind the Gap, a longitudinal research project, has established a link between digital addiction and school burnout in both comprehensive school and upper secondary school students. (Medical News Today, 5/26)
Kids with Puzzling Stomachaches Might Benefit from Probiotics
Researchers looked at ways to treat so-called functional abdominal pain that doesn’t have a clear cause. The results of the study showed that probiotics were indeed effective at reducing symptoms in children with functional abdominal pain. Children who received probiotics experienced about a two-thirds reduction in their pain, compared with children who were on the placebo. (Live Science, 5/27)
Concussions in Children May Be Vastly Underreported, Study Finds
Children who have suffered a concussion are more likely to be diagnosed in their pediatrician’s office than the emergency room, according to a new study that suggests current concussion statistics may be vastly underreported, since only children diagnosed in the ER are included in counts by the CDC. (ABC News, 5/31)




Supporting Children Who Serve as Caregivers
In well over a million American families, children are partly or fully responsible for the welfare of adults or siblings they live with. They may have to shop, prepare meals, clean house, do the laundry and tend to the hygienic needs of family members unable to care for themselves. At the same time, these children must go to school, do their homework and attempt, but usually fail, to participate in nonacademic activities. (The New York Times, 5/23)
South Carolina Governor Signs 20-week Abortion Ban
Republican Gov. Nikki Haley signed legislation that immediately outlaws most abortions in South Carolina at 20 weeks beyond fertilization. The only exceptions are if the mother’s life is in jeopardy or a doctor determines the fetus can’t survive outside the womb. Doctors face up to $10,000 in fines and 3 years in prison for each violation. (The Washington Post, 5/25)\
States Sue Obama Administration Over Transgender Bathroom Policy
The Obama administration on Wednesday faced the first major court challenge to its guidance about the civil rights of transgender students in public schools, as officials from 11 states filed a lawsuit testing both the scope of federal anti-discrimination law and the government’s sweeping interpretation of it. (The New York Times, 5/25)
Oklahoma’s Abortion, Transgender Bills Called Political ‘Smokescreen’
Some public schools are starting summer vacation several days early, contemplating a four-day week, and more than 200 teachers in Oklahoma City were handed pink slips in March. Instead of addressing a budget crisis that threatens public education and other critical services, lawmakers have been busy debating proposals to criminalize abortion, police students’ access to public bathrooms and impeach President Obama. (The Washington Post, 5/25)
Why Over-The-Counter Birth Control Could Actually Lead to More Unwanted Pregnancies
Women in California can now purchase their pills, patches, rings and shots directly from pharmacists. The new program has been widely hailed as a victory for women’s reproductive rights. Yet the fanfare misses an important point: Women visiting their pharmacists won’t have access to the most reliable forms of birth control, such as implants or IUDs that will still require a trip to a doctor’s office. (The Los Angeles Times, 5/28)
California’s Glaring Shortage Of School Nurses
California falls significantly short of a new recommendation by the AAP calling for every school in the United States to have at least one nurse on site. Fifty-seven percent of California’s public school districts, with 1.2 million students, do not employ nurses, according to research from Sacramento State University’s School of Nursing. (Kaiser Health News, 5/31)
Lights Out: Some Children’s Hospitals Take Steps To Ensure A Good Night’s Sleep
Between the fluorescent lights, the chatter of on-duty doctors and nurses, and being roused for things like baths and vitals checks, getting eight hours of shut-eye is challenging. So now, with research increasingly highlighting the link between sleep and good health, children’s hospitals are rethinking just how they work at night. (Kaiser Health News, 6/1)
Teen Births Fall Again, Another Drop in Decades of Decline
Teen pregnancies fell again last year, to another historic low, according to the CDC’s National Vital Statistics Report. Last year, the birth rate for U.S. teens dropped 8%. Rates have been falling since 1991, and this marks yet another new low. Experts cite a range of factors, including less sex, positive peer influence, and more consistent use of birth control. (The New York Times, 6/2)




For Children in Crisis, Education Cannot Wait
For the first time in the 70-year history of the UN, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has brought together world leaders and the humanitarian community for the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, with the aim of making bold commitments to reduce the impact of the unprecedented wars and disasters we are seeing today, including providing education for children affected by conflict and crises. (The Huffington Post, 5/24)




CDC Report Points to Missed Opportunity in ADHD Care
In the most recent Vital Signs report, the CDC states that rather than leveraging the opportunity to teach young children how to control their own behavior, which has been shown to have lasting positive effects on how they function at school, at home and in relationships, these children are more often being prescribed potent drugs to help reduce their impulsive behaviors in the short term. (AAFP, 5/25)

AAP Responds to Study Showing Link Between Cell Phone Radiation, Tumors in Rats
Some rats developed tumors after being exposed to cell phone radiation, according to preliminary results of a study recently released. In light of the findings, AAP continues to reinforce its recommendations that exposures can be reduced by encouraging children to use text messaging, make only short and essential calls, use hands free kits and wired headsets and maintain the cellular phone an inch or more away from the head. (AAP, 5/27)

Better-Trained Doctors Would Improve Healthcare for Trans Youths
Barriers to appropriate care for transgender youth, according to the youths and the caregivers of a recent study, included providers untrained in gender-affirming healthcare, inconsistently applied protocols, inconsistent use of a youth’s chosen name or pronoun, uncoordinated care, limited and delayed access to treatments and insurance issues. Now authors of a new report have suggested steps to correct that problem. (Reuters, 5/31)




Mastering the Media: When Advising Families on Media, Remember All Screens Not Created Equal
Digital devices and media have become an important part of our lives and can impact the health and well-being of our patients. In the short time pediatricians have to spend with patients and families at each visit, it can be difficult to cover screen time as a health issue. This health brief provides tips for patients and families. (AAP, 5/24)
Connect Youth to Work Experiences
Summer is a great time for adolescents to explore jobs and internships that are available to them once the school year is over. The White House launched Youth Jobs+ to leverage business support and create pathways to youth employment. Additionally, programs like AmeriCorps, Upward Bound, and Registered Apprenticeships provide teens and young adults with work-based learning and leadership opportunities. (OAH, 5/26)
During the summer months, young people may have more time to catch up on their healthcare needs. MyHealthFinder is an easy-to-use interactive tool and the authoritative go-to resource for evidence-based guidance on recommended preventive services, including those for adolescents and young adults. (OAH, 5/26)
Updated CDC Fact Sheet on Oral Sex and Risk of HIV, STDs
A newly updated CDC fact sheet outlines the risks of acquiring HIV and STDs from oral sex. The risk of acquiring HIV from oral sex is very low. However, other STDs, such as syphilis, herpes, gonorrhea, and chlamydia, can be acquired from oral sex, and hepatitis A and B, bacteria such as E.coli, and intestinal parasites can be transmitted during mouth-to-anus oral sex. (CDC, 5/31)




Live Training in Dibble’s Evidence-Based Programs
Join the Dibble Institute in Columbus, OH June 27-30, 2016 for a cost-effective, hands-on training in our most popular curricula. Love Notes and Relationship Smarts PLUS were created to help teens and young adults learn, often for the first time, how to make wise choices about relationships, dating, partners, sex, and more. (The Dibble Institute, 5/26)




Abstracts for Community Pediatrics Poster Display due June 3
The Community Access to Child Health program and the Council on Community Pediatrics invite abstract submissions for a poster display session at the 2016 AAP National Conference & Exhibition. Abstracts are sought that highlight innovative and successful programs/projects to improve population health. Deadline for submission is June 3. (AAP, 5/26)
Submit Application for the Healthy Tomorrows Grant Cycle
Healthy Tomorrow Partnership for Children Program funding helps projects that support clinical or public health services. HTPCP applications should represent either a new initiative within the community or a new component that builds upon an existing community-based program or initiative. Applications are due by Aug. 2. (AAP, 5/26)
Section on Adolescent Health Awards: 2016 Call for Nominations
Nominations are being sought by the AAP Section on Adolescent Health for 3 awards: Adele Dellenbaugh Hofmann award, Richard B. Heyman Award (formerly the Founders Award for Community Leadership); and the Emerging Leader Award (new in 2015). The deadline to nominate has been extended to Friday, June 3rd. (AAP, 5/31)

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