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April 2006 Briefing - Pediatrics

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pediatrics for April 2006. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Report Sheds Light on X-SCID Gene Therapy Cancer Risk

THURSDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- Gene therapy for treatment of X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome (X-SCID), while largely successful, may cause T-cell leukemias because of the nature of the therapeutic gene rather than insertional mutagenesis, according to a brief communication in this week's issue of Nature.

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Antioxidants Don't Cut Risk of Preeclampsia, Perinatal Harm

WEDNESDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- Supplementation with vitamins C and E during pregnancy does not reduce the risk of preeclampsia or perinatal complications and may even cause harm to the mother, according to a study in the April 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Drug-Resistant HIV Can Persist in Postpartum Period

WEDNESDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- Single-dose nevirapine (sdNVP) for the prevention of vertical HIV-1 transmission can give rise to nevirapine-resistant variants that persist for more than a year, according to a report published online April 25 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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FDA Drug Advisory Committee Conflicts of Interest Assessed

TUESDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Conflict-of-interest disclosures are common at U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Drug Advisory Committee meetings and may warrant excluding members who have large financial interests, according to a study in the April 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Airflow Obstruction Improves with Montelukast

TUESDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Asthmatic children treated with an eight-week course of montelukast have better outcomes than those who are not given the therapy, according to a study in the April issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

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Low MMR Uptake Increasing Measles Susceptibility in U.K.

TUESDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Parents' erroneous belief that the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is linked to autism may be behind a sharp increase in measles susceptibility among nursery school children in Scotland, according to a study published online April 25 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Not All Apple Varieties Cause Same Allergic Reaction

TUESDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who are allergic to apples may not have the same adverse reaction to all varieties of the fruit, as some apples appear to be more allergenic than others, according to a study in the April issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

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Most Physicians Would Halt Chemo at Patient's Request

MONDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of physicians would halt chemotherapy if a terminal cancer patient insisted, but fewer would comply with a patient's request to speed death with drugs, according to a survey of physicians in six European countries and Australia published in the April 24 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Novel Disorder Includes Microphthalmia, Brain Atrophy

MONDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Norwegian and Dutch researchers have identified a new autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disorder called microphthalmia brain atrophy (MOBA) disease that is most likely caused by a mutation affecting eye development during gestation, according to a study published in the April issue of the Annals of Neurology.

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Blood Tests More Accurate Than Skin Test in TB Diagnosis

MONDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Two blood tests, T-SPOT.TB and QuantiFERON-TB Gold, are more accurate in detecting tuberculosis (TB) than the standard tuberculin skin test, according to an article in the April 22 issue of The Lancet.

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Proportion of Preterm Births Up 22 Percent in Past Decade

MONDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- The number of preterm births in Denmark has grown dramatically -- rising 22 percent between 1994 and 2004, according to a study published in the April 22 issue of BMJ.

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Childhood Exposure to Dust May Protect Against Asthma

MONDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Early exposure to dust containing the endotoxin or extracellular polysaccharides from microbes, including fungi, appears to bestow protection against developing asthma later in life, according to a study published online April 5 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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Statin Fails to Prevent Type 1 Diabetes in Mice

FRIDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Although atorvastatin inhibits pathogenic beta-cell-specific CD8 T-cells, it does not prevent the development of type 1 diabetes in mice, according to a study published in the April issue of Diabetes.

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Fiber Improves Insulin Sensitivity in Obese Patients

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Insoluble dietary fiber improves insulin sensitivity in only three days, according to a small study of obese or overweight patients published in the April issue of Diabetes Care.

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Lawnmower Injuries More Common in Teens, Elderly

THURSDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- People aged 60 to 69 are the most likely to be injured in a lawnmower accident, followed by adolescents aged 15 to 19 years, according to a study published online in April in the Annals of Emergency Medicine. There was a trend towards increased lawnmower injuries in the United States between 1996 and 2004, suggesting more should be done to prevent such injuries, the report indicates.

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Ondansetron Curbs Vomiting in Pediatric Gastroenteritis

WEDNESDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- A single dose of oral ondansetron reduces vomiting and increases oral rehydration in children with gastroenteritis and dehydration, according to a study published April 20 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Short and Long Pregnancy Interval Affects Outcome

TUESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Women who have a pregnancy interval of less than six months or more than 59 months are more likely to experience an adverse outcome than women with other lengths of time between pregnancies, according to an analysis of more than 11 million pregnancy outcomes published in the April 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Less Educated Have Higher Coronary Artery Calcium

TUESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- People with the least amount of education are two to four times as likely to have coronary artery calcium (CAC) deposits as those with the most education, according to a study in the April 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Mercury Fillings Don't Affect Child's IQ or Behavior

TUESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- There are no significant differences in neuropsychological and neurobehavioral function in children whose dental cavities are treated with mercury amalgam fillings or mercury-free resin composite materials, according to two studies published in the April 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Vigilance Urged for Virus Transmitted by Pet Rodents

TUESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Infectious disease specialists are aware of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), but few would test for the rodent-borne virus in immunocompromised patients with unexplained fever, according to a small survey of Connecticut physicians published online April 14 in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Half of Health Workers Would Work During Flu Pandemic

TUESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Only about half of public health workers say they would likely report to work during an influenza pandemic, with clinical staff more likely to report as well as those who think they would be asked to report, according to a study in the April issue of BMC Public Health.

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Cancer Patients Need Support in Talking to Their Children

TUESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Children of breast cancer patients often know something is wrong before they are told, and find their mother's chemotherapy and hair loss especially stressful, according to a study published online April 13 in BMJ, which suggests parents should get more support on discussing life-threatening illnesses with children.

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UV Tanning Routinely Marketed to Teens

TUESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Tanning parlors, including those that use carcinogenic ultraviolet (UV) radiation, habitually target teens by advertising in school newspapers and offering discounts and special promotions, according to a study in the April issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Sleep Study Recommended for Young Down Syndrome Kids

TUESDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- Obstructive sleep apnea is common in young children with Down syndrome, but parents' impressions of sleep problems do not correlate with the findings of overnight polysomnography (PSG), according to a study in the April issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology--Head & Neck Surgery. The authors recommend baseline PSG be conducted on all 3- and 4-year-olds with Down syndrome.

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Two Airline Passengers May Have Spread Mumps

MONDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- State and federal health officials in the United States are investigating an outbreak of mumps in Iowa and other states and report that two passengers who traveled on nine commercial flights on two airlines between March 26 and April 2 may have spread the infection, according to a report published April 14 in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Intermediate Uveitis in Children May Be Self-Limiting

MONDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- In children, intermediate uveitis might resolve after several years, according to a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology.

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Youthful Goths May Be More Likely to Harm Themselves

MONDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents who belong to the Goth subculture may be at high risk of self-harm -- including cutting, scratching or scoring -- according to a study published April 13 by BMJ Online First.

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Half of Parents Would Skip Antibiotics for Child's Fever

FRIDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Now that most children receive a pneumococcal vaccine, parents may prefer a wait-and-see approach rather than a test-and-treat approach for young children with unexplained fever, according to a study in the April issue of Pediatrics.

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Surgery Best for Twin Reversed Arterial Perfusion

FRIDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- The best overall outcome for twin reversed arterial perfusion (TRAP) sequence is achieved with surgery, but the surgical approach and technique should be tailored to individual cases, according to a study in the April issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Gastric Electrical Stimulation May Help Treat Obesity

THURSDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- Gastric electrical stimulation (GES), in which mucosal electrodes are endoscopically placed in the fundus, may be a potential treatment for obesity, according to a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Infant Snoring Linked to Parents' Snoring in Atopic Families

THURSDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- About 15 percent of the infants of atopic parents are frequent snorers, and frequent snoring in infants is strongly associated with snoring in their parents, but not with environmental tobacco smoke, according to research published in the April issue of Chest.

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Telithromycin May Be Effective as Asthma Treatment

WEDNESDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- Telithromycin may benefit patients with acute exacerbations of asthma, according to a study published in the April 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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FDA Approves First Skin Patch for ADHD

WEDNESDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first methylphenidate-containing transdermal patch for treating attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Known as Daytrana, the patch is designed for use in children ages 6 to 12 and is applied each morning to the alternating hip and worn for nine hours.

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Reviewers Biased Toward U.S. and English-Speaking World

WEDNESDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- Reviewers of abstracts tend to be biased toward authors from the United States, other English-speaking countries and prestigious institutions, a problem that can be partially overcome by using blinded reviewing, according to a study in the April 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Unhealthy Dieting in Teens Linked To Later Obesity Risk

TUESDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents who use unhealthy weight-loss methods may be putting themselves at risk of obesity and eating disorders later in life, according to a study in the April issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

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CDC Recommends No Changes in Menactra Administration

MONDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Despite case reports of Guillain-Barre syndrome among recipients of the MCV4 meningococcal conjugate vaccine (Menactra), providers should continue to use the vaccine under recommended guidelines and be alert for and report any side effects to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), according to an update report in the April 7 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Congenital Rubella Syndrome Almost Non-Existent in U.S.

MONDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Congenital rubella syndrome has been almost completely eradicated in the United States, with only four cases reported in the past five years, according to a joint statement published in the April issue of Birth Defects Research (Part A): Clinical and Molecular Teratology.

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Secondhand Smoke May Increase Diabetes Risk

MONDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- People who have never used tobacco but who have been exposed to secondhand smoke are at higher risk of developing glucose intolerance than even previous smokers, according to a study published online April 7 in BMJ.

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BCG Vaccination Cost Effective for Tuberculosis Prevention

MONDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- BCG vaccination for prevention of severe childhood tuberculosis is cost effective and should be retained in high-incidence countries located in South East Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and the western Pacific, according to a report in the April 8 issue of The Lancet.

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Gestation Length Influenced by Maternal, Paternal Factors

FRIDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Heritable factors related to both father and mother may influence the length of gestation, according to a study published in the April 1 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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TV at Meals Affects Preschoolers' Food Intake

FRIDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Preschool children tend to eat less if they do so while watching TV, but eat more if they routinely watch TV while eating, according to a study in the April issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

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Longer Waiting Times for Pediatric Liver Transplants

FRIDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Wait-list times have increased for pediatric liver transplants since the early 1990s, with wait-list mortality highest for infants and toddlers, according to a study published in the April issue of Liver Transplantation.

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Children's Car Safety Compromised by Obesity

FRIDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Significant numbers of children are too heavy for the child car seats that are currently on the market, putting them at risk as passengers, according to a study published in the April issue of Pediatrics.

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'Autism Epidemic' Could Be Due to Diagnostic Substitution

FRIDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- The increase in autism diagnoses in special education data is associated with a corresponding decline in other diagnoses, suggesting that diagnostic substitution may play a role in the perception of an "autism epidemic," according to a study published in the April issue of Pediatrics.

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Both Parents and Adolescents Value Family Meal

THURSDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- The ritual of the family meal is perceived positively by both parents and adolescents and offers opportunities for family togetherness and role modeling by parents, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Promoting family dinners with healthy meals can help reduce consumption of less healthy meals eaten outside the home, the authors say.

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Prevnar Cuts Antibiotic Resistant S. pneumoniae Rates

WEDNESDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of antibiotic-resistant invasive Streptococcus pneumoniae declined significantly in the United States, both in vaccinated and in unvaccinated individuals, after the introduction of the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (Prevnar) in 2000, according to a report in the April 6 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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About 5 Percent of U.S. Children Diagnosed with ADHD

WEDNESDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- About 5 percent of all U.S. children are diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but children who are female, black and Hispanic are less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD and diagnoses are higher in some regions than others, according to a study published in the April issue of Pediatrics.

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MRSA Likely Transmitted in Newborn Nurseries

WEDNESDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) infections surfacing in healthy, full-term newborns in two hospitals in 2004 likely occurred due to transmission in the newborn nursery, according to a report published in the March 31 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Black Children in U.S. Less Often Breast-Fed Than Whites

WEDNESDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- More non-Hispanic white children are breast-fed than non-Hispanic black children, according to results of an analysis from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in the March 31 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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U.S. Prevalence of Overweight, Obesity Rises Again

TUESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- The number of obese and overweight children and teens continues to rise, as does the number of obese men, according to data collected between 1999 and 2004 in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and published in the April 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. One in every three adults in the United States is now obese, although there was no increase in obesity in women in the six-year period.

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Adenotonsillectomy May Improve Children's Behavior

TUESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Adenotonsillectomy can relieve a variety of neurobehavioral symptoms in children with sleep-disordered breathing, according to research published in the April issue of Pediatrics.

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Steamy Media Linked to Early Sex Among White Teens

TUESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- White teens between the ages of 12 and 14 who are exposed to a heavy sexual media diet are more than twice as likely to have had sex at ages 14 to 16, according to a study in the April issue of Pediatrics.

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Video Games Labels May Omit Some Violent Content

TUESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the rating information on M-rated (for "mature") video games, many in this category contain unlabeled content that is potentially harmful to children and adolescents, according to a study published in the April issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Engineered Bladders Promising in First Clinical Trial

TUESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- New bladders engineered from a patient's own cells grown on a biodegradable scaffold have been implanted in 7 myelomeningocele patients who normally would have undergone intestinal cystoplasty due to end-stage bladder disease, according to a report published online April 4 in The Lancet.

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Too Much TV Puts Toddlers at Risk of Obesity

MONDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Spending excessive amounts of time watching TV puts preschoolers at risk of becoming overweight, independent of other potential confounders in the home environment, according to a study published in the April issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Violent Video Games Raise Blood Pressure in Young Men

MONDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Playing violent video games raises blood pressure in young men and is associated with a more permissive attitude towards violence and alcohol and marijuana use, according to a study published in the April issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Improvement in Two X-CGD Patients After Gene Therapy

MONDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- The use of gene therapy to replace the gp91phox gene found mutated in X-linked chronic granulomatous disease (X-CGD) has led to clinical improvement in two affected adults, according to a report published online April 2 in Nature Medicine.

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No Significant Risk Reduction from Chest Protectors

MONDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Twelve commercially available chest protectors typically used by young athletes do not significantly reduce the risk of ventricular fibrillation from baseball or lacrosse ball strikes, according to a study of juvenile pigs published in the March issue of Pediatrics.

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