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August 2007 Briefing - Pediatrics

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pediatrics for August 2007. 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.

Prompt Assessment of Febrile Children Seen As Essential

FRIDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Prompt clinical assessment is essential in recognizing serious illnesses such as meningococcal disease in feverish young children, according to an editorial comment published in the Sept. 1 issue of BMJ.

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Some Fourth-Graders May Already Be Abusing Alcohol

FRIDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Some U.S. children start drinking alcohol in fourth grade, suggesting that prevention efforts should target younger children than previously thought, researchers report in the September issue of Prevention Science.

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Childhood Immunization Rates at Record Level

FRIDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Immunization rates continue to be at near-record levels for U.S. children aged 19 months to 35 months, but are falling short for children aged 13 to 17 years, according to 2006 estimates released Aug. 30 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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High Blood Sugar in Moms Linked to Overweight Kids

FRIDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Children born to women with hyperglycemia during pregnancy face an increased risk of obesity around the age of 6, researchers report in the September issue of Diabetes Care.

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Stressed Out Moms More Likely to Hold Babies on the Right

FRIDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Mothers who are stressed show an increased tendency to cradle their infants on their right side, according to a report published online Aug. 22 in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

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Children's Resistance to Eating New Foods Is Inherited

THURSDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Children can inherit a resistance to eating new foods, but individual reactions to environmental factors also play a role, according to the results of a twin study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Long-Term Health Good in Rabies Patient Treated by Coma

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- A 15-year-old girl treated with induced coma and antiviral agents after contracting rabies is in good health more than two years later, with few physical and no mental difficulties, according to a letter to the editor published in the Aug. 30 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Hypogonadism Reversal After Halting Hormone Treatment

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Because hypogonadism can spontaneously reverse, patients undergoing hormonal therapy for the condition should periodically discontinue treatment to assess if their own gonadotropin secretion has normalized, according to two studies published in the Aug. 30 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Fatness and Fitness Affect Cardiovascular Risk in Kids

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Fitness and fatness are important factors in assessing the risk of cardiovascular disease in children and adolescents, researchers report in the August issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

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Pollen, House Mites Have Different Effects on Asthma

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- House dust mites and pollens are associated with different effects on disease of the airways, according to a report published in the August issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

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Latinos Vary in Usage of Mental Health Services

TUESDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Among Latino Americans with serious mental disorders, preferred language -- a proxy measure of acculturation -- may be more important than ethnicity in determining mental health service usage, according to study findings published in the August issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Family, Friends Learn CPR When Young Teens Given Kits

TUESDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Distributing kits and instructional materials for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to young adolescents increases CPR training among their family and friends, too, though it has no effect on the incidence of bystander CPR in the short term, according to a report published online Aug. 27 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Most Cardiac Arrests in Schools Occur in Adults

MONDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- About 90 percent of cases of cardiac arrest in schools occur in adults -- such as faculty, staff and other adults including visitors -- not students, according to study findings published online Aug. 27 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Immunodeficiency Often Goes Undiagnosed

MONDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with symptoms of primary immunodeficiency often go undiagnosed, which denies them the opportunity to receive appropriate specialist care, researchers report in the August issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

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Perinatal Strokes May Be More Common Than Thought

MONDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Perinatal stroke is more common than previously reported and its characteristics differ in acutely and retrospectively diagnosed children, according to the results of a study conducted in Estonia and published in the August issue of Stroke.

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Penicillamine Test Imperfect for Detecting Wilson's Disease

FRIDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The penicillamine challenge test can detect Wilson's disease in pediatric patients who are experiencing symptoms but it is less useful for detecting the disease in asymptomatic children or for ruling it out in healthy siblings, according to the results of a study published in the August issue of the Journal of Hepatology.

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Neurodevelopmental Risks Low with Operative Deliveries

FRIDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Infants born after an instrument-assisted vaginal delivery or Caesarean-section during the second stage of labor have similar rates of neurodevelopmental complications at age 5, which are low overall, according to a report in the August issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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FDA Sunscreen Proposal Gives Consumers More Information

FRIDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed a new regulation to change the way sunscreens are labeled, tested and created. These new standards would particularly address these products' ability to protect consumers against ultraviolet A (UVA) light.

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Risperdal Approved to Treat Teens with Schizophrenia

THURSDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Risperdal (risperidone) to treat children and adolescents with two major psychiatric conditions. A short-term course can now be prescribed to treat manic or mixed episodes of bipolar I disorder in children and adolescents aged 10 to 17, and can also be used to treat adolescents aged 13 to 17 with schizophrenia.

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One in Four Children with Amblyopia Have Recurrence

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Children with amblyopia have a high risk of recurrence in the year after treatment ends, according to the results of a study published in the August issue of Ophthalmology. Factors associated with a higher risk of recurrence included better visual acuity at the time treatment ends, better overall visual improvement during treatment, and a prior history of recurrence.

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Variables Identified in Congenital Melanocytic Nevi

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with congenital melanocytic nevi, the major dermoscopic patterns vary by age and lesion site, according to a report published in the August issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Father's Race Can Affect the Risk of Preterm Birth

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Infants with black fathers are at greater risk of being born prematurely than those with white fathers, regardless of the mother's ethnicity, according to research published in the August issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Asthma Risk Linked to Gene Variants and Auto Pollution

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Proximity to major roads is associated with substantially greater risk of asthma in children who are genetically susceptible to the disease, according to a report published online Aug. 21 in the journal Thorax.

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Resident Duty-Hour Cuts Curb Surgeon Job Satisfaction

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Reforms limiting resident duty hours are increasing surgeons' workloads and may be negatively affecting patient care, researchers report in the August issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Hypertension Frequently Undiagnosed in Children

TUESDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Hypertension and prehypertension are frequently undiagnosed in children and adolescents, with factors such as age and frequency of abnormal blood pressure readings increasing the likelihood of diagnosis, researchers report in the Aug. 22/29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Risky Tanning Behaviors More Common in Hispanic Teens

MONDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- White Hispanic high school students are more than twice as likely to use tanning beds as non-Hispanic white students, and they are also significantly less likely to protect themselves against skin cancer, according to a report in the August issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Many BRCA Carriers Tell Their Children of Cancer Risk

MONDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Half of parents diagnosed as carriers of the BRCA gene mutation have disclosed that diagnosis to their children, years before the children would be old enough to take recommended precautionary measures of their own, researchers report in the Aug. 20 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Kindergarten Vaccination Rates Improving in U.S.

MONDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Efforts to improve vaccination rates among U.S. kindergarten children under the Healthy People 2010 initiative are paying off, according to a report in the Aug. 17 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Ninety-five percent of kindergarten children in 75 percent of states in the 2006-2007 school year received all the vaccinations required for entry to kindergarten in that state.

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ECGs Often Abnormal in Infants of Autoimmune Women

MONDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Electrocardiographic (ECG) abnormalities are common in infants of mothers with autoimmune diseases, while congenital heart block is rare, according to the results a study in the August issue of Rheumatology.

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Ultrasound Can Monitor Pediatric Scleroderma

MONDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Ultrasound can be useful in assessing the activity and extent of lesions in pediatric patients with localized scleroderma, according to study findings published in the August issue of Rheumatology.

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FDA Issues Warning on Codeine Use by Nursing Mothers

FRIDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning on the use of codeine by nursing mothers, as some women may be ultra-rapid metabolizers of the drug, which can result in potentially life-threatening levels of morphine in breast milk. The death of a 13-day-old infant has been linked to a mother's use of small doses of codeine to treat episiotomy pain.

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Older Type 1 Diabetics Fare Better Than Thought

THURSDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who have lived with type 1 diabetes for 50 years or more demonstrate fewer microvascular complications than expected, according to a survey-based cross-sectional study published in the August issue of Diabetes Care.

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FDA Issues Advisory for Pediatric Cough, Cold Remedies

THURSDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday that the Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee will meet in October to discuss the safety and efficacy of over-the-counter pediatric cough and cold medicines in light of reports of serious adverse events due to misuse. The FDA also issued a public health advisory recommending that children under 2 years of age not be given any cough and cold products unless prescribed by a health care provider, in addition to other recommendations.

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Air Pollution May Diminish Lung Growth in Children

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Prolonged exposure to ozone, nitrogen dioxide and microscopic particulates can slow the rate of lung growth in school-age children, according to a report published Aug. 15 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Modern Roller Coasters Can Cause Heart Arrhythmias

TUESDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Modern roller coasters subject riders to physical forces that can significantly elevate heart rates and cause arrhythmias, according to a research letter published in the Aug. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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HPV Vaccine Has No Impact on Existing Infections

TUESDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- A vaccine developed to prevent infection with human papillomavirus virus (HPV) does not help clear the virus in women who are already infected, according to the results of a community-based study published in the Aug. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Family History, Home Factors Boost Child's Risk of Wheezing

TUESDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Children from families with a history of asthma have a higher risk of developing respiratory symptoms if they are also exposed to parental smoking or dust mite antigen, according to study findings published in the August issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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Dietary Counseling in Childhood Reduces Serum Lipids

MONDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Counseling families and children about diets low in saturated fat starting in infancy can significantly improve cholesterol levels in children through age 14 without affecting normal growth and development, according to a study published online Aug. 13 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Allergic Rhinitis Puts Students at Disadvantage on Tests

MONDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Teenagers with allergic rhinitis symptoms are more likely to drop a grade on their exams during peak allergy season compared to winter exams, and more likely to score worse if they are taking sedating antihistamines, according to a report in the August issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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Probiotics Have Varying Efficacy in Childhood Diarrhea

FRIDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Not all probiotic preparations are effective in the treatment of children with acute diarrhea. Their efficacy appears to depend on which strains of bacteria they contain, according to the results of a randomized trial published online Aug. 9 in BMJ.

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Anorexia Outcomes May Be Better Than Thought

FRIDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Among young Finnish women, anorexia nervosa is a common but usually transient condition. About two-thirds of patients experience a full recovery within five years of symptom onset, according to a report published in the August issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Urban Households with Infants Often Lack Home Safety

FRIDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Inner-city families with infants often lack home safety practices such as working smoke alarms and locked medication storage, according to study findings published in the August issue of Pediatrics.

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U.S. Flu Season Milder Than in Previous Seasons

FRIDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Influenza activity in the 2006-2007 season peaked in the United States in February this year, and was characterized by milder infections with lower rates of mortality and pediatric hospitalizations compared with the previous three seasons, according to a report published in the Aug. 10 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. As for avian influenza A (H5N1), there were 319 cases in Asia and Africa, of which 60 percent were fatal.

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ADHD Children at Risk for Delinquency, Substance Abuse

THURSDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to have delinquency and substance use problems later on than other children their age, researchers report in the August issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

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Familial Aggregation Seen in Bipolar Disorder

THURSDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Parents of children with narrow phenotype bipolar disorder are significantly more likely to have bipolar disorder than are parents of children with severe mood dysregulation, according to study findings published in the August issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Early-Childhood Program Benefits Minority Children

THURSDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Low-income minority children who participate in a comprehensive, school-based early-childhood intervention may be more likely to stay in school and less likely to become criminals, according to a study published in the August issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Iron Deficiency in Infants Affects Attention and Memory

THURSDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Infants who are iron-deficient have a developmental delay in attention and memory compared with iron-sufficient infants, according to a report in the August issue of Pediatrics.

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Family History Linked to Stress Fracture in Athletic Girls

THURSDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Active female adolescents with stress fracture are significantly more likely to have a family history of osteoporosis or other skeletal anomalies than those without fractures, researchers report in the August issue of Pediatrics.

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Prophylactic Therapy Reduces Joint Damage in Hemophilia

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Among young boys with severe hemophilia, prophylactic treatment with factor VIII considerably reduces the risk of joint damage and hemorrhages compared with episodic treatment, researchers report in the Aug. 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Maternal Obesity Linked to Structural Birth Defects

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Women who are obese before pregnancy may be more likely to give birth to children with structural defects such as spina bifida and heart defects, according to a report published in the August issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Gene Variant Linked to Brain Changes in Attention-Deficit

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- In children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a variation in the dopamine receptor D4 gene -- the 7-repeat allele -- is associated with tissue thinning in areas of the brain that control attention, according to a report published in the August issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Diethylstilbestrol May Have Transgenerational Effect

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- The mothers of some babies with esophageal atresia and associated tracheoesophageal fistula (EA/TEF) were exposed in utero to diethylstilbestrol, indicating that the synthetic estrogen may have a transgenerational effect, according to study findings published in the July issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Underinsured Children Missing Out on Immunizations

TUESDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The near doubling of the recommended number of childhood vaccinations, the increased cost of fully vaccinating a child and changes in the medical insurance system have created new gaps in immunization coverage, researchers report in the Aug. 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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U.S. Breast-Feeding Rates on the Rise

TUESDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- More U.S. women are choosing to breast-feed their infants but rates of exclusive breast-feeding still do not meet national targets, researchers report in the Aug. 3 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Physician Counsel Has No Effect on Motor Vehicle Safety

TUESDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- There is little evidence that primary care providers who counsel patients about the correct use of child safety seats and seat belts -- and the importance of not drinking and driving -- have a significant effect, according to two reports published in the Aug. 7 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Fast-Food Branding Affects Preschoolers' Taste Perception

MONDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Foods and drinks contained in McDonald's packaging appeal more to preschoolers than identical foods and drinks contained in unmarked packaging, suggesting that branding has a significant effect on young children, according to a study published in the August issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Early Statins Help Children with Familial Hypercholesterolemia

MONDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Early initiation of statin therapy can delay the onset of artery disease in children with familial hypercholesterolemia, Dutch researchers report in the Aug. 7 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Program Reduces Risk of Neonatal Thrombocytopenia

MONDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- A screening and intervention program for pregnant women who lack human platelet antigen 1a (HPA 1a) but have antibodies against the protein can reduce the risk of the infant having severe neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia (NAIT), according to study findings published in the Aug. 1 issue of Blood.

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Postpartum Hospital Discharge Too Soon for Some

MONDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- About 17 percent of mother-infant dyads may need more hospital time to deal with perceived medical and psychological issues after childbirth, according to a report published in the August issue of Pediatrics.

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Many Pharmacies Can't Talk to Non-English Speakers

MONDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- As many as two-thirds of pharmacies are rarely if ever able to verbally communicate with their non-English speaking clients, according to a study of Wisconsin pharmacies published in the August issue of Pediatrics.

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U.S. Abstinence Programs Ineffective for HIV Prevention

FRIDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Abstinence-only programs in the United States have no effect on the risk of HIV infection based on self-reported sexual behavior, according to a systematic review of 13 trials published online Aug. 3 in BMJ.

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Maternal Thyroid Disease May Increase Risk of Birth Defect

FRIDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Maternal thyroid disease may increase the risk of an infant having craniosynostosis, a premature fusion of one or more cranial sutures, researchers report in the August issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Adult Drugs Prescribed for Insomnia in Children

FRIDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Most children under 17 who are treated for insomnia or sleep difficulties are given prescription drugs that are only FDA-approved for adults and whose effects during formative growth years are unknown and should be examined, according to a report published in the Aug. 1 issue of Sleep.

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New Biomarker May Predict Acute Kidney Injury Early

FRIDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Measuring levels of urine neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (uNGAL), a protein usually found in low levels in the urine, may help predict acute kidney injury earlier than currently available tests opening a critical window of opportunity for reducing morbidity, according to new study findings published Aug. 2 in Critical Care.

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Hemophilia Life Expectancy Still 3-15 Years Lower

THURSDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Despite advances in treatment, British hemophiliacs who are not infected with HIV have a current median life expectancy that is still 3 to 15 years lower than in the general population, according to a study in the Aug. 1 issue of Blood.

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Conservative Therapy Safe for Patent Ductus Arteriosus

THURSDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Conservative treatment consisting of ventilation adjustment and fluid restriction may be as effective and safer than prophylactic medical treatment with ibuprofen for the treatment of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in preterm infants, according to a study in the July issue of the Archives of Disease in Childhood - Fetal and Neonatal Edition.

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CDC Urges Health Check, Vaccines for Preteens

THURSDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a national campaign for parents and physicians to promote vaccinations of preteens. The campaign coincides with National Immunization Awareness Month in August.

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Echocardiography Detects More Rheumatic Heart Disease

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Echocardiography screening detected about 10 times more cases of rheumatic heart disease in children in Cambodia and Mozambique than clinical examinations, according to a study in the Aug. 2 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Western Diet Linked to Higher Risk of Cleft Lip

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Women who consume Westernized diets replete with meat, pizza and potatoes may have a higher risk of having an infant with a cleft lip or a cleft palate than women who eat a healthier diet, according to a study in the August issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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