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December 2008 Briefing - Pediatrics

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pediatrics for December 2008. 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.

Children with Asthma, Sick Parent Miss More Days of School

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Children with asthma may be absent from school more often if they have a parent with a chronic disease, researchers report in the January issue of Pediatrics.

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Virginity Pledge Does Not Deter Sexual Behavior

TUESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents who pledge virginity are just as likely to be sexually active as non-pledgers, but are less likely to use birth control or condoms, according to an article published in the January issue of Pediatrics.

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Gastric Bypass Can Reverse Diabetes in Very Obese Teens

TUESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Roux-en-Y gastric bypass can improve insulin resistance, β-cell function and cardiovascular risk factors in extremely obese adolescents with type 2 diabetes mellitus, although the long-term efficacy is unknown, researchers report in the January issue of Pediatrics.

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Medicaid Coverage Affects Male Circumcision Rates

MONDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Children born in families covered by Medicaid may be at higher risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections because there are lower rates of male circumcision among Medicaid recipients, according to a report published in the January issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

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Family Rejection Predicts Poor Mental, Physical Health

MONDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) young adults who experience family rejection are more likely to exhibit poor health outcomes, including suicide, depression and illegal drug use, researchers report in the January issue of Pediatrics.

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Antibiotics Benefit Women with Premature Membrane Rupture

MONDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- In women with preterm premature rupture of membranes, antibiotics may prolong pregnancy and reduce neonatal morbidity. But antibiotic use in women with preterm labor who have intact membranes does not appear to have the same benefits, according to the results of a study published in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Woman and Dog Infected with Bovine Tuberculosis

MONDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- A woman and her dog were infected with bovine tuberculosis, demonstrating that human infection with the bacterium can still occur, according to a case report in the January issue of Thorax.

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UK Pediatric Admission Higher in Deprived and South Asians

MONDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Admission rates to pediatric intensive care units and mortality are higher in more-deprived children and in south Asian children in the United Kingdom, though less-deprived south Asian children have higher mortality, according to study findings published online Dec. 23 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Cervarix Vaccine Is Safe and Effective in Adolescent Boys

MONDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- In boys aged 10 to 18, Cervarix -- a human papillomavirus (HPV)-16/18 AS04-adjuvanted vaccine -- is immunogenic and well tolerated, researchers report in the January issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.

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Racial Differences in Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease

MONDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is more likely to present as Crohn's disease and at an older age in black children compared with other children and adolescents, according to a report published in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Low Birth Weight Associated with Higher Risk of Diabetes

TUESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Low birth weight is associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in adulthood, according to research published in the Dec. 24/31 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Hospital Discharge Data Best Explains Reason for Caesarean

TUESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Information taken from birth certificates alone indicates that more than half of Caesarean deliveries are performed among women with no indicated risk, but when hospital discharge data is used in combination with birth certificates the number drops to low single digits, according to a report published in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Inflammatory Bowel Disease Carries Heavy Financial Burden

MONDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which affects roughly a million Americans, represents a costly burden both at the individual and national levels, according to research published in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

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Respiratory Syncytial Virus Season Varies Year by Year

MONDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- During 2007-2008, the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) season lasted for 22 weeks from October to March in the United States, although there were regional variations, according to a report published in the Dec. 19 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Pneumococcal Resistance to Penicillin Redefined

MONDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have reviewed the prevalence of penicillin resistance in the light of changes to the definition of pneumococcus resistance to the drug, which distinguish between meningitis and other infections, as well as intravenous versus oral administration, according to a report published in the Dec. 19 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Restricting Snacks at School May Improve Students' Diets

FRIDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Children attending schools where snacks are restricted report modestly higher fruit and vegetable consumption, according to research published online Dec. 3 in the Journal of Nutrition.

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Teen Smoking Linked to Subsequent Abdominal Obesity

FRIDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents who smoke -- especially women -- may have an increased risk of abdominal obesity as young adults, according to a report published online Dec. 4 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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Low Doses of Melamine Do Not Cause Kidney Damage

FRIDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Low-dose exposure to melamine does not result in severe renal damage in children, according to a Fast Track article published online Dec. 18 in BMJ.

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Prenatal Corticosteroids Don't Improve Outcomes in Preemies

FRIDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The outcome of preterm birth is not improved by multiple prenatal courses of corticosteroids, and the treatment is associated with reduced weight, length and head circumference, according to a report published in the Dec. 20 issue of The Lancet.

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Vitamin D Status Is Low in Youths with Type 1 Diabetes

FRIDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- More than 75 percent of children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes do not have sufficient levels of vitamin D, according to study findings published in the January issue of the Journal of Pediatrics.

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Automated Counseling System Benefits Overweight Children

THURSDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- An automated telephone counseling system can help parents improve eating and activity behaviors in overweight or at-risk children, and may lead to modest reductions in body mass index (BMI) z-scores, researchers report in the January issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Holidays Are A Time for Medical Myths

THURSDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- There are a number of medical myths associated with the holiday season that do not stand up to scientific examination, according to an article published online Dec. 17 in BMJ.

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Late School Start Reduces Teens' Risk of Car Accidents

TUESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Allowing adolescents to start the school day one hour later than normal is associated with increased sleep and a reduction in the number of teen motor vehicle accidents, researchers report in the Dec. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

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Sibling Data Reveals Social Factors in Adolescent Weight

MONDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Contrary to findings from behavioral genetics, the connection between parental obesity and weight of their adolescent offspring has both social and genetic components, according to research published in a November supplement of the American Journal of Sociology.

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Survey Finds Mixed Results on Drug Use in US Teens

MONDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The use of stimulants among U.S. teens -- including crystal methamphetamine, cocaine and crack -- is continuing to decline, according to the results of an annual survey on drug use among 8th, 10th and 12th graders, released Dec. 11.

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Food and Drug Administration Points to Asthma Drugs' Risks

MONDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The risks of using Serevent and Foradil for asthma in adults and children outweigh their benefits, according to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel announcement on Dec. 11.

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Alternative Therapies Show Rise in Five-Year Period

FRIDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Between 2002 and 2007, several complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies became more prevalent in the United States, including massage, acupuncture, meditation and deep breathing, according to research published in the Dec. 10 National Health Statistics Reports.

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Adverse Brain Development Studied in Preterm Infants

FRIDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Premature birth is associated with long-term defects in neurological development; correlated with this, there is a decreased risk of adverse neurological consequences as gestational age increases, according to research published online Dec. 11 in the Journal of Pediatrics.

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Countries Overstate Success of Immunization Programs

FRIDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- The success of global diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP3) immunization initiatives has been overstated, and governments tend to over-report the extent of coverage, according to a report published in the Dec. 13 issue of The Lancet.

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Structured Warm-Up Before Exercise Prevents Injuries

FRIDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- A structured warm-up routine can significantly reduce the risk of sport-related injury in young female soccer players, according to research published online Dec. 9 in BMJ.

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Obese Children at Greater Risk of Some Car Crash Injuries

THURSDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Obese children are more likely than other children to sustain injuries to the upper and lower extremities when they are involved in a car crash, according to study findings published in the December issue of Injury Prevention.

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Lung Function Initially Normal in Cystic Fibrosis Infants

THURSDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Infants with cystic fibrosis initially have normal lung function but start to show deficits around 6 months of age, researchers report in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Teens' Indoor Tanning Rate Unaffected By Legislation

THURSDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Legislation restricting teens' access to indoor tanning does little to reduce its prevalence because most states with restrictions permit use with parental permission, according to a report published online Dec. 10 in Cancer.

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Tumor and Body Size Predict Death in Pediatric Cancer

THURSDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Both tumor size and body-surface area can predict survival in children with soft tissue cancers, indicating that the 5-centimeter cutoff for tumor size used in risk classification may be inadequate, according to research published online Dec. 8 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Measles Vaccination Coverage Steadily Improving

THURSDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Coverage of initial measles vaccination in 47 targeted countries continued to improve in 2007, although coverage varied widely from region to region, according to a report published in the Dec. 5 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Obesity-Causing Gene Linked to Food Intake, Not Energy Use

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The rs9939609 variant of the fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene, previously found to confer predisposition to obesity, is not involved in energy expenditure regulation but may be linked with food choices, researchers report in the Dec. 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Lesion Size Points to Healing Outcome in Bone Disorder

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Lesion size in stable juvenile osteochondritis dissecans of the knee is a predictor of whether or not the lesion will heal with non-operative treatment, according to research published in the December issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Clues to Gene Function May Help Sickle Cell Patients

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- A gene variant associated with higher levels of fetal hemoglobin (HbF), which can compensate for hemoglobin defects in diseases such as sickle cell disease and β-thalassemia, appears to control the expression of a component of HbF and could be a therapeutic target, according to study findings published online Dec. 4 in Science.

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Preventive Care for US Teens Varies Widely

TUESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Preventive health topics brought up with teens during routine medical examinations may vary by age, gender, race and socioeconomic background, according to a report published online Dec. 8 in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

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Increased Risk of Bleeding Linked to Dexamethasone

TUESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Dexamethasone decreases the risk of nausea and vomiting, but is associated with an increased risk of postoperative bleeding in children following tonsillectomy, according to research published in the Dec. 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Malaria Vaccine Proves to Be Safe and Effective

MONDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- RTS,S shows promise as a safe and effective malaria vaccine, and artesunate can be a useful malaria treatment, according to several studies published online Dec. 8 in the New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet.

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No Explanation for Anemia Decline in Women and Children

MONDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- There was a significant decline in the rates of anemia among women and children in the United States between 1988-1994 and 1999-2002, according to a report published in the December issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Obese Children Show Altered Thyroid Structure, Function

MONDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Frequent alterations in thyroid structure and function occur in overweight or obese children, according to the results of a study published in the December issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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Depression, Anxiety Linked to Bone Health in Girls

THURSDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescent girls with symptoms of depression and anxiety may have a greater risk of poor bone health, according to research published in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Many Poor Sickle-Cell Children Lack Comprehensive Care

THURSDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- More low-income children with sickle-cell disease use hospitals, emergency departments and home health care than other low-income children, and many do not receive comprehensive care, according to study findings released online Oct. 6 in advance of publication in Pediatric Blood & Cancer.

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Possible Link Between Epilepsy Drug and Autism Examined

THURSDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Children born to mothers who took the epilepsy drug valproate during pregnancy may have an up to sevenfold increased risk of developing autism spectrum disorder compared to children who were not exposed to epilepsy drugs in utero, according to a report published in the Dec. 2 issue of Neurology.

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College Students Benefit from Preventive Health Care

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Although psychiatric disorders are common among college students, fewer than 25 percent seek treatment, according to a study published in the December issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry. A different study, published in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, points to the benefits of influenza vaccination of college students.

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High Health, Financial Burdens for Families of Autistic Child

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Children with special health care needs (CSHCN) who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are significantly more likely than other CSHCN to have unmet health care needs, and their families are more likely to experience financial, employment and time burdens, researchers report in the December issue of Pediatrics.

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Pediatric Task Force Addresses Use of Alternative Medicine

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians who care for children should advise and counsel families and patients about all relevant, safe, effective and age-appropriate health services, including complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), according to a Clinical Report published in the December issue of Pediatrics.

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Adverse Reaction to Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Rare

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Very few girls vaccinated with the quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine experience an adverse reaction to the vaccine, and most of those that do can tolerate subsequent doses, according to research published Dec. 2 in BMJ Online First.

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Caesarean Section Linked to Childhood Asthma

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Children born by Caesarean section have an increased risk of developing asthma, particularly if they have allergic parents, according to a report published online Dec. 3 in Thorax.

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Folate During Pregnancy May Increase Risk of Wheeze

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Babies of women who take folate supplements during the first trimester of pregnancy may be at increased risk of wheeze and lower respiratory tract infections up to 18 months of age, according to a study published online Dec. 3 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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New Policy Recommendations for Red Reflex Exam

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- An examination of the red reflex of the eyes of all neonates, infants and children should occur prior to discharge from the neonatal nursery and during all subsequent routine health visits, according to a newly updated policy statement published in the December issue of Pediatrics.

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Intervention in Childhood Has Positive Effects Over Time

TUESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In elementary school children, social development interventions can positively affect long-term mental health, sexual health, educational and economic outcomes, according to an article published in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Many Children of Farm Workers Lack Health Insurance

TUESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Children of farm workers have higher rates of being uninsured than those in the general U.S. population or even children living in poverty, according to research published in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Providers Report Inadequate Vaccination Reimbursement

TUESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Providers report inadequate reimbursement for vaccine purchase or administration, and many are experiencing increased financial burden resulting from giving immunizations, according to the results of a survey published in the December issue of Pediatrics.

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Denmark's Down Syndrome Births Halved By Screening

MONDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Since Denmark introduced national combined risk assessment for Down syndrome in 2004, the number of infants born with Down syndrome has dropped by half, according to research published Nov. 27 in BMJ Online First.

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Low Blood Pressure May Raise SIDS Risk in Preterm Infants

MONDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- An increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in preterm infants may be due to lowered blood pressure compared with term infants, according to data reported in the December issue of Pediatrics.

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