February 2007 Briefing - Pediatrics

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

Four in 10 U.S. Children Witness Arguments at Home

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Four out of 10 American children are exposed to heated or violent arguments in the home, according to a report published in the February supplemental issue of the journal Pediatrics.

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FDA Urges Post-Vaccine Monitoring for Intussusception

TUESDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- There have been 28 post-marketing reports of intussusception in infants given the RotaTeq rotavirus vaccine, although it's not clear if the cases are due to the vaccine or random occurrences, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Pediatricians should look out for the signs and symptoms of intussusception in infants following vaccination.

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Children of Single Women Less Likely to Be Fully Vaccinated

MONDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Even with the same insurance and continuity of care, children of women who have never been married have lower immunization coverage than do children of married women, researchers report in the February supplement of Pediatrics.

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Breast-Feeding May Affect Child Development

MONDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Women who initiate and continue breast-feeding may help reduce their child's risk of having a delay in language and motor skill development, according to a study in a supplement to the February issue of Pediatrics.

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Extended-Release Venlafaxine May Help Childhood Anxiety

MONDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Extended-release venlafaxine may be an effective and well-tolerated option for the short-term treatment of generalized anxiety disorder in children and adolescents, according to the results from two randomized trials that appear in the February issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Adopted Children at Risk for Medical, Emotional Problems

MONDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Adopted children are more likely than biological children to present a range of medical and emotional difficulties, according to a report published in the February supplemental issue of the journal Pediatrics. However, their adoptive parents also are motivated enough to provide the health care they need, the researchers found.

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Genetic Variations Linked to Autism Spectrum Disorder

FRIDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Autism spectrum disorders may be linked to genetic variations on a previously overlooked site of chromosome 11 that helps regulate the brain's glutamate neurotransmitter system, according to one of the largest studies to date published online Feb. 18 in Nature Genetics.

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Learning Disability Affects One in 10 U.S. Children

FRIDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 10 percent of children in the United States, or about 6 million children, have a learning disability or have had one in the past, according to a report in the February supplemental issue of the journal Pediatrics.

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Child Radiation Therapy Boosts Rate of Secondary Sarcoma

THURSDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Childhood cancer survivors who receive radiation therapy are at an increased risk of developing secondary sarcoma, according to a report in the Feb. 21 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Millions of American Children Are Sleep Deprived

THURSDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Some 15 million American children and adolescents are sleep deprived, and such children may be at greater risk of experiencing school problems or depression, according to a report in the February issue of Pediatrics.

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Higher Rate of Premature Births Seen in Blacks

THURSDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Black women are three to four times more likely to deliver prematurely, especially between 20 and 28 weeks, than white women, researchers report in the February issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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ADHD Drug Makers to Warn of Cardiovascular Risk

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has instructed the manufacturers of 15 approved drugs for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), including Adderall, Ritalin and Strattera, to prepare Patient Medication Guides highlighting the risk of psychiatric symptoms and cardiovascular problems associated with the drugs. The agency has received reports of sudden death, myocardial infarction and stroke in patients with certain risk factors or underlying conditions taking typical doses of ADHD medications.

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Video Game Play Correlates with Laparoscopy Skill

MONDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Surgeons who have more skill and experience at playing video games are quicker and have a lower error rate when taking part in a laparoscopy and suturing training program, according to a report in the February issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Low Socioeconomic Status Linked to Better Immunization

MONDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Children who have a low socioeconomic status and mothers with less education are more likely to have complete vaccinations than children with a higher socioeconomic status, according to a report published in the February issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

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Low Fish Intake in Pregnancy May Reduce IQ in Offspring

FRIDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Women who consume less than 340 grams of seafood (three portions) per week during pregnancy may have offspring at elevated risk for suboptimal IQ, fine motor skill development, communication, and other social and developmental outcomes compared to women who consume more fish, according to a report published Feb. 17 in The Lancet. U.S. government agencies recommend that pregnant women limit seafood consumption to 340 g per week.

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Preschool Children Eat More When in Larger Groups

THURSDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Preschool-aged children consume 30 percent more food when eating with a larger group and when given at least 11.4 minutes to eat, according to study findings published online Feb. 14 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Short-Course Montelukast Benefits Asthmatic Children

THURSDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In children with intermittent asthma, a short course of montelukast started at the first sign of symptoms results in modest reductions in unscheduled doctor visits, missed school days and parental missed work days compared to placebo, according to a report published in the Feb. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Breast-Feeding Associated with Upward Social Mobility

THURSDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals who were breast-fed as children are 41 percent more likely to move up in socioeconomic class compared with bottle-fed children, according to study findings published online Feb. 14 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Gross Hematuria in Children Usually Has Benign Cause

THURSDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- When gross hematuria occurs in pediatric patients, it's more likely to occur in boys than girls and it's usually due to benign causes, according to a clinical review published in the January issue of Urology.

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Intranasal Influenza Vaccine Benefits Most Young Children

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- In young children who do not have a history of asthma or wheezing, live attenuated influenza vaccine delivered in a nasal spray is more effective than inactivated vaccine delivered intramuscularly, according to the results of a study in the Feb. 15 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Methylprednisolone May Not Help Treat Kawasaki Disease

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Methylprednisolone should not be added to conventional immunoglobulin therapy for routine primary treatment of children with Kawasaki disease, according to results from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial published in the Feb. 15 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Fear of Blindness May Motivate Teen Smokers to Quit

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Few teenagers are aware that smoking increases the risk of blindness but when they know, they are motivated to quit by the fear of going blind, according to study findings published online Feb. 6 in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

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Apolipoprotein E Variants Increase Cerebral Palsy Risk

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Infants with the apolipoprotein E e-4 or e-2 alleles have a more than threefold higher risk of developing cerebral palsy after perinatal brain injury than infants without the alleles, according to a report in the February issue of Pediatrics.

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Telomere Dysfunction Plays Role in Werner Syndrome

MONDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- A failure to maintain telomere length may underlie the premature aging, genomic instability and cancer risk associated with Werner syndrome, according to a report published online Feb. 6 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.

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Making Homes Lead-Safe Takes Too Long After Exposure

MONDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- It takes a median of 465 days to make homes lead-safe after a child is found to have elevated blood-lead levels, according to the results of a Wisconsin study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Public Health. This time lag needs to be reduced, and authorities should more firmly enforce lead abatement orders, the authors write.

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Brief Intervention Cuts Alcohol Use in Pregnant Women

MONDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women who consume alcohol are more likely to abstain if they are given a brief talk about the dangers of alcohol consumption to the fetus, and tend to have higher birth weight infants than their counterparts who do not have any intervention, researchers report in the February issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

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Incontinentia Pigmenti Can Occur in Male Patients

MONDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Although the X-linked disorder incontinentia pigmenti is thought to be fatal for male fetuses, European researchers report 18 male patients who presented with the skin, neurologic, ophthalmologic or dental defects often seen in female incontinentia pigmenti patients. The findings are published in the February issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Nuchal Thickening Alone Not Linked to Adverse Outcome

MONDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Children who had nuchal translucency thickening during the first trimester, but a normal karyotype and no structural abnormalities, are clinically and developmentally normal during the first two years of life, according to a study in the January issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Few Child Eczema Patients Adhere to Therapy

FRIDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer than one-third of children with atopic dermatitis fully comply with their recommended topical treatment regimen, often leading to treatment failure and provoking the need for riskier systemic medication, researchers report in the February issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Single Antibiotic Course Can Lead to Long-Term Resistance

FRIDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- A single course of macrolide antibiotics can lead to macrolide-resistance in oral streptococci that lasts as long as six months, according to study findings published in the Feb. 10 issue of The Lancet.

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Parents Have Size, Growth Expectations for Their Infants

FRIDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Parents consider contextual factors for determining what is a healthy size and rate of growth for their infants, according to a report in the February issue of the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Neurological Symptoms of Rett Syndrome Reversed in Mice

FRIDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Symptoms of Rett syndrome can be reversed in mice by restoring the defective gene MeCP2, which is responsible for the severe autism spectrum disorder, according to a report published Feb. 8 in the advance online edition of Science. The findings suggest that patients could one day benefit from therapy for the disease.

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One in 150 U.S. Children Has Autism Spectrum Disorder

FRIDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The estimated U.S. prevalence of autism spectrum disorders is 6.6 to 6.7 children out of 1,000, according to data collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, much higher than the estimate of four or five per 10,000 children for the past few decades.

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Neonatologists' Fear of Death Affects End-of-Life Choices

THURSDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians who fear their own death may be more likely to hasten the death of newborns for whom future treatment is considered futile, according to the results of a study published in the February issue of the Archives of Disease in Childhood -- Fetal and Neonatal Edition.

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Weak Feeding in Infancy Linked to Failure to Thrive

THURSDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Failure to thrive in infancy remains an ill-defined diagnosis but may be linked to weak sucking ability in the first eight weeks of life and the type and efficiency of feeding in infants older than eight weeks, according to two reports in the February issue of the Archives of Disease in Childhood. Socioeconomic status and parental education do not seem to play a role, the studies suggest.

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Pediatric Call Centers May Curb Emergency Room Use

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- An analysis of pediatric call center cases suggests that two-thirds of incidents in which parents intend to seek emergency care are not actually urgent, but 15 percent of cases in which parents would have kept children at home are true emergencies, according to study findings published in the February issue of Pediatrics.

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Many Doctors Say OK to Discuss Moral Qualms with Patient

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- A majority of physicians believe they have the right to discuss moral or ethical objections to a treatment with a patient, 14 percent don't believe they have an obligation to inform patients of all the options and 29 percent don't think they need to refer them to an amenable physician, according to an article published in the Feb. 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Intensive Care of Some Dying Newborns Not Recommended

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Decisions about halting or not initiating intensive care for some high-risk newborns should involve full communication between physicians and parents who should play an active role in making choices that are in the child's best interests, according to a policy statement in the February issue of Pediatrics.

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Adolescents' Online Behavior Predicts Victimization Risk

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Among children who use the Internet, a pattern of online behaviors is associated with an increased risk of online interpersonal victimization, including harassment or sexual solicitation, according to study findings published in the February issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Pediatricians Have Mixed Opinions on Error Disclosure

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Most pediatricians support the reporting of errors to patients' families and hospitals, but they also fault current reporting systems as inadequate, according to study findings published in the February issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Financial Benefits of Pediatric Exclusivity Program Assessed

TUESDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The economic return for pharmaceutical companies that conduct pediatric trials in exchange for six extra months of market exclusivity varies widely, according to a report in the Feb. 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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U.S. Caesareans, Unmarried Mothers at Record Highs

TUESDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The number of unmarried women and women over 30 giving birth, and the number of Caesarean deliveries, are at or near record highs, according to the Annual Summary of Vital Statistics: 2005, published in the February issue of Pediatrics.

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Brain Signals Differentiate Child Bipolar, Mood Disorder

TUESDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Brain electrical activity measurements could help distinguish between bipolar disorder and severe mood dysregulation in children, according to a report in the February issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Childhood Neuropsychiatric Diagnoses on the Rise

MONDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of autism spectrum disorder, hyperkinetic disorder and Tourette syndrome have increased among Danish-born children in recent years, researchers report in the February issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Child's TV Viewing Time Not Related to Physical Activity

MONDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The amount of television a child watches does not predict the amount of moderate or vigorous physical activity they participate in during their leisure time, according to a report in the February issue of Pediatrics.

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Children Report Unwanted Porn Exposure Online

MONDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- About 42 percent of U.S. children aged 10 to 17 who use the Internet say they have been exposed to online pornography, the majority of which is unwanted, according to the results of a survey published in the February issue of Pediatrics.

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Prenatal Test Relies on Fetal DNA in Maternal Blood

FRIDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Free fetal DNA can be distinguished from maternal DNA in maternal plasma using single nucleotide polymorphisms, according to a study published online Feb. 2 in The Lancet. The technique could be used in a diagnostic test for chromosomal abnormalities such as trisomy 21.

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Treating Otitis Media a Trade-Off Between Cost, Relief

FRIDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The range of treatment options for otitis media reflect a trade-off between cost and relief of symptoms, according to study findings published in the January/February issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Researchers Assess Cost of Juvenile Arthritis

FRIDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis has a substantial economic impact on the health care system, according to the results of a study published in the February issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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Study Examines Pediatric Soccer-Related Injuries

THURSDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Between 1990 and 2003, U.S. children who played soccer experienced nearly 1.6 million sport-related injuries and the number of injuries increased sharply among female players, according to study findings published in the February issue of the American Journal of Sports Medicine.

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