January 2009 Briefing - Pediatrics

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pediatrics for January 2009. 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.

Extreme Preterm Infants Likely to Test Positive for Autism

FRIDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- In infants born before 28 weeks' gestation, major motor, cognitive, visual and hearing impairments account for more than 50 percent of positive Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) screens, according to a report published online Jan. 30 in the Journal of Pediatrics.

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Number of Low Birth Weight Babies Rises in Massachusetts

FRIDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The steady rise in the number of low birth weight babies in Massachusetts from 1997 to 2004 can only partially be explained by the increased use of assisted reproductive technology, according to a report published in the Jan. 30 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Motility Studies Useful in Neonatal Dysphagia

FRIDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- In neonatal dysphagia, pharyngoesophageal motility studies combined with clinical observations during evaluation can play a useful role in the development of well-structured multidisciplinary feeding strategies, researchers report in the February issue of the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.

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Parental Support Program May Reduce Child Maltreatment

THURSDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The Triple P - Positive Parenting Program -- a multi-level system of parenting support that integrates local media, public seminars and parent consultation by specially trained providers in clinics, schools, churches and community centers -- may help reduce child maltreatment, according to a report published online Jan. 22 in Prevention Science.

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Poor Survival Continues in High-Risk Neuroblastoma

THURSDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Improvements in treatment strategies are needed for patients with high-risk neuroblastoma, according to the results of two studies published online Jan. 26 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Newer Antidepressants Not All the Same

THURSDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- There are significant differences in terms of efficacy and acceptability between 12 new-generation antidepressants, according to an article published online Jan. 29 in The Lancet.

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Gene Appears to Play Role in Epilepsy EEG Trait

THURSDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- A mutation in a non-coding region of the Elongator Protein Complex 4 ELP4 gene appears to be associated with rolandic epilepsy, which is marked by nocturnal seizures that begin in childhood and remit in adolescence, according to research published online Jan. 28 in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

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Gene Therapy Benefits Children with Immune Disorder

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Gene therapy with non-myeloablative conditioning shows promise in treating patients with a fatal disorder: severe combined immunodeficiency due to the lack of adenosine deaminase, according to a report published in the Jan. 29 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Insulin Therapy Linked to Better Pediatric ICU Outcomes

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The use of insulin to target blood glucose to age-adjusted normal fasting values was associated with improved outcomes in infants and children in intensive care, according to research published online Jan. 27 in The Lancet.

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Genetics Linked to Variations in Treatment Response

TUESDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Genetic variations among patients may explain differences in treatment responses for pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), according to research published Jan. 28 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Psychosis Linked to Attention-Deficit Disorder Drugs

TUESDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- In children receiving drug treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, hallucinations and other psychotic symptoms may be a sign of an adverse drug reaction, according to a report published in the February issue of Pediatrics.

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Clinical Information Technology Leads to Safer Hospitals

TUESDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitals that make use of clinical information technology to automate notes, records, order entry and clinical decision support have lower mortality rates, fewer complications and also save money, according to a report published in the Jan. 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Accidental Infant Bed Deaths Have Quadrupled Since 1984

MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- For unknown reasons, the infant mortality rate attributable to accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed has quadrupled since 1984 in the United States, according to study findings published in the February issue of Pediatrics.

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AHA Reveals Top 10 Heart Disease Research Advances

MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The American Heart Association (AHA) has released its annual top 10 list of advances in research into heart disease and stroke, with a study on the impact of smoke-free legislation on hospitalizations for acute coronary syndrome topping the list.

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CDC Reports Increase of Hib Infections in Minnesota

MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Five children in Minnesota have become ill with Haemophilus influenzae serotype b (Hib) in the past year, and one of them died, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Jan. 23.

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Formulas Show Promising GFR Estimation in Children

MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- New formulas for estimating glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in children with chronic kidney disease can provide results comparable to the best equations for adults, according to research published online Jan. 21 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Smoking Causes Over 440,000 US Deaths Each Year

MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- There were an estimated 443,000 deaths a year from 2000 to 2004 attributable to smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke in the United States, according to a report published in the Jan. 23 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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More Recess Time Leads to Better Classroom Behavior

MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Elementary school-age students who receive at least one daily recess period of 15 minutes or more are likely to show better behavior in the classroom, according to study findings published in the February issue of Pediatrics.

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Teenage Obesity Linked to Poor Maternal-Fetal Outcomes

MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Overweight and obesity in teenage mothers is associated with an increased risk for adverse perinatal outcomes, according to research published in the February issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Salmonella Outbreaks Highlight Risk from Live Poultry

FRIDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to live poultry caused two separate outbreaks of Salmonella in the United States in 2007, according to a report published in the Jan. 23 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Ethical HIV Testing in Poor Countries Needed

THURSDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Testing a patient's blood without their consent for HIV is important for HIV surveillance, but needs to be carefully implemented in developing countries to ensure that testing is done ethically, according to an article published online Jan. 20 in PLoS Medicine.

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Baby with Seizures Had Rickets and Anemia

THURSDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- A 9-month-old baby who presented with seizures and a bulging fontanelle was diagnosed as having rickets due to vitamin D deficiency, iron deficiency anemia and severe protein-calorie malnutrition, according to a case report published in the Jan. 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Peanut Butter Crackers, Dog Snacks Among Recalled Items

THURSDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The list of recalled products resulting from the recent Salmonella typhimurium outbreak has grown, and officials believe a processing plant in Blakely, Ga., may be the source of the outbreak, according to officials speaking at a teleconference conducted Jan. 21 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Prednisolone Ineffective for Virus-Induced Wheezing

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The oral corticosteroid prednisolone should not be routinely given to children with wheezing due to a viral infection, according to research published in the Jan. 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Preterm Infants May Be Exposed to Toxic Additives in Meds

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- After birth, premature babies are exposed to multiple, potentially toxic excipients, suggesting that strategies are needed to reduce the excipient load, according to a study published online Jan. 21 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood: Fetal and Neonatal Edition.

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Neuroblastoma May Be a Stem Cell Disease

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Human neuroblastoma cell lines appear to harbor subpopulations of cells that have similarities to normal neural stem cells, according to research published online Jan. 21 in PLOS One.

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Children's Eating Habits Decline When They Start School

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- School-aged children eat more snack foods, consume more sweetened drinks and watch more television than their preschool counterparts, according to a report published in the January issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

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Food Supplementation Reduces Wasting in African Children

TUESDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Short-term food supplementation reduces wasting among children in Niger, but does not reduce the death rate, researchers report in the Jan. 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Pediatric MRSA Infections Increase Alarmingly

MONDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The nationwide prevalence of pediatric methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) head and neck infections grew 16.3 percent between 2001 and 2006, according to a study published in the January issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery.

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Engineered Skin Improves Healing of Burn Wounds

MONDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Tissue-engineered skin made from stem cells improves wound healing in a pig burn model, according to a study published online Dec. 22 in Artificial Organs.

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Hospitalizations Decline in Young Children with Pneumonia

MONDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In 2005 and 2006, the incidence rates for all-cause pneumonia hospitalizations among children under age 2 significantly declined compared with the 1997-1999 rates, suggesting an association with the introduction of the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7) in 2000, according to a report published in the Jan. 16 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Initial Placebo Doesn't Change Response in Depressed Teens

MONDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Depressed adolescents initially treated with a placebo followed by active treatment respond just as well as patients who received active treatment from the beginning, according to a study published online Jan. 15 in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Laparoscopic Pyloromyotomy Benefits Infants Most

MONDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Both open and laparoscopic pyloromyotomy are safe and effective in treating pyloric stenosis in infants, although infants undergoing laparoscopy achieve full enteral feeding faster and have shorter hospital stays, according to a study published online Jan. 17 in The Lancet.

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Child Restraints Help Protect Youngsters in Major Wrecks

FRIDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The use of child safety seats dramatically reduces the risk of death in young children during traffic collisions, according to research published in the February issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

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Smoking Teens at Risk of Obesity in Adulthood

FRIDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents who smoke are more likely to develop abdominal obesity in later life than their non-smoking counterparts, according to research published in the February issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

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Sepsis Treatment Not Tied to Benefit in Premature Infants

FRIDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The prophylactic use of granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor was not associated with a reduction in systemic sepsis or mortality in extremely premature infants, according to research published in the Jan. 17 issue of The Lancet.

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Multiple Factors Determine Childhood Asthma Prescriptions

THURSDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Patient, family and physician characteristics all play a significant role in driving the prescription of asthma medication to children, researchers report in the January/February issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Post-G8 Work Focuses on Strengthening Health Systems

THURSDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- In an atmosphere that emphasizes the strengthening of health systems rather than disease-specific approaches, some efforts growing out of the 2008 G8 summit in Toyako, Japan, have focused on health work force, health finance and health information, according to a policy review published online Jan. 15 in The Lancet.

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Dramatic Decline Seen in Pneumococcal Meningitis

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Since the pediatric heptavalent pneumococcal vaccine (PCV7) was introduced in 2000, rates of pneumococcal meningitis among children and adults have substantially declined in the United States. But there has been a worrisome recent increase in meningitis caused by non-PCV7 serotypes, according to an article published in the Jan. 15 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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High-Risk Lymphoblastic Leukemia Subtype Studied

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients who have the early T-cell precursor subtype of the disease are more likely to have a relapse than those with typical T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), according to research published online Jan. 14 in The Lancet.

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Diet High in DHA May Benefit Girls Born Prematurely

TUESDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- In premature girls, a diet containing high-dose docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) was associated with improved scores at 18 months' corrected age on a test of mental development, according to research published in the Jan. 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Rates of Chlamydia, Syphilis Rising in United States

TUESDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Noteworthy elements in the U.S. surveillance of sexually transmitted diseases for 2007 include a high rate of chlamydia, especially in women; increasing syphilis, especially in men who have sex with men; and ongoing racial disparities, according to an annual report issued Jan. 13 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Congestion Therapy's Link to Respiratory Distress Studied

TUESDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- In ferrets, exposure to Vicks VapoRub was associated with effects that might explain the respiratory symptoms seen in some young children given the product intranasally, according to research published in the January issue of Chest.

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Relapses More Common in Pediatric-Onset Multiple Sclerosis

TUESDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis are more likely to experience relapses than those with adult-onset disease, suggesting that their disease course may be more inflammatory, according to study findings published in the January issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Poor Sleep Habits Raise Risk of Common Cold

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to rhinovirus is more likely to lead to the development of a cold in people who have less than seven hours' sleep each night compared to their better-rested counterparts, according to a report published online Jan. 12 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Treatment Response Studied in Attention-Deficit Disorder

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Variability in response to methylphenidate treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is likely not due to common genes of large effects, according to research published Dec. 5 in a special issue of the American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B.

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Saliva Difference Distinguishes Autistic Children

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Many children with autism and related disorders have lower levels of a protein modification on four salivary proteins, suggesting that this could be used to distinguish these children from others, according to a report released online in November in advance of publication in the Journal of Proteome Research.

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Imaging Correlates with Exam in Children with Spinal Injury

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- MRI correlates well with the results of a standard international examination to determine neurologic level in children with chronic spinal cord injury, suggesting that MRI may be useful for children unable to participate in the exam, researchers report in the Jan. 1 issue of Spine.

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Tobacco Use Significantly Declines in Panamanian Youth

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Among Panamanian teens aged 13 to 15, cigarette smoking, other tobacco use and the likely initiation of smoking in the next year by never smokers significantly declined between 2002 and 2008, according to a report published Jan. 9 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Arthritic Teens Need Help in Adult Health Care Transition

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- While adolescents with arthritis often discuss adult health care needs and self-management with their provider, few discuss specifics such as acquiring adult health insurance or switching to an adult provider, according to an article in the Jan. 15 issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

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Racial Disparity Seen in US Spina Bifida Decline

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration mandate to add folic acid to all enriched cereal grain products by January 1998 has led to a significant decrease in the prevalence of spina bifida among non-Hispanic black mothers but not among other racial/ethnic groups, according to a report published Jan. 9 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Home Prepared Lunches Don't Meet Daycare Children's Needs

FRIDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Sack lunches prepared by parents may not meet the nutritional needs of children enrolled in child-care centers, according to a report published in the January issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

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Outdoor Activity May Protect Children from Myopia

FRIDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Children with higher levels of outdoor sport and leisure activities may have a lower risk of myopia, according to several studies presented at the 12th International Myopia Conference held in Queensland, Australia, July 8 to 11, 2008, and published in the January issue of Optometry and Vision Science.

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Pulse Oximetry Screening Promising for Heart Defects

FRIDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Using pulse oximetry to screen babies in maternity units significantly improved detection of duct dependent circulation before the babies were discharged, with evidence suggesting such screenings were cost-effective, according to research published online Jan. 8 in BMJ.

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Health Care Another Victim of Gaza Blockade

FRIDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The widespread erosion of human rights in the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza strip is denying Palestinians access to basic health care and preventing medical schools from functioning properly, according to correspondence published online Jan. 9 in The Lancet.

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UK Anti-Obesity Initiative Triggers Skepticism

FRIDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- A new anti-obesity initiative, Change4Life, was recently implemented in the United Kingdom. An editorial published in the Jan. 10 issue of The Lancet discusses the implications of this new campaign.

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High-Risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Subtype Identified

FRIDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Identification of the major subtypes of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), including a newly identified high-risk subtype (BCR-ABL1), may be improved with the use of a classification system based on gene expression, according to research published online Jan. 9 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Teens' Externalizing Behavior Linked to Adulthood Troubles

FRIDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents who showed externalizing behavior in school were more likely to face a variety of problems across their adult lives, including financial and family difficulties, according to research published online Jan. 8 in BMJ.

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US Teen Births Up Again in 2006 After 14-Year Decline

THURSDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Teen births in the United States rose by 3 percent in 2006 after 14 straight years of decline, according to a report, Births: Final Data for 2006, issued this week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Fewer Than 200 Pediatric Neurosurgeons in US

THURSDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer than 200 neurosurgeons in the United States are currently focused on pediatric neurosurgery, with pediatric neurosurgeons more likely to be women, in academic practice, frequently on-call and have fewer financial motivators, according to study findings published in the January issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics.

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Gene Linked to Worse Childhood Leukemia Prognosis

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Deletions in a gene regulating B-cell development are associated with a worse prognosis in children with high-risk B-cell-progenitor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), according to a report published online Jan. 7 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Decreased Fitness Seen with Small-Screen Recreation

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Health-related fitness is inversely associated with sedentary behavior and small-screen recreation among adolescent girls, but not boys, according to research published online Jan. 6 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Lancet Lambastes U.N.'s Inability to Protect Innocents

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The current conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza highlights the United Nations' continuing failure to protect innocent civilians in war-torn regions, according to an editorial published online Jan. 7 in The Lancet.

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Europe Falling Short in Measles Elimination Goal

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Despite 20 years of routine childhood measles vaccination in Europe, suboptimum coverage in some countries probably will prevent the continent from reaching its goal of eliminating the disease by 2010, according to an article published online Jan. 7 in The Lancet.

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School-Age Activities May Have Lasting Bone Benefits

TUESDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Weight-bearing exercise at a young age may offer benefits to bone health 40 years later, according to research published online Jan. 5 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

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Bulimia Linked to Impulsivity, Brain Circuit Abnormalities

TUESDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Compared to women without eating disorders, women with bulimia nervosa respond more impulsively during psychological testing and show brain circuit abnormalities, according to study findings published in the January issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Childhood Trauma Linked to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

TUESDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Childhood trauma may be a significant risk factor for chronic fatigue syndrome. It also appears to be associated with a hallmark feature of chronic fatigue syndrome: neuroendocrine dysfunction, according to the results of a study published in the January issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Sex, Substance Use References Common on MySpace Profiles

MONDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- References to health risk behaviors, such as substance use and sexual behaviors, are common on adolescents' MySpace pages, but a brief e-mail from a doctor can help reduce sexual references on these profiles, according to two studies published in the January issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Immunization Schedules for 2009 Released

MONDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Three health groups have released updated immunization schedules that include new influenza vaccination recommendations, according to a report published in the Jan. 2 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Short Maternity Leaves Don't Foster Breast-Feeding

FRIDAY, Jan. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Among full-time working women, a short maternity leave is associated with an increased risk of either not establishing breast-feeding or breast-feeding cessation, according to study findings published in the January issue of Pediatrics.

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Medication Error Rates High for Cancer Patients

FRIDAY, Jan. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Among cancer patients, about 8 percent of outpatient visits are associated with a medication error, most often administration errors due to a lack of communication, according to a report published online Dec. 29 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Congenital Immune Syndrome Linked to Mutated Gene

THURSDAY, Jan. 1 (HealthDay News) -- A gene mutation that abolishes enzyme function is associated with severe congenital neutropenia, a syndrome associated with life-threatening bacterial infections early in life, few mature neutrophils, and cardiac and urogenital abnormalities, according to a report in the Jan. 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Physician's Briefing