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June 2006 Briefing - Pediatrics

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

New Tool Tracks Infant Brain Development, Disturbances

FRIDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- A new tool combining diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging -- which shows diffusion of water molecules -- with fiber tracking to construct a 3-D image of the brain's white matter, can track brain development and disturbances in infants, according to a study in the July issue of Radiology.

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Salmonella Infections Traced to Contact with Pet Treats

FRIDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- Nine people in western Canada and Washington State have developed human Salmonella Thompson infections after handling dog treats that were packaged at two facilities in British Columbia and Washington, according to a report in the June 30 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Infants with Trisomy 13 Have Similar Types of Cataracts

FRIDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- Cataracts in infants with trisomy 13 have common characteristics that distinguish them from cataracts in other infants, according to a report in the June issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology.

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Panel Recommends Gardasil As Routine Adolescent Vaccine

THURSDAY, June 29 (HealthDay News) -- The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended that 11- and 12-year-old girls routinely receive Gardasil, the newly approved human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, to protect against cervical cancer. The vaccine can be administered to girls as young as age 9, at the provider's discretion, and for women up to age 26 who have not previously received an HPV vaccine.

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Health Insurance Coverage Improved in U.S. in 2005

WEDNESDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- The percentage of people in the United States without health insurance declined from 15.4 percent in 1997 to 14.2 percent in 2005, with the greatest gains made in coverage for children, according to a study published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, coverage varied widely in the 20 states included in the analysis, with Massachusetts having the lowest percentage of uninsured residents (6.5 percent) and Texas having the highest (24.6 percent).

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FDA Tentatively Approves Generic Pediatric AIDS Drug

WEDNESDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S Food and Drug Administration has tentatively approved the first generic version of abacavir sulfate oral solution, for use in HIV-infected pediatric patients from 3 months to 13 years.

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Chest X-Rays May Increase Risk of Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, June 28 (HealthDay News) -- Women with inherited mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes may be at greater risk of developing breast cancer after exposure to chest X-rays compared with BRCA1/BRCA2 carriers who aren't exposed to X-rays, according to a report published online June 26 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Targeted Programs Effective for Childhood Depression

MONDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- Selective and indicated programs targeting children at risk for depression are better for treatment and prevention of the disease than universal programs, according to a report in the June issue of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

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MRSA Skin Infections in Three States Linked to Tattoos

FRIDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- Forty-four people in the United States who received tattoos from 13 unlicensed practitioners in three states have contracted community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) skin infections, according to a report in the June 23 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Girl on Mobile Phone Severely Injured by Lightning Strike

FRIDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- A 15-year-old girl was struck by lightning while talking on a mobile phone, sustaining injuries so severe that a year later she was wheelchair-bound with a complex range of health problems, according to a letter published in the June 24 issue of BMJ.

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Deaths in College Athletes Can Occur Despite Rapid Aid

THURSDAY, June 22 (HealthDay News) -- An analysis of nine college athletes who experienced sudden cardiac arrest suggests about half had structural heart defects and most died despite rapid cardiopulmonary resuscitation and use of a defibrillator, according to a study in the July issue of Heart Rhythm.

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Aggression in Children Linked to Serotonin Gene Variants

WEDNESDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) -- Extreme, persistent aggression in children is associated with "low expressing" polymorphisms in the promoter region of the serotonin transporter gene, according to a report in the June issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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FDA and Novartis Issue Recall of Triaminic Vapor Patch

WEDNESDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Novartis Consumer Health of Parsippany, N.J., have issued a voluntary recall of the Triaminic Vapor Patch, a cough suppressant that is applied to the throat or chest but which has been accidentally ingested by some children. In one case in Canada, a child had a seizure after removing the patch and chewing it.

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Verbal Abuse May Have Greater Impact Than Physical Abuse

TUESDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Young adults who were verbally abused in childhood report more dissociation, depression and other symptoms of maltreatment than those who were physically abused, and have symptoms on par with those who witnessed domestic violence or were sexually abused by a non-family member, according to a report in the June issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Prenatal SSRI Exposure Not Linked to Anxiety in Children

TUESDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Prenatal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, is not associated with a greater risk of internalizing behavior at ages 4 to 5, according to a study in the June issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Most Tufted Angiomas Spontaneously Regress

TUESDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Most congenital tufted angiomas spontaneously regress and should be initially managed by observation rather than surgery, according to a series of case reports in the June issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Cats, Ragweed Exposures Up Airway Hyperresponsiveness

MONDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- At-risk children exposed to cat, dust mite, cockroach and ragweed have a greater chance of lung airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), according to a report in the June issue of Chest.

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Letrozole for Infertility Appears Non-Teratogenic

MONDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- Newborns whose mothers conceived after fertility treatment with letrozole or clomiphene citrate (CC) show no group differences in overall rates of major and minor congenital malformations, while cardiac anomaly may be more frequent in those whose mothers were treated with CC, according to a study in the June issue of Fertility and Sterility.

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Accidental Peanut Ingestion Rate Low in Allergic Children

MONDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of accidental ingestion of peanuts by children with peanut allergy in Quebec, Canada, appears to be lower than previously reported, according to a report published online May 28 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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Food-Allergic Teens Often Take Dangerous Risks

MONDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- Many teens and young adults with food allergies indulge in behavior that places them at high risk of life-threatening anaphylactic reactions, according to a study published in the June issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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CDC Reports Mild Flu Season, But Virus Still Circulating

FRIDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- Although the United States had a mild influenza season in 2005-2006, the flu virus remains active, and the so-called avian flu (H5N1) virus is still spreading across other parts of the world, according to a report in the June 16 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Travelers to Malarial Regions Should Take Preventive Steps

FRIDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- Patients traveling to countries in which malaria is endemic should take anti-malarial drugs and precautions against mosquito bites, even if they are traveling to their country of origin for a visit, according to a report in the June 16 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Pregnancy Outcomes Worse in Diabetic Than Other Women

FRIDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- Infants born to women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes have perinatal mortality rates and major congenital anomaly rates about four times and more than two times higher, respectively, than infants in the general population, according to a study published online June 16 in BMJ.

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CF Patients Can Safely Stop Using Inhaled Corticosteroids

FRIDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- Inhaled corticosteroids, which have been used as an anti-inflammatory agent in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) despite a lack of supporting evidence, can safely be withdrawn, according to a study published in the June 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Unpasteurized Milk May Protect Against Childhood Allergies

FRIDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- A study of farmers' children in rural England suggests that the reason they historically have fewer allergies is because they drink unpasteurized milk, according to a report in the June issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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Asthmatic Kids More Sensitive to Small Particulate Matter

FRIDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- Asthmatic children show increased sensitivity to particulate air pollutants compared with healthy children as measured by the percentage of eosinophils in their nasal fluid, according to a report in the June issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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Most Head Lice Resistant to Common Insecticide

THURSDAY, June 15 (HealthDay News) -- About four out of five head lice found in Welsh schoolchildren are resistant to pyrethroids often used to eradicate them, according to a study published online June 14 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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FDA Targets Unclear Medical Abbreviations

THURSDAY, June 15 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) has launched a national health professional education campaign to eliminate a common but preventable cause of medication errors: unclear and potentially confusing abbreviations written by health care professionals and others.

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Diabetes Complication Risk in Children Varies with Type

WEDNESDAY, June 14 (HealthDay News) -- Children with diabetes are more likely to develop retinopathy if they have the type 1 form of the disease, and are at greater risk of hypertension and microalbuminuria if they have type 2, according to a report in the June issue of Diabetes Care.

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Ischemia Preconditioning Helps Children in Heart Surgery

WEDNESDAY, June 14 (HealthDay News) -- Preconditioning children about to undergo cardiac surgery by temporarily blocking blood flow to their legs and inducing ischemia-reperfusion may offer a protective effect against ischemia-related damage during the procedure, according to a report in the June 6 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Car Crashes, Homicide, Suicide Top Causes of Youth Deaths

TUESDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- Risky behavior among U.S. high school students has dropped since 1991, but many teenagers smoke, drive after drinking and have sex without condoms, according to a report in the June 9 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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FDA Approves Wellbutrin XL for Seasonal Affective Disorder

TUESDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- Wellbutrin XL has become the first drug to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The drug, approved on June 12, can be used for the prevention of major depressive episodes in SAD patients.

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Almost Half of Young Car Crash Patients Poorly Restrained

FRIDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 45 percent of children who require emergency treatment after car accidents are insufficiently restrained or not strapped in at all, researchers report in the June 9 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Children aged 4 to 8 were the most likely to be restrained inappropriately with use of a seat belt without a booster seat.

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Off-Road Motorcycle Injuries May Be On the Rise in Children

FRIDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 24,000 children and adolescents in the United States have been injured in recent years while riding motorcycles and dirt bikes off-road, and 70 percent of those injuries occurred in children under age 16, according to a report in the June 9 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Repeat Prenatal Corticosteroids May Be Safe for Infants

FRIDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- Repeat injections of corticosteroids as opposed to a single injection given to a woman at risk of preterm delivery can reduce an infant's risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome and seem to be safe, although more study is needed to determine the long-term impact on the child's neurological development, according to a report in the June 10 issue of The Lancet.

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Two U.K. Children Develop Toxic Shock from Foot Blisters

FRIDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- In two cases in the United Kingdom, children developed toxic shock syndrome (TSS) from relatively minor skin trauma caused by blisters from new soccer boots, according to a report published in the June 10 issue of BMJ.

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Eye-Injury Hospitalizations Prevalent Among Children

THURSDAY, June 8 (HealthDay News) -- Young adults aged 18 to 20 account for the highest proportion (23.7 percent) of eye-injury hospitalizations in patients under age 20 and males account for 69.7 percent of hospitalizations, according to a study published in the June issue of Pediatrics.

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FDA Approves Gardasil Cervical Cancer Vaccine

THURSDAY, June 8 (HealthDay News) -- For the first time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a vaccine to reduce cervical cancer by preventing infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) types 6, 11, 16 and 18. Gardasil is manufactured by Merck & Co. and is approved for use in females aged 9 to 26.

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Overweight Lactating Women Can Cut Fat and Sugar Intake

THURSDAY, June 8 (HealthDay News) -- Overweight women who are breast-feeding can limit their fat and sugar consumption if they are careful to maintain their intake of calcium and vitamin D, according to a report in the June issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

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Low Birth Weight Infants at Risk for Hyperactivity

THURSDAY, June 8 (HealthDay News) -- Children who are born prematurely or with a low birth weight are more likely to develop hyperkinetic disorder and have concentration problems than other children, according to a study published online June 5 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Birth Defects Higher After ACE Inhibitor Use in 1st Trimester

WEDNESDAY, June 7 (HealthDay News) -- Women who take angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors during the first trimester of pregnancy have a greater risk of having an infant with major congenital malformations than women who do not take the antihypertensives, according to a report in the June 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Overweight Children Have More Pain, Fractures

WEDNESDAY, June 7 (HealthDay News) -- Overweight children experience more bone fractures and weight-related musculoskeletal pain than their peers who are not overweight, according to a report published in the June issue of Pediatrics.

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Cereal Introduced After Six Months Linked to Wheat Allergy

WEDNESDAY, June 7 (HealthDay News) -- Children who are exposed to cereal grains after six months of age are more likely to develop wheat allergy than those exposed before that age, according to a report in the June issue of Pediatrics. In addition, children are at higher risk of wheat allergy if they have a first-degree relative with eczema, hives or asthma.

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Parenting Style May Affect Child's Weight Gain

TUESDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- First graders with strict, authoritarian mothers are more likely to be overweight than children of authoritative mothers who have high expectations for their child's self-control but are also respectful of their child's opinion, according to a study in the June issue of Pediatrics.

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Early Schizophrenia Detection Reduces Suicide Risk

TUESDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with schizophrenia, early-detection programs that bring first-episode patients into treatment may reduce the later risk of suicidal behavior, according to a study published in the May issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Obesity More Prevalent Among Hispanic Preschoolers

TUESDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Hispanic preschool children are more likely to be obese than their counterparts from other racial groups, and the disparity cannot be explained by socioeconomic factors such as maternal education or family income, according to a study in the June issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Nap Schedule May Reduce Fatigue in Medical Residents

TUESDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- A protected nap schedule for medical residents covering overnight shifts only modestly increases sleep time but reduces reports of fatigue and sleepiness, according to a study in the June 6 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Exercise Helps Control Glycemia in Diabetic Children

TUESDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Regular physical activity helps control glycemia in pediatric patients with type I diabetes mellitus without increasing the risk of severe hypoglycemia, according to a study in the June issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Diagnosis of Autism at Age 2 Usually Confirmed at Age 9

TUESDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Children diagnosed with autism by the age of 2 years are likely to have that diagnosis confirmed at age 9, according to a study published in the June issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Restraint Systems Cut Risk of Child Death in Car Crashes

TUESDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with seat belts, child restraint systems can reduce the risk of children dying in a car accident by as much as 28 percent, according to a study in the June issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Sharp Rise in Antipsychotics Prescribed for Children, Teens

MONDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Office-based physicians have sharply increased prescription of antipsychotic medication for children and adolescents in recent years, according to a study published in the June issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Many Adolescent Girls Report Having Unwanted Sex

MONDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- About 40 percent of adolescent girls report being pressured or threatened into having sex, according to a study in the June issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Infants Held Less Cry More, Sleep Through Night Earlier

MONDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Infants who are held for fewer hours per day tend to cry more than babies who have more parental contact, but they are also more likely to sleep through the night at 12 weeks of age than infants who are held for many hours a day, according to a report published in the June issue of Pediatrics. However, all infants have periods of unsoothable crying that are unrelated to style of parenting.

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Lower Malpractice Costs in States with Damage Caps

MONDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- In states that have enacted tort reform to cap total or non-economic medical malpractice payments, costs and premiums tend to be lower, according to a report in the May/June issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Zinc Supplements Do Not Help Children with Pneumonia

FRIDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- Children treated with zinc for severe pneumonia fare no better than children treated with a placebo, researchers report in the May issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Folic Acid Supplementation Does Not Reduce Cleft Risk

FRIDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- Folic acid supplements do not reduce the risk of cleft lip or cleft palate, but other nutrients may reduce the risk, according to a study in the May issue of Epidemiology. The finding runs counter to previous studies that suggested that folic acid may reduce cleft risk, the authors report.

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New Type of Mutation Found to Cause Alpha-Thalassemia

FRIDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- A single mutation that results in the inherited blood disorder alpha-thalassemia lies outside the region where disease-causing mutations usually occur, according to a report in the May 26 issue of Science.

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Effect of Early Antibiotic for Meningococcal Disease Unclear

FRIDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- Two studies analyzing mortality risk in children with meningococcal disease given parenteral antibiotics by a primary care physician prior to hospital admission have shown inconsistent results, with one suggesting harm and the other suggesting benefit, according to the June 3 issue of BMJ. Because children with more severe symptoms are more likely to receive an antibiotic, this confounding factor makes it difficult to determine if the practice is helpful or harmful, the authors report.

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Teens with Bipolar Disorder Misinterpret Facial Expressions

FRIDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents with bipolar disorder are more likely than healthy teens to interpret neutral facial expressions as displaying hostility, identifying a deficient link between attention and emotion centers of the brain, according to a report in the June 6 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Child's Immunization Varies with Mother's Age, Education

FRIDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- The mothers of infants with incomplete immunizations tend to belong to ethnic minority groups, be economically disadvantaged and have a large family, whereas mothers who choose not to immunize infants are more likely to be aged 40 or above, to be educated to university level or be of black Caribbean ethnicity, according to a British study published in the June 3 issue of BMJ.

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Insulin Alarms Transiently Improve Control in Children

FRIDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- Meal bolus alarms designed to remind type 1 diabetics to take their insulin after eating have only a modest effect on glycemic control, according to a study of younger patients in the May issue of Diabetes Care.

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Female Genital Mutilation Leads to More Infant Deaths

FRIDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- Female genital mutilation in African women increases the risk of obstetric complications such as Caesarean section, postpartum hemorrhage and infant death, according to a study in the June 3 issue of The Lancet.

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Juvenile Arthritis Progresses Faster in Medicaid Patients

THURSDAY, June 1 (HealthDay News) -- Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis patients insured through Medicaid are more severely disabled and the disease advances faster than in similar patients with private insurance, according to a report published online May 31 in Arthritis Care & Research.

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Boys Without Siblings Watch More TV Than Others Their Age

THURSDAY, June 1 (HealthDay News) -- Boys who have no siblings and girls in single-parent families watch more television than boys with siblings or girls living with two parents, researchers report in the May issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

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Hyperopic Correction Effective in Children with Esotropia

THURSDAY, June 1 (HealthDay News) -- About three-quarters of children with fully accommodative esotropia and low levels of hypermetropia are able to stop wearing glasses after hyperopic correction, according to a study in the May issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology.

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