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June 2008 Briefing - Pediatrics

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

Physical Activity Improves Children's Metabolic Health

MONDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- In pre-pubertal schoolchildren in the United Kingdom, sustained physical activity above the government-recommended intensity of three metabolic equivalents of thermogenesis for 60 minutes per day is associated with improved metabolic health without affecting body mass index (BMI). But fewer than half of boys and only one in eight girls meet this guideline, according to the results of a study published online June 30 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Medicaid Mental Services Increase with More Funding

MONDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- Increased funding of Medicaid mental health services and expansion of Medicaid's Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) program in California resulted in increased delivery of mental health services, especially in rural areas and communities historically receiving low levels of funding, according to study findings published in the June issue of Medical Care.

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CDC: 2007-2008 Rotavirus Season Unusually Mild

MONDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- The 2007-2008 rotavirus season began three months later than usual and has been significantly milder, suggesting that 2006 recommendations for infants to be vaccinated at ages 2 months, 4 months and 6 months with the RotaTeq vaccine may be having an impact, according to an interim report issued June 25 in the early release edition of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Exercise-Related Cardiac Arrest Survival Poor in Youth

MONDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- Incidents of exercise-related sudden cardiac arrest in youths in the United States have generally resulted in poor survival during the past seven years, although a trend toward improved survival has developed recently, researchers report in the June issue of Heart Rhythm.

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Program Improves Outcomes in Pregnant Substance Abusers

FRIDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Perinatal outcomes are significantly better when women with substance abuse problems receive treatment integrated with prenatal visits, according to research published online June 26 in the Journal of Perinatology.

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Screening Vital for Relatives of Long-QT Patients

FRIDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- It is becoming increasingly common for children to be identified with congenital long-QT syndrome because of family screening, and with appropriate therapy, survival is excellent among both probands and non-probands, according to a report published in the June 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Mothers Often Engage in Risky Infant Care Practices

THURSDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- Mothers often engage in infant care practices that increase the risk of sudden infant death, including bed-sharing, placing infants in a prone position for sleep in a bassinet, or cluttering the bassinet with objects that can cause suffocation, according to two studies published online June 26 in the Journal of Pediatrics.

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Variant Linked to Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity

THURSDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- In children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, those with the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val108/158Met polymorphism are more likely to demonstrate poor task-oriented behavior, according to a report published online June 25 in Neuropsychopharmacology.

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Childhood Intelligence Affects Vascular Dementia Risk

THURSDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- Adults with vascular dementia are more likely to have had lower cognitive ability scores in childhood than their counterparts without vascular dementia, although there is no association between lower childhood cognitive ability and risk of Alzheimer's disease, according to the results of a study published online June 25 in Neurology.

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Pain Measurement Tools May Be Too Blunt for Infants

THURSDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- Behavioral assessment may not give an accurate picture of pain in infants because they may process pain at the cortical level and not exhibit any behavioral changes, according to research published in the June issue of PLoS Medicine.

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Angiotensin II-Receptor Blockers Effective in Marfan's

WEDNESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with Marfan's syndrome, the use of angiotensin II-receptor blockers is associated with a significant decrease in the rate of progressive aortic-root dilation, according to the results of a small study published in the June 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Mouse Model Replicates Some Aspects of Learning Disorders

WEDNESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- A mouse model of tuberous sclerosis, a disorder associated with mental retardation, autism and epilepsy, replicates some aspects of the disorder such as the defects in learning and memory, which can be reversed with a drug, according to study findings published online June 22 in Nature Medicine.

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Source of Cardiomyocyte Progenitors Identified

WEDNESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- A subset of cells present in the epicardium, the epithelial sheet lying over the heart, can migrate into the heart and differentiate into cardiomyocytes, which could be used someday to repair the heart, according to the results of a study published online June 22 in Nature.

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Guidelines for Treatment of Thrombosis Updated

TUESDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- The American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) has published updated guidelines for the prevention, treatment and management of thrombosis in populations such as pregnant women, children and hospitalized patients in a supplement to the June issue of Chest.

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Surveillance Systems Could Reduce Injuries in Children

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- The creation of a country-wide injury surveillance system for unintentional child and adolescent injuries could help monitor risk and identify ways to reduce injuries in the United Kingdom, according to an editorial published in the June 21 issue of BMJ.

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Article Examines Use of 'Key Opinion Leaders' in Drug Sales

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Influential doctors known as "key opinion leaders" are paid generous fees to influence their peers to prescribe a company's drugs and may in fact be considered salespeople by the industry, according to an article in the June 21 issue of BMJ.

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Too Many Asthmatics Don't Get Flu Shots, CDC Warns

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Among asthmatics, influenza vaccination coverage is increasing but remains far below the Healthy People 2010 targets of 60 percent for persons aged 18 to 64 with high-risk conditions and 90 percent for all persons aged 65 and older, according to a report published in the June 20 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Electronic Records Lacking in Many U.S. Doctors' Offices

WEDNESDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Only a small minority of U.S. physicians have electronic health record systems in their offices, with cost the most commonly cited barrier to adoption among those without access to a system, according to an article released online June 18 in advance of publication in the July 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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U.S. Survey Highlights Newborn Breast-Feeding Practices

TUESDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- Maternity practices that could potentially interfere with breast-feeding are common in U.S. hospitals and birth centers, according to survey results published June 13 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Blood Pressure Tracking from Childhood Important

TUESDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- Blood pressure tracking from childhood to adulthood is useful because childhood blood pressure is correlated with blood pressure in adulthood, according to a report published online June 16 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Intervention Increases Teens' Dual Contraceptive Use

MONDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- In high-risk women, a transtheoretical model-tailored intervention significantly increases dual contraceptive use but does not affect the incidence of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, according to study findings published in the June issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Vitamin D May Reduce Children's Diabetes Risk

MONDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- Lower exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation in regions that are more distant from the equator is associated with a higher incidence of childhood type 1 diabetes, supporting the concept that vitamin D may play a role in reducing risk of the disease, according to research published online June 12 in Diabetologia.

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Hereditary Rickets and Multiple Sclerosis Linked

THURSDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- Hereditary rickets due to altered vitamin D metabolism is associated with multiple sclerosis, according to study findings published in the June issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Golf Cart-Related Injuries Have Soared Since 1990

THURSDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- Since 1990, the number of golf cart-related injuries has steadily increased, and the high rate of injuries among children suggests that new guidelines are needed, according to a report published in the July issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Once Daily Leukemia Drug Dose Effective, Less Toxic

THURSDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- Dasatinib, a BCR-ABL inhibitor considerably more potent than imatinib, has similar efficacy but less toxicity at a dose of 100 mg once a day compared with the approved 70 mg twice a day in patients with chronic-phase chronic myelogenous leukemia who have failed imatinib treatment, according to study findings published online June 9 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Vaccine Shows Promise Against H5N1 Avian Influenza

WEDNESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- Two doses of a whole-virus vaccine against H5N1 avian influenza produced on Vero cell cultures induced neutralizing antibodies against multiple H5N1 strains, indicating its usefulness against this virus with pandemic potential, according to research published in the June 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Drug Effective for Severe Hemangiomas in Children

WEDNESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- Propranolol is effective in treating severe capillary hemangiomas in children, relieving redness, and softening and flattening the lesions, according to an article in the June 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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St. John's Wort Does Not Help Treat Hyperactivity Disorder

TUESDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- The herb Hypericum perforatum, more commonly known as St. John's wort, has no effect on the symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to the results of a study published in the June 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Infant Pertussis Outbreak Traced to Hospital Worker

TUESDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- An outbreak of pertussis in the summer of 2004 in 11 infants born in a Texas hospital was linked to a health care worker at the hospital's newborn nursery with the illness, according to a report in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's June 6 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Obesity in Pregnancy Increases Risk of Neural Tube Defects

MONDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- Being overweight or obese increases the risk of having a pregnancy affected by neural tube defects, with the risk for severely obese women triple that of normal weight women, according to a review published in the June issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Human Fetal Cells Rescue Mouse Myelination Defect

FRIDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Transplanting human fetal cells into the brains of newborn mice lacking myelin leads to widespread myelination, restoration of normal neural function and increased survival, according to research published in the June issue of Cell Stem Cell.

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Meningitis C Vaccine Booster Dose May Help Protect Teens

FRIDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the fact that meningitis C vaccination is part of the United Kingdom's routine infant vaccination program, one in five adolescents has insufficient protection from the disease and may need a booster shot to maintain immunity, according to a report published June 5 in BMJ Online First.

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Fewer U.S. Physicians Training in Pediatric Neurosurgery

FRIDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Very few physicians are training and becoming certified in pediatric neurosurgery, suggesting an upcoming crisis in the workforce of this subspecialty that may put children at risk, according to a report in the June issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics.

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Researchers Find Childhood Epilepsy Genetic Link

THURSDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Mutations in the GABAA receptor β3 subunit gene (GABRB3) are implicated in childhood absence epilepsy, according to research published online May 29 in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

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Higher Quality Foster Care Produces Healthier Adults

THURSDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Better quality foster care has important repercussions for the mental and physical well being of foster care alumni, according to a report published in the June issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Long-Term Outcomes Differ After Adolescent Back Surgery

THURSDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Although the long-term health-related quality of life is good for patients who received surgical treatment for idiopathic scoliosis or spondylolisthesis during adolescence, long-term outcomes are better among those treated for scoliosis, researchers report in the June issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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One Billion Dollars Slated for Health Hazard Preparedness

THURSDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has allocated almost $1.1 billion to be made available to public health departments, hospitals and other health care organizations in order to help them better respond to public health and medical emergencies of a terrorist or naturally occurring nature.

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Hypothermia Ineffective in Severe Childhood Brain Injury

WEDNESDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- Severely head-injured children who were treated with hypothermia post-injury fared worse than those who did not receive hypothermia treatment and had higher mortality rates, according to a research paper published June 5 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Weaning Doesn't Improve HIV-Free Survival for Infants

WEDNESDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- Studies seeking an optimal approach to preventing HIV transmission between HIV-infected breast-feeding mothers and their newborn babies found that stopping breast-feeding early (at 4 months) ultimately did not reduce HIV-free survival in infants; however, giving extended preventative therapy demonstrated a short-term positive impact. The studies were published online June 4 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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FDA Performing Safety Review of TNF Blockers

WEDNESDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is performing a safety review of drugs that block tumor necrosis factor (TNF), used to treat diseases such as arthritis and psoriasis, due to reports of cancers in young patients prescribed the drugs.

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Rise in Sweetened Beverage Intake Among U.S. Youth

WEDNESDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- Reducing consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and fruit juices and changing parental interventions are potentially important factors in reducing obesity in children and adolescents, two studies report in the June issue of Pediatrics.

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Vitamin D Deficiency Prevalent in Young Children

WEDNESDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin D deficiency is common among infants and toddlers, and may be associated with demineralization, according to two studies published in the June issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. But calls for routine supplementation may be premature, according to an accompanying editorial.

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Low Birth Weight May Increase Autism Risk

TUESDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of autism is higher among low birth weight or preterm children, particularly in females and in children with other developmental disabilities, according to research published in the June issue of Pediatrics.

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Northeast Has Highest Rates of Childhood Cancer in U.S.

TUESDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- Young people living in the Northeast region of the United States have a significantly higher incidence of childhood cancer than those in other parts of the country, according to a report published in the June issue of Pediatrics. The study is the first to document regional differences in childhood cancer rates.

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Eating Disorder Risk Factors Vary with Gender and Age

TUESDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- The risk factors for eating disorders such as binge eating and purging are different for boys and girls, and change from one age group to another in females, according to the results of a study published in the June issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Injuries Common Among High School Baseball Players

TUESDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- Although baseball is relatively safe compared to other high school sports, injuries are common -- including serious injuries resulting from being hit with a batted ball -- and could be reduced by requiring players to use appropriate safety equipment, according to a report published in the June issue of Pediatrics.

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Guidelines Address Vaccination During Pregnancy

MONDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- A new report -- Guiding Principles for Development of ACIP Recommendations for Vaccination During Pregnancy and Breast-Feeding -- approved by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) in March, may help standardize procedures for policy formulation and presentation of the rationale and recommendations for the vaccination of pregnant and breast-feeding women, according to an article published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's May 30 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Prenatal Cigarette Smoke May Affect SIDS Risk

MONDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- Rats prenatally exposed to cigarette smoke are more likely to have gasping breathing patterns after hypoxia and take longer to recover normal breathing after hypoxia at higher temperatures, investigators have found. The research suggests that prenatal exposure to cigarette smoke may affect the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), according to a report in the June 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Adverse Events Lengthen Stays at Pediatric Hospitals

MONDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- Adverse events experienced by hospitalized children may increase length of stay and costs, and pediatric-specific quality indicators are useful in calculating these effects, according to research published in the journal Pediatrics in June.

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Physician's Briefing
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