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Nov. 2005 Briefing -- Pediatrics

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in pediatrics for November 2005. This roundup includes the latest journal articles and updates from government agencies, including the FDA, NIH, and agencies from the UK and Canada, that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Separate Process for Face Identity, Expression in Autism

TUESDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- For people with autism, Asperger syndrome or other social development disorders (SDDs), the process of recognizing familiar faces and interpreting facial expressions are distinct, according to a study published in the Nov. 22 issue of Neurology. A deficit in interpreting facial expressions may be related to emotional processing, the authors suggest.

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Smoking Retards Growth in Adolescent Girls

TUESDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Smoking in early adolescence is associated with retarded physical growth in girls, according to a study published in the November issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.

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Little Change in Sexual Maturity Among U.S. Children

MONDAY, Nov. 28 (HealthDay News) -- There is concern among pediatricians that sexual maturity is occurring earlier among U.S. children than it had in the past. However, an analysis of nearly 30 years of health data published in the November issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health suggests there is little persuasive evidence to support such a trend.

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Twins Have Lower IQ Scores Than Their Singleton Siblings

FRIDAY, Nov. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Twins have lower IQ scores in childhood compared to their single-born brothers and sisters, according to a study published online Nov. 18 in the British Medical Journal.

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Vertigo Rare in Young Patients At Ear-Nose-Throat Clinic

FRIDAY, Nov. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Vertigo is a rare primary complaint in children who visit otorhinolaryngology (ENT) clinics, requiring a variety of tools to diagnose, according to a study in the November issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery.

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Chromosome 11 Linked to Poor Neuroblastoma Outcome

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Deletions on chromosome 11 are strongly associated with poor outcome in the early-childhood cancer, neuroblastoma, according to the Nov. 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Editorial

Antidepressant Treatment of Adolescents on the Rise

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The use of antidepressant drugs to treat adolescents with depression is on the rise, while mental health counseling is dropping, according to a study reported online in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

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Male Premature Infants at Risk for Adult Hypertension

TUESDAY, Nov. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Males born prematurely are at higher risk for hypertension in young adulthood than males who were full-term infants, according to a report published online Nov. 21 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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'Social Bonding' Hormones Altered in Orphan Children

TUESDAY, Nov. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The early social experience of children raised in orphanages may affect their levels of oxytocin and arginine vasopressin, two key hormones critical to social bonding, according to a study in the Nov. 22 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Supine Sleep Worsens Toddlers' Sleep Apnea

TUESDAY, Nov. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Children ages 3 years and younger with sleep apnea show increased respiratory disturbances during supine sleep, according to a study published in the November issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery.

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Malaria Vaccine Protects African Children for 18 Months

MONDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The malaria vaccine RTS,S/AS02A confers partial protection in young African children against clinical disease for at least 18 months, according to an online report published Nov. 15 in The Lancet.

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New Hampshire Infant Born with Congenital Rubella

MONDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- A case of congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) was diagnosed in an infant in New Hampshire in 2005, according to a report in the Nov. 18 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Although the case was imported, it highlights the need for physician vigilance and for vaccination of susceptible patients.

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FDA Issues Warning on Three Asthma Drugs

MONDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned patients and health care professionals that three asthma drugs that are long-acting beta 2-adrenergic agonists (LABA) could increase the chance of severe asthma attacks, and even the risk of death during such episodes.

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Breast-Feeding May Protect Against Celiac Disease

FRIDAY, Nov. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Breast-feeding may protect children against the development of celiac disease, according to a study published online Nov. 15 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Caesarean Deliveries at All-Time High in United States

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Caesarean deliveries in the United States rose 6% in 2004 to a record high of 29.1% of all births, according to preliminary data released Tuesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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FDA Announces New Electronic Drug Labels

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Under regulations effective Wednesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will require drug manufacturers to submit package insert or labels to the federal agency in a new electronic format known as the structured product labeling (SPL).

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U.S. Smoking Prevalence Dips for Third Year in a Row

THURSDAY, Nov. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer Americans are smoking than in the past, but the prevalence of smoking varies almost threefold from state to state, according to a report in the Nov. 11 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Personal Endotoxin 'Cloud' Affects Asthma in Children

THURSDAY, Nov. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Personal endotoxin exposure in asthmatic children as measured by a portable monitor is significantly higher than the levels detected in stationary monitors and correlates with asthma symptoms, according to a study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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Malignant Melanoma May Be Missed in Children

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- A lack of awareness can lead to a delayed diagnosis in children with melanoma, which may result in an increased incidence of thick and intermediate lesions, according to a study in the November issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Androgen Excess Could Contribute to Male Acne

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Overproduction of adrenal steroids could contribute to the development of acne in males, according to a study published online in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Many Patients Outgrow Tree Nut Allergies

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- About 9% of patients who have acute reactions to tree nuts eventually outgrow the allergy, according to a study in the November issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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First-Trimester Screening Can Detect Down Syndrome

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Screening for Down syndrome at 11 weeks using three different methods produces better results than quadruple screening performed in the second trimester, according to a study in the Nov. 10 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. However, combining the results from the first and second trimesters yields a high detection rate (more than 95%) with a low false-positive rate, the authors note.

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Cutting Maternal Allergens in Diet May Curb Colic

TUESDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Cutting potentially allergenic foods from the maternal diet may reduce colic in breast-fed infants, according to a study in the November issue of Pediatrics.

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Child neglect often underlying cause of failure to thrive

TUESDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Failure to thrive (FTT) is a common problem among infants and children and is often rooted in child neglect, according to a clinical report published in the November issue of Pediatrics.

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Doors Cause Most Amputations in Young Patients

TUESDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Finger amputations account for 91.6% of all pediatric amputations in U.S. emergency departments, and most injuries in young children are due to doors, according to a study in the November issue of Pediatrics.

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Physicians Overprescribe Antibiotics for Sore Throats

TUESDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians underuse the test for group A beta-hemolytic streptococci (GABHS) infections in children and end up overprescribing antibiotics for sore throat, according to a report in the Nov. 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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ATV Injuries Increased 25% Among Children in 2001-2003

TUESDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Nonfatal all-terrain vehicle injuries among children under age 16 increased by 25% from 2001 to 2003, according to a study in the November issue of Pediatrics.

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Bullying in School Affects Psychological State

TUESDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Bullying is prevalent among elementary school children and correlates with poor academic performance and psychological strain in both the victim and the bully, according to a study in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. The report highlights the need for anti-bullying programs in the early grades.

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Clinical Decision Support System Reduces Antibiotic Use

TUESDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Clinicians prescribe antimicrobials less often and choose more appropriate drugs in the treatment of acute respiratory tract infections when guided by a clinical decision support system (CDSS), according to a study in the Nov. 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Children Living with Unrelated Adults at High Risk of Death

MONDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Children living in households with unrelated adults are at nearly 50 times the risk of dying from inflicted injury as children living with two biological parents, according to a study published in the November issue of Pediatrics.

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Program Improves Gun Safety Practices at Home

MONDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- A program that educates gun-owning families about safe storage practices and provides free gun locks can improve gun safety, according to a report in the November issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. The program may be useful for preventing accidental gun-related child and adolescent deaths, which peaked at nearly 3,000 in 2001.

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Methylphenidate May Help Autism-Related Disorders

MONDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Methylphenidate may be effective in treating children with autism and related pervasive developmental disorders who have hyperactivity symptoms, according to a study in the November issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Gene Variant Linked to Antisocial Behavior in ADHD

MONDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Children with attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be more likely to develop antisocial behavior if they were low birth weight or if they carry a variant of the catechol O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene, which is thought to influence prefrontal cortical function, according to a study in the November issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Bottle-Feeding Increases Risk of Iron Deficiency

MONDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Prolonged bottle-feeding increases the risk of iron deficiency and Mexican American infants are at particular risk because more than one-third are bottle-fed for an extended period of time, according to a study in the November issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

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Complications Differ in Forceps and Vacuum Deliveries

FRIDAY, Nov. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians should consider the different complication rates of forceps- and vacuum-assisted deliveries when determining the optimal delivery mode, according to a study published in the November edition of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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10-Day Treatment Eradicates H. Pylori in Children

FRIDAY, Nov. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A 10-day sequential treatment is more effective in eradicating Helicobacter pylori in children than conventional treatments, according to a new study published in the November issue of Gastroenterology.

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U.S. Leads Six-Nation Survey of Medical Errors

THURSDAY, Nov. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The United States leads five other developed nations in the number of medical mistakes, medication errors or inaccurate or delayed lab results, according to an international patient survey conducted by The Commonwealth Fund.

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Gene for Craniofacial Development Identified

THURSDAY, Nov. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The gene responsible for the craniofacial defects associated with Williams-Beuren syndrome (WBS) has been isolated in mice and humans, according to a report in Sciencexpress, an early online edition of Science.

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Autism May Be Linked to Sex Differences in the Brain

THURSDAY, Nov. 3 (HealthDay News) -- People on the autistic spectrum may have a brain neuroanatomy that fits with the "extreme male brain" theory postulated more than 60 years ago as a way to explain autistic behavior, according to a viewpoint article in the Nov. 4 issue of Science.

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Childhood Cancer Limits Daily Activities Later in Life

TUESDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Childhood cancer exacts a toll on long-term survivors, often limiting their physical performance and regular daily activities, according to a study published in the November issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Neurological Disease a Risk for Flu Complications in Kids

TUESDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Children with neurological and neuromuscular disease (NNMD) are at greater risk for respiratory failure from influenza infection than other children, according to a report in this week's issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Neurologists and pediatricians should be aware of the importance of flu vaccines in such children, the authors note.

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