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October 2006 Briefing - Pediatrics

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

Brain Stem Changes Linked to Sudden Infant Death

TUESDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Abnormalities in a region of the brain stem containing serotonergic neurons and critical for respiratory drive may play an important role in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), according to a report in the Nov. 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Methamphetamine Crosses Placenta to Fetus

TUESDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Methamphetamine, or "crystal meth," can cross the placenta from the mother to fetus, with a significant correlation between levels in mother and neonate, according to an analysis of hair samples published online Oct. 31 in the Fetal and Neonatal Edition of the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Exercise Improves Heart Risk Factors in Obese Teens

MONDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Six months of exercise can boost vascular function in obese adolescents and improve their cardiovascular disease risk factors, including a reduction in carotid intima-media thickness, researchers report in the Nov. 7 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Decorative Contact Lenses Under U.S. FDA Jurisdiction

MONDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning about the serious risks of using decorative contact lenses and notes that since an amendment to the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act in November 2005, all contact lenses are considered medical devices under the FDA's jurisdiction.

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Preterm Infants at Higher Risk of Asthma

FRIDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- A meta-analysis of published studies suggests that infants born prematurely are at higher risk than full-term infants of developing asthma later in life, according to a study in the October issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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Pneumococcal Vaccine Still Effective with Fewer Doses

FRIDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Vaccination of pediatric patients with two or three doses of the seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is just as effective at preventing pneumococcal disease as the currently recommended schedule of four doses, according to the results of a study published in the Oct. 28 issue of The Lancet.

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U.S. Decline in Smoking May Be Stalled

FRIDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Data from a 2005 survey indicates that 20.9 percent of U.S. adults smoke cigarettes, a finding that could mean the number of adult smokers in the United States has not declined for the first time in eight years, according to a report in the Oct. 27 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Clinicians Believe Teens Unlikely to Practice Safe Sex

THURSDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Despite their conviction that teens should be counseled on safe sex practices including monogamy, abstinence and condom use to prevent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, fewer than one-quarter of clinicians believe adolescents will use these methods in the long run, according to a report in the Oct. 20 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Nearly Four Out of Ten Youths Migraine-Free in 10 Years

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- More than one-third of youths with migraine headaches are symptom-free 10 years later, but nearly 42 percent continue to have persistent migraines, researchers report in the Oct. 24 issue of Neurology.

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Half of U.S. States Meet Goal for Children's Vaccination

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Although more than half of U.S. states report meeting the Healthy People 2010 goal of 95 percent coverage for child immunizations, the vaccines themselves and survey methods vary by state. In addition, most states use school reports instead of health department audits, a practice that could lead to mistakes in coverage estimations, according to a report in the Oct. 20 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Not All U.S. States Reporting Varicella Cases to CDC

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Although progress has been made toward the reporting of varicella cases to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, not all states follow the 2002 recommendations for case-based surveillance, making it hard to judge the efficacy of varicella vaccination, according to a report in the Oct. 20 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Psychopathology Seen in Kids with Intellectual Disability

TUESDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- About 41 percent of children and adolescents with intellectual disability also have major psychopathology, and while this decreases over time, only one in 10 receives mental health treatment, according to a study in the Oct. 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Flu Vaccine Found to Be Safe in Youngest Children

TUESDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The trivalent inactivated flu vaccine is safe for children aged 6 months to 23 months, with no serious adverse events, according to a large trial reported in the Oct. 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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More Methylphenidate Adverse Events in Preschoolers

TUESDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The tolerability of methylphenidate is lower than expected among preschool children with attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and they may have more emotional outbursts, insomnia and repetitive behavior than older children, according to a report in the November issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

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Sensitivity to Ladybug Allergen More Common Than Thought

TUESDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Ladybug allergies are apparently more common than once thought, according to three reports in the October issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology that describe adults and children with high sensitivity for ladybug allergens.

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Tympanostomy Tubes Predict Suppurative Otitis Media

MONDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of chronic suppurative otitis media (CSOM) increases more than 100-fold in children who have undergone tympanostomy tube insertion, according to a report in the October issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery. Other predictors of CSOM are having had three or more respiratory infections in the previous six months, having less-educated parents and having older siblings.

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Measles Vaccine Response Same in Asthmatic Children

MONDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Children with asthma seem to respond to the measles vaccine just as those without asthma, according to a report in the October issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Previous work has suggested that children with a TH2-predominant condition such as asthma may have a weaker response to the vaccine and may predispose these children to measles outbreaks.

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Sleep Deprivation Contributes to Obesity in Children

FRIDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Children who do not sleep enough at night may be at risk for obesity, and banning cell phones, computers and televisions from children's bedrooms could help combat the problem, according to an article published online Oct. 20 in the Archives of Diseases in Childhood.

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High-Dose Fluticasone Impairs Adrenal Function in Children

FRIDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Children prescribed more than the maximum recommended daily dose of inhaled fluticasone proprionate are more likely to experience adrenal insufficiency, according to a report in the October issue of the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Brain Abnormalities Observed in Migraine Patients

FRIDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Migraine patients appear to have increased thickness in two areas of the brain cortex associated with motion-processing, according to a study published in the October issue of the open-access journal PLoS-Medicine.

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Common Allele Confers Susceptibility to Autism

FRIDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- New research suggests that a common mutation in the promoter for the MET receptor tyrosine kinase gene is associated with a more than twofold increase in risk for autism, according to a report published online Oct. 19 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition. Such a genetic link to autism is so far "unprecedented" in the literature, the author of an accompanying editorial points out.

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Antibiotic Use for Otitis Media Should Be Limited

FRIDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Antibiotics for otitis media seem the most beneficial for patients under age 2 who have bilateral infections or children of any age who also have otorrhea, researchers report in the Oct. 21 issue of The Lancet. Other children, which make up more than half of all such patients, could be treated with watchful waiting, a strategy that could cut down on drug-resistant bacteria.

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Visible Mold Increases Wheezing Risk in Infants

THURSDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Visible mold but not house dust mite allergen appears to increase the risk of wheezing in high-risk infants by at least twofold, according to a study in the October issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

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Dilated Cardiomyopathy More Common in Boys

THURSDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In patients under age 18, dilated cardiomyopathy is more common in boys than girls and in blacks than whites, and their outcomes are similar to those seen in adults, according to a study in the Oct. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Infant Lung Function May Predict Childhood Asthma

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Newborns with reduced lung function may have an increased risk of developing asthma by age 10, according to a study published in the Oct. 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Fluoxetine Increases Aggression in Young Hamsters

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- While low-dose fluoxetine decreases aggression in adult male hamsters, it increases aggression in juvenile hamsters, possibly by dysregulating their immature serotonin systems. This may help explain why some human adolescents become violent when treated with fluoxetine, according to a study published in the October issue of Behavioral Neuroscience.

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Trigeminal Neuralgia Case Linked to Tongue Piercing

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- An 18-year-old woman who presented with a two-month history of neuropathic facial pain that she described as "electrical shocks" was found to have atypical trigeminal neuralgia due to a recent tongue piercing, according to a research letter published in the Oct. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Childhood Cancer Survivors Have Higher Preterm Birth Risk

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Female survivors of childhood cancer are more likely to have problems during pregnancy including having premature births, researchers report in the Oct. 18 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Pandemic Flu Priorities Lacking in One-Third of Countries

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The World Health Organization has established preparedness guidelines in the event of an outbreak of pandemic influenza, but only about 70 percent of nations have prioritized who would receive vaccines and drugs in the event of an outbreak, according to a study published in the October issue of PLoS Medicine.

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Fish Intake is Healthy Despite Risk of Contaminants

TUESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The health benefits of seafood consumption outweigh the risk of contaminants contained in some fish, but young women and nursing mothers should limit themselves to two weekly servings of certain species only, researchers report in the Oct. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). A separate report from the Institute of Medicine was also released Tuesday in an effort to help consumers sort through information on the risks and benefits of seafood consumption.

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Study Suggests Facial Expressions Are Hereditary

TUESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals who are blind from birth move their facial muscles when expressing emotions in a similar way as their sighted relatives, suggesting that facial expressions might be hereditary, according to study findings published online Oct. 16 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study may shed light on conditions that affect facial expression, such as autism.

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Bone Development Depends on Insulin-Like Growth Factor-I

TUESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) is essential for embryonic bone development, researchers report in the October issue of Endocrinology.

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Delivery of Pediatric Flu Shots Delayed in U.S.

TUESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued a statement warning parents in the United States that delivery of influenza vaccines will be delayed until at least November. The delay affects children aged 6 months to 3 years.

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Gene Variants Associated with Common Obesity

FRIDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Bardet-Biedl syndrome gene variants are associated with the risk of common obesity in children and adults, according to the results of a study published in the October issue of Diabetes.

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Race, Sex, Age Impact Level-I Trauma Center Transfers

THURSDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Even after controlling for injury severity, non-clinical factors such as race, gender, age and insurance status significantly impact a patient's risk for hospital transfer to level-I trauma centers, researchers report in the October issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

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Childhood Cancer Survivors Have Lifelong Health Problems

WEDNESDAY, Oct.11 (HealthDay News) -- Most survivors of childhood cancer experience additional chronic and life-threatening conditions in adulthood, according to a report in the Oct. 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Monitoring survivors should be an important part of their overall care, the authors suggest.

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Vaccination Exemptions Linked to Pertussis Infections

TUESDAY, Oct. 10 (HealthDay News) -- States that allow exemptions from school immunizations too easily, or that allow exemptions for personal beliefs, have about a 50 percent higher rate of pertussis infection, according to a report in the Oct. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Fitness, Childhood IQ Linked to Cognitive Function in Old Age

TUESDAY, Oct. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Physical fitness levels and childhood intelligence contribute to better cognitive function in old age, according to a report in the Oct. 10 issue of Neurology.

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Multi-Drug-Resistant Shigella Outbreaks on Rise in U.S.

MONDAY, Oct. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Outbreaks of multi-drug-resistant Shigella sonnei in daycare centers are becoming more common, with outbreaks occurring in Kansas, Kentucky and Missouri during 2005, according to a report in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Oct. 6 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Risperdal Approved to Treat Autism-Related Irritability

MONDAY, Oct. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S Food and Drug Administration has approved the adult antipsychotic drug Risperdal (risperidone) for the treatment of irritability including aggression, deliberate self-harm and temper tantrums in autistic children and teens.

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Age-at-Onset Criteria for Adult ADHD May Be Too Strict

FRIDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The age-at-onset criteria used to diagnose attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults may too strict, and those adults with ADHD have greater deficits in executive function associated with lower academic performance than adults who do not meet the criteria for ADHD, according to two studies in the October issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Physical Activity Doesn't Prevent Obesity in Preschoolers

FRIDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Physical activity does not have an impact on obesity levels among preschool children but the benefits it confers in terms of motor and movement skills may help to foster an increase in activity levels and therefore have long-term benefits, according to a study published online Oct. 6 in BMJ.

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Twins and Singletons Evenly Matched Academically

THURSDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Although previous studies have suggested otherwise, twins have academic test scores similar to singletons when tested in the ninth grade, researchers report in the Sept. 29 Online First edition of BMJ.

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Review Confirms Thrombosis Risk in Childhood Leukemia

THURSDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of thrombosis in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is significant and can be affected by various factors including treatment regimen, according to a meta-analysis of 17 prospective studies published in the Oct. 1 issue of Blood.

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Breast-Feeding Does Not Boost Offspring's IQ

THURSDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Breast-feeding does not affect a child's intelligence after correction for maternal IQ, according to the results of the largest-ever study to explore this connection. The findings were published online Oct. 4 in BMJ.

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Failure to Order Test Common Mistake in Malpractice Claims

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A failure to order an appropriate diagnostic test is the most common mistake that results in harm to patients in the ambulatory care setting, although multiple breakdowns and individual and system factors play a role, according to a review of malpractice claims in the Oct. 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Health Costs Higher Two Years Prior to ADHD Diagnosis

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) incur higher health costs than children without the condition for two years prior to and after the diagnosis, according to a study published in the October issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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One-Third of U.S. Infant Mortality Due to Preterm Birth

TUESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- A new analysis of data from the United States indicates that one-third of infant mortality is due to complications caused by prematurity, according to a study published in the October issue of Pediatrics.

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MRI Scans Recommended for Children with Cerebral Palsy

TUESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- All children with cerebral palsy should have a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan because there is a strong correlation with clinical findings and the scan can help predict children's future needs, as well as possibly help prevent future cases, researchers report in the Oct. 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. More than 40 percent of such children have white-matter damage of immaturity and only about 12 percent have no abnormalities on MRI.

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Sudden Cardiac Deaths Decline in Young Italian Athletes

TUESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- After the 1982 introduction of a systematic, nationwide cardiovascular screening program for young athletes in Italy, the annual incidence of sudden cardiovascular deaths has significantly declined, according to a study published in the Oct. 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Low Birth Weight Infants Affected into Adolescence

TUESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Infants who weigh less than 2,000 g at birth are more likely to experience physical and mental difficulties as teenagers, even if they are not disabled, compared to their normal birth weight counterparts, according to a study published in the October issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Parent-Voice Smoke Alarm Rouses Sleeping Children

TUESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- A personalized parent-voice smoke alarm is superior to a conventional, residential, tone smoke alarm at rousing children from deep sleep, according to the results of a study published in the October issue of Pediatrics.

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Discrimination Affects Immigrants' Mental Health

TUESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Among black and Latino immigrants, racial and ethnic discrimination is associated with poor mental health status, according to a study published in the October issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

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Billing for Some Pediatric Phone Care Acceptable

MONDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- A new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) outlines when clinicians might appropriately charge health care payors for telephone care and services. The statement is published in the October issue of Pediatrics.

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Nearly One in 10 U.S. Children Has Fatty Liver Disease

MONDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Fatty liver is the most common liver abnormality seen in children, with obese and Hispanic-American children at highest risk for developing the disease, according to a report in the October issue of Pediatrics. In the study, nearly 10 percent of all children and 38 percent of obese children had fatty liver disease.

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One-Third of U.S. Adolescents Physically Unfit

MONDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Approximately one-third of teenagers in the United States do not meet the recommended standard of cardiorespiratory fitness, according to a study published in the October issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Behavioral Therapy Works for Sleep Problems in Children

MONDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Behavioral interventions are effective in treating sleep problems in young children, with significant improvements in more than 80 percent of children that last for three to six months, according to a review in the Oct. 1 issue of Sleep.

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Bronchiolitis Diagnosis Requires Full Medical History

MONDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The diagnosis and treatment of bronchiolitis in children younger than 2 years of age should include a complete history and detailed physical examination before physicians order tests or drugs, according to an American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guideline published in the October issue of Pediatrics.

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Mental Health Problems More Common in Unmarried Parents

MONDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- New parents who are unmarried have an increased rate of mental health and behavioral problems compared to married parents, and that may have an impact on their children's development, according to a report in the Oct. 1 issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

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U.S. Suicide Rates Declined from 1970-2002

MONDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. suicide rates have fluctuated by age group since 1970, but have demonstrated a general downward trend that might be attributable to an increase in healthy life expectancy and a decline in substance abuse, according to study results published in the Oct. 1 issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

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Physician's Briefing