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Pediatric Academic Societies, May 3-6

The Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting

The annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies was held from May 3 to 6 in Vancouver, Canada, and attracted more than 7,500 participants from around the world, including pediatricians and other allied health professionals. The conference highlighted recent advances in pediatric health care, with scientific papers presented on a variety of topics, including bullying, firearms, infant nutrition, and other pediatric topics.

In one study, Sheree M. Schrager, M.D., Ph.D., of the Children's Hospital Los Angeles, and colleagues found that stress experiences related to a gay or lesbian identity help to explain why binge drinking is more common among gay and lesbian adolescents. These stresses include experiencing chronic stigma and prejudice as well as more explicit, concrete events such as being the victim of violence or discrimination.

Specifically, the investigators found that social and environmental stressors, such as experiences with violence and victimization, were associated with more distress. In addition, internal stressors, such as internalized homophobia, were associated with both more distress and more binge drinking.

"Youth who were more 'out' about their lesbian or gay identity also experienced more distress, suggesting they may be more susceptible to the negative effects of chronic stigma and prejudice," said Schrager.

The investigators also found that a youth's connectedness to the broader gay and lesbian community could have both positive and negative impacts on binge drinking. Greater community connectedness directly increased the risk of binge drinking (e.g., gay bars/clubs where alcohol plays a central role). However, more connectedness to the community was also associated with less internalized homophobia (more acceptance of one's gay or lesbian identity), which in turn lowered the risk of binge drinking.

"Interventions that focus on reducing the effects of stigma, particularly around a youth's own internalized attitudes about homosexuality, may do more to reduce binge drinking than focusing on alcohol use or abstention per se," said Schrager. "Parents and providers should know that it's particularly important to discuss alcohol use with their gay or lesbian teens, and help them to identify safe ways to connect with their community that don't revolve around drinking (such as bars and clubs)."

Abstract

In another study, Andrew Adesman, M.D., of the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York in New Hyde Park, and colleagues found that a significant number of students report misusing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) stimulant medications for academic purposes, and student opinion is split on whether or not misuse of these medications is a form of cheating in higher education. The investigators analyzed responses from 616 Ivy League college students without ADHD who completed an anonymous online questionnaire in December of 2012.

The investigators found that 18 percent of students reported misusing a prescription stimulant for an academic purpose at least once while in college, and 24 percent of these students said they had done so on eight or more occasions. In addition, 69 percent of those who misused stimulants did so to write an essay, 66 percent to study for an exam, and 27 percent to take a test.

"More students who played a varsity sport and were affiliated with a Greek house reported stimulant misuse compared to students affiliated with only one or neither," said Adesman.

The investigators also found that 33 percent of students did not think stimulant misuse for academic purposes was a form of cheating, while 41 percent thought it was cheating and 25 percent were unsure.

"It is necessary for colleges to begin addressing this issue in their health and wellness campaigns, and a broader discussion must also take place on the ethical issues surrounding performance-enhancing drug use in an academic context," said Adesman.

Abstract

Jane E. Brumbaugh, M.D., of the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and colleagues found that brain structure and function of infants born four to six weeks premature differed from those who were born after full-term pregnancy.

"This cohort of late preterm children demonstrated worse function in visual/spatial perception, visual memory, and processing speed. The late preterm children had less total tissue and more cerebrospinal fluid on magnetic resonance imaging," said Brumbaugh. "Two subcortical structures, the hippocampus and the thalamus, were smaller in the late preterm cohort compared to the full-term cohort. The structural differences on magnetic resonance imaging were directly related to the areas of cognition in which the late preterm cohort performed more poorly than the full-term cohort."

Overall, Brumbaugh said that these cognitive, behavioral, and structural findings suggest that late preterm birth may be significant well beyond infancy. Therefore, she suggests that clinical practitioners should be aware that brain-based morbidities related to late preterm birth may manifest at school age as children face new challenges.

Abstract

PAS: High-Dose Steroids Don't Aid Infants With Biliary Atresia

WEDNESDAY, May 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- High-dose steroids do not yield large treatment differences in infants with biliary atresia who have had hepatoportoenterostomy, according to a study published in the May 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on child health. This issue was released early to coincide with the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies, held from May 3 to 6 in Vancouver, Canada.

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PAS: Mealtime TV in Pregnancy Linked to Infant Media Exposure

TUESDAY, May 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Women who watch television (TV) during mealtimes in pregnancy are more likely to expose their infants to TV during feeding, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies, held from May 3 to 6 in Vancouver, Canada.

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PAS: Tdap Vaccine Appears Safe During Pregnancy

TUESDAY, May 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Preliminary evidence shows that immunization with the tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine is safe during pregnancy, according to a study published in the May 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on child health. This issue was released early to coincide with the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies, held from May 3 to 6 in Vancouver, Canada.

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PAS: Cholesterol Testing in Children Low

TUESDAY, May 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Lipid testing rates in kids are well below what would be expected given national guidelines, according to a study published in the May 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on child health. This issue was released early to coincide with the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies, held from May 3 to 6 in Vancouver, Canada.

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PAS: Maternal Smoking May Up Odds of Congenital Heart Defects

TUESDAY, May 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Maternal smoking in the first trimester is associated with increased risk of congenital heart defects (CHD), with a dose-dependent association observed, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies, held from May 3 to 6 in Vancouver, Canada.

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PAS: Outbreaks May Not Change Minds of Vaccine Opponents

MONDAY, May 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Health experts who hope that outbreaks of childhood illnesses might spur vaccine-refusing parents to change their stance may be discouraged by results of a large new study. During an outbreak of pertussis in Washington state lasting from October 2011 through December 2012, the researchers found that vaccination rates did not rise. The research was presented at the annual meeting of the Pediatrics Academic Societies, held from May 3 to 6 in Vancouver, Canada.

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PAS: Prophylaxis Cuts Return of Vesicoureteral Reflux

MONDAY, May 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Antimicrobial prophylaxis correlates with reduced risk of recurrence among children with vesicoureteral reflux diagnosed after urinary tract infection, according to a study published online May 4 in the New England Journal of Medicine. This research was published to coincide with the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies, held from May 3 to 6 in Vancouver, Canada.

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PAS: No Long-Lasting Benefit for Prenatal DHA Supplementation

MONDAY, May 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Prenatal docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplementation is not associated with improved cognitive outcomes at four-year follow-up, according to a research letter published in the May 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on child health. This issue was released early to coincide with the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies, held from May 3 to 6 in Vancouver, Canada.

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PAS: Prevalence of Diabetes Increasing in U.S. Youth

MONDAY, May 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- From 2001 to 2009, the prevalence of type 1 and type 2 diabetes increased among youth in the United States, according to a study published in the May 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on child health. This issue was released early to coincide with the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies, held from May 3 to 6 in Vancouver, Canada.

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PAS: Parasomnias Could Indicate a Child Is Being Bullied

MONDAY, May 5, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Being bullied at age 8 or 10 is associated with increased risk of parasomnia at age 12, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies, held from May 3 to 6 in Vancouver, Canada.

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Physician's Briefing