August 2008 Briefing - PediatricsLast Updated: September 01, 2008.
Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pediatrics for August 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.
Lancet Supports WHO Report on Health Inequality
FRIDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The final report by the World Health Organization's Commission on Social Determinants of Health contains a strong mandate for reducing global inequalities in health care, according to an editorial published in the Aug. 30 issue of The Lancet.
Genetic Deletion Related to Obesity in WAGR Syndrome
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) haploinsufficiency is associated with onset of childhood obesity in patients with Wilms' tumor, aniridia, genitourinary abnormalities and mental retardation (WAGR) syndrome, and may be related to energy homeostasis in humans, researchers report in the Aug. 28 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Magnesium Sulfate May Reduce Cerebral Palsy Rates
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Use of magnesium sulfate in mothers at high risk of early preterm delivery was associated with less occurrence of moderate or severe cerebral palsy in surviving offspring, according to study findings published in the Aug. 28 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Genetic Link Found in Familial Neuroblastoma
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Heritable mutations of the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene appear to be the main cause of familial neuroblastoma, a finding that may offer a therapeutic target for the disease, according to research published online Aug. 24 in Nature.
Allopurinol Shows Promise As Hypertension Treatment
TUESDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The blood pressure of teens newly diagnosed with hypertension can be reduced with allopurinol, but the potential for the drug to become a new treatment depends on the outcome of larger clinical trials to better understand the potential side effects of the drug, according to a report published in the Aug. 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Perioperative Care Must Be Adapted to Preschoolers' Needs
TUESDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Perioperative care for preschoolers must take into account their stage of emotional and psychological development as well as their unique physical and medical needs, according to an article published in the August issue of AORN Journal.
Educators Given Tips to Deal with Electronic Aggression
TUESDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published a handbook for educators and caregivers on how to tackle electronic aggression, including cyber-bullying and harassment, toward young people in their care.
Spanking Associated with Physical Abuse
MONDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Parents who self-report frequently spanking children and spanking children with an object also report other punishments that are consistent with physical abuse, according to an article released online Aug. 20 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
CDC: Measles Outbreaks Seen in Unvaccinated Children
MONDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Recent measles outbreaks in the United States have primarily occurred among unvaccinated school-aged children, often after exposure to people from other countries with ongoing outbreaks, according to a report published in the Aug. 22 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Codeine Can Pose Extra Risk During Breast-Feeding
MONDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Codeine can present a threat to breast-fed infants, according to research published online Aug. 20 in Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics.
Damage to Unirradiated Parts of Body Can Cause Cancer
FRIDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Radiation damage can spread to unirradiated parts of the body and cause cancer in mice via a bystander effect that induces cellular damage and death, according to a report published online Aug. 18 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.
Media Send Mixed Messages to Teens About Smoking
THURSDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The media play a crucial role in either encouraging or discouraging young people to start smoking, according to a monograph presented by the National Cancer Institute.
Case Reports on Twins May Shed Light on Scoliosis
THURSDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis seems to be multifactorial and the role of physical activity remains controversial, according to an article published in the August issue of Spine.
Outlook Mixed on US Presidential Candidates' Health Plans
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The health care plans proposed by John McCain and Barack Obama would have uncertain effects on health care coverage in America, but potential problems with each plan are evident, according to a perspective piece in the Aug. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Adalimumab May Be Helpful in Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Adalimumab was associated with improved symptoms in children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, according to the results of a study published in the Aug. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Variables Seen in Cost Effectiveness of HPV Vaccine
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Optimizing the cost effectiveness of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination depends on several factors: the duration of vaccine immunity, achieving universal coverage in pre-adolescent girls, targeting catch-up vaccinations among young women and revising screening guidelines, according to a report published in the Aug. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Conformal Radiation Therapy Improves Cognitive Outcomes
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Among children with ependymoma, conformal radiation therapy leads to better long-term academic results compared to conventional radiation therapy approaches, according to a report in the Aug. 20 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Seniors Likely to Find Medicare Health Web Site Unusable
TUESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Even older adults with computer skills may have difficulty using the Medicare.gov Web site to determine eligibility for services and enroll in a drug plan, according to a research letter published in the Aug. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Adolescents Prefer Total Acne Clearance Strategy
TUESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescent acne patients prefer a treatment strategy that would offer 100 percent acne clearance without scarring, and would be willing to pay more money to achieve this outcome, according to a study published in the August issue of the Archives of Dermatology.
Local Care of Child Pneumonia Studied in Developing World
TUESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Allowing local health facilities in developing countries to treat children with severe pneumonia rather than referring them to hospitals results in better disease management and fewer deaths, according to a report published online Aug. 19 in The Lancet.
Sleep Quality Linked to Hypertension in Healthy Teens
MONDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Healthy adolescents with poor quality of sleep are more likely to have prehypertension, according to research published online Aug. 18 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.
Gender Differences Identified in Asthma Pathogenesis
MONDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Postpubertal females with asthma have more severe airway responsiveness compared with males and the responsiveness is associated with gender-specific factors, researchers report in the Aug. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Malaria Found in Refugees from Sub-Saharan Africa
MONDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Refugees recently arrived from sub-Saharan Africa may be infected with malaria, even if they received treatment before arriving in the United States, officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report in the Aug. 15 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Improved Oxygen Systems Effective in Childhood Pneumonia
MONDAY, Aug. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In developing countries, improved oxygen systems with pulse oximetry and oxygen concentrators can significantly reduce the death rate for children with pneumonia and are cost-effective compared to other public health interventions, according to a report published online Aug. 18 in The Lancet.
Dairy Intake Predicts Adolescent Bone Health
FRIDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Children with greater intakes of dairy products are likely to enjoy superior bone health in adolescence, according to a report published online Aug. 14 in the Journal of Pediatrics.
Low Birth Weight Linked to Salt Sensitivity in Children
FRIDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Low birth weight children and those born small for their gestational age are likely to be salt sensitive, according to study findings published online Aug. 11 in Hypertension.
Child's Coughing Can Lead to Many Doctor Visits
THURSDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Pediatric chronic cough was associated with repeated doctor visits and parental stress, though parental worries decreased when children ceased coughing, researchers report in the August issue of Chest.
Early Diagnosis Could Cut Bird Flu Deaths in Indonesia
THURSDAY, Aug. 14 (HealthDay News) -- About 80 percent of human cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza A (H5N1) confirmed in Indonesia between June 2005 and February 2008 were fatal, with early antiviral treatment improving the likelihood of survival, according to a report published online Aug. 14 in The Lancet.
Report on Infant Heart Transplants Sparks Debate
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- A Brief Report by Mark M. Boucek, M.D., and colleagues from the Denver Children's Hospital Pediatric Heart Transplant Team published in the Aug. 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine is the basis for an extended discussion of the ethics of organ procurement in three accompanying Perspective articles, an editorial, and an online roundtable discussion.
Childhood Clumsiness Linked to Adult Obesity
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Adults who become obese in their 30s are more likely to have been clumsy and have poor physical coordination as children, according to research published Aug. 12 in BMJ Online First.
Zimbabwe Health Care in Shambles Due to Atrocities
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The recent violence and human rights abuses in Zimbabwe have resulted in the breakdown of the country's health system, according to an editorial published online Aug. 12 in BMJ, which says the international medical community should condemn the atrocities, support human rights and help rebuild the country's health infrastructure.
School Program Offers Some Help to Violence-Affected Kids
TUESDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- After a school-based psychosocial intervention, children exposed to armed conflict had improvements in post-traumatic stress symptoms, but showed no significant changes in several other outcomes, according to research published Aug. 13 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Wars Create Two High-Risk Mental Health Populations
TUESDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Rates of post-traumatic stress disorder are high among two previously under-recognized groups -- former combatants who experienced sexual violence and former child soldiers, according to two studies published in the Aug. 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Payments Can Reduce Inequalities in Health Care
TUESDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Financial incentive schemes that pay general practices for their performance can help reduce inequalities in the delivery of health care between affluent and poor areas, according to a report published online Aug. 12 in The Lancet.
Stem Cells Isolated from Patients with Genetic Diseases
MONDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Stem cells can be produced from cells from patients with a variety of genetic disorders, allowing investigation into disease pathogenesis and drug development, according to research published online Aug. 7 in Cell.
Role of Homeoprotein Explored in Visual Plasticity in Mice
MONDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The homeoprotein Otx2 plays a role in postnatal maturation of parvalbumin (PV) cells and activates visual cortical plasticity in mice, according to research published in the Aug. 8 issue of Cell.
Children Face Higher Mortality After Febrile Seizures
FRIDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Children may face an increased risk of death in the two years following some febrile seizures, researchers report in the Aug. 9 issue of The Lancet.
Trial Participation for Newborns Raises Questions
FRIDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Although newborns deserve medical treatments based on clinical research, recruiting infants to more than one study carries important scientific and ethical implications, according to a commentary in the Aug. 9 issue of The Lancet.
Valganciclovir May Benefit Liver Transplant Patients
THURSDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- In pediatric liver transplant patients who are infected with Epstein-Barr virus, treatment with valganciclovir may help clear the virus and decrease the risk of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder, according to the results of a study published in the August issue of Liver Transplantation.
Physical Therapy May Prevent Deformational Plagiocephaly
THURSDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Among infants with positional preference, treatment with physical therapy may reduce the risk of developing severe deformational plagiocephaly, and in infants with deformational plagiocephaly, molding helmet therapy may be a more effective non-surgical intervention than repositioning therapy, according to two studies published in the August issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
Over 1 Billion U.S. Doctor, Hospital Visits Logged in 2006
THURSDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- In 2006, patients made an estimated 1.1 billion visits to physician offices and hospital emergency and outpatient departments in the United States, which was an average of four visits per person, according to health care statistics released Aug. 6 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
American Health Care System Needs New Direction
THURSDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Re-engineering the United States health care system for high performance will require fundamental change, according to reports released online Aug. 7 by The Commonwealth Fund.
Sedentary Behavior Common Among Immigrant Children
THURSDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Compared to children born in the United States, immigrant children are significantly more likely to be physically inactive and not participate in sports, according to an article published in the August issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.
Malaria Prevention Strategies Involve Multiple Factors
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- In short-term travelers, malaria prevention strategies vary according to the location of the trip and the travelers' medical history, according to a Clinical Practice article published in the Aug. 7 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Absence of Eye Contact Useful Autism Measure in Toddlers
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Autistic 2-year-olds make significantly less eye contact with approaching adults than their developmentally delayed but not autistic and typically developing counterparts, according to an article published in the August issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.
Parenting Affects Behavior of Early-Maturing Girls
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Positive parenting behaviors may help reduce the risk of delinquency and aggression in early-maturing girls, according to a report published in the August issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
More Data Needed on Blood Pressure in Children
TUESDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Ambulatory, rather than clinic blood pressure, is a more accurate measure of changes in blood pressure throughout the day, and more data are needed on blood pressure changes in children and young people, according to an American Heart Association scientific statement published online Aug. 4 in Hypertension.
Video Game Boosts Treatment Adherence in Kids with Cancer
TUESDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- A video-game intervention targeting adolescents and young adults with cancer improved treatment adherence, self-efficacy and knowledge, but did not impact self-reported measures of adherence, stress, control or quality of life, according to an article in the August issue of Pediatrics.
Infant Poisoning May Be Due to Over-the-Counter Drugs
TUESDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- A substantial number of children under 2 years of age presenting at the emergency department with an apparent life-threatening event have an abnormal toxicology screen positive for over-the-counter medications, according to an article in the August issue of Pediatrics.
Immunotherapy Holds Promise for Sarcomas
TUESDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Consolidative immunotherapy appears to be a low-toxicity treatment associated with favorable survival in patients with the Ewing's sarcoma family of tumors and alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, according to research published in the Aug. 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.
Resident Burnout Declines Following Duty Hour Standard
TUESDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- While resident burnout declined following implementation of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) standards, duty hour restrictions, total work or sleep hours, medical error rates and occupational injury rates did not significantly change, researchers report in the August issue of Pediatrics.
Teen Sex Risks Unchanged from 2005-2007
MONDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Though high school students reduced sexual risk behaviors between 1991 and 2007, the prevalence of such behaviors remained unchanged between 2005 and 2007, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in the Aug. 1 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Penicillin Prophylaxis During Labor May Not Need 4 Hours
FRIDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Four hours of intrapartum penicillin G prophylaxis may not be necessary in women positive for group B streptococci, according to research published in the August issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
International Issue of Torture Complicity Analyzed
FRIDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- More than 100 countries condone the use of torture and have often recruited the medical community as participants without consequence, according to an editorial published online July 31 in BMJ.
Cities Need Powers to Combat Alcohol and Tobacco Ads
FRIDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The 1999 Master Settlement Act, which outlawed tobacco advertising on billboards and transit furniture, and a voluntary pledge by outdoor advertisers not to advertise alcohol and tobacco within 500 feet of schools, playgrounds and churches are frequently flouted, according to study findings published online July 29 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Work Time Regulations Adversely Affect British Care
FRIDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The European Working Time Regulations -- which reduced the maximum working week to 56 hours in 2007, will further reduce it to 48 hours in 2009, and require a minimum of 11 hours rest in any 24-hour period -- have adversely affected clinical care, and the quality of life and training for junior medical staff in the United Kingdom, according to an editorial published online July 31 in BMJ.