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Category: Pediatrics | Monthly Briefing

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March 2009 Briefing - Pediatrics

Last Updated: April 01, 2009.

 

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pediatrics for March 2009. 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.

Safe Practice Scores Do Not Add Up to Fewer Patient Deaths

TUESDAY, March 31 (HealthDay News) -- In hospitals, higher self-reported scores for improvements in safe practices do not correlate with reduced mortality rates, researchers report in the April 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Late Preterm Birth May Increase Developmental Risks

TUESDAY, March 31 (HealthDay News) -- Late preterm infants have an increased risk of development disability compared with healthy full-term infants and should be monitored for early intervention if problems arise, according to a study in the April issue of the journal Pediatrics.

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Early Weight Gain May Predict Childhood Obesity

TUESDAY, March 31 (HealthDay News) -- The rate of weight gain in the first six months of life can indicate childhood obesity, but one simple and effective intervention may be to encourage children to drink more water, according to two studies published in the April issue of the journal Pediatrics.

Abstract - Taveras
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Abstract - Muckelbauer
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Home Life and Popular Culture Pose Smoking Risk to Children

TUESDAY, March 31 (HealthDay News) -- Smoking remains a serious health risk for children, who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home and then influenced to take it up themselves by its depiction in popular movies, according to two studies published in the April issue of the journal Pediatrics.

Abstract - King
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Abstract - Dalton
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Children's Lung Function Linked to Genetic Variants

MONDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- In children, variants in GST mu genes are associated with decreased lung capacity and small airway flow, according to a study published in the April 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Early-Pregnancy Smoking Cessation Beneficial

FRIDAY, March 27 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women who stop smoking before 15 weeks' gestation can reduce their risk of spontaneous preterm birth and small-for-gestational-age infants to the same level of pregnant non-smokers, according to research published online March 26 in BMJ.

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Family Meals Help Teens Develop Healthy Eating Habits

THURSDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) -- Family mealtimes in adolescence are associated with healthful eating habits later in life, according to research published in the March issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

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Report Calls for Separate US Food Safety Agency

THURSDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) -- A dedicated agency for food safety is needed to combat food-related health threats, according to a report, Keeping America's Food Safe, produced by Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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Circumcision Lowers Risk of Sexually Transmitted Disease

WEDNESDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- In a study of Ugandan men, circumcision reduced both the incidence of herpes simplex virus (HSV-2) and the prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV), two co-factors in HIV/AIDs, according to a report in the March 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Cost Barriers Slow Adoption of Electronic Health Records

WEDNESDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- Citing cost barriers, relatively few U.S. hospitals have adopted electronic health records, posing a major obstacle for policy makers who say health information technology is critical to the improvement of health care quality and cost-effectiveness, according to an article published online March 25 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Childhood Soy Intake May Help Prevent Breast Cancer

WEDNESDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- In Asian American women, high soy intake during childhood is associated with a significantly decreased breast cancer risk in adulthood, according to the results of a study published online March 24 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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Light Eating During Labor Not Linked to Adverse Effects

WEDNESDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- In selected patients, consumption of a light diet during labor has no effect on obstetric or neonatal outcomes and is not associated with an increased incidence of vomiting, according to research published online March 24 in BMJ.

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Genetic Heart Disease Often Deadly for Children

TUESDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- A genetic cardiomyopathy that strikes children is associated with serious heart dysfunction and often death, according to a report in the March 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Pediatric Anesthesia Linked to Learning Disability Risk

TUESDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- Multiple early exposures to anesthesia may be an important risk factor for developing learning disabilities later in childhood, researchers report in the April issue of Anesthesiology.

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Vitamin D Insufficiency Increasing in United States

TUESDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- About three out of four American adolescents and adults currently have insufficient levels of vitamin D, though oral vitamin D supplementation is effective in preventing fractures among older adults, according to two studies published in the March 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Abstract - Ginde
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Abstract - Bischoff-Ferrari
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Shift Away From Sweet Tooth May Signal End to Growth

MONDAY, March 23 (HealthDay News) -- Growth markers are lower in adolescents who express a preference for less-sweet drinks, which may indicate that reduced preference for sugar signals an end to growth, according to a study published in the March 23 issue of Physiology & Behavior.

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Proteinuria Varies in Pediatric Chronic Kidney Disease

MONDAY, March 23 (HealthDay News) -- In children with mild to moderate chronic kidney disease, proteinuria may be associated with disease cause and race, according to study findings published online March 18 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Early Television Exposure Linked to Childhood Asthma

FRIDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) -- In early childhood, increased television viewing is associated with a higher risk of developing asthma in later childhood, according to the results of a study published online March 13 in Thorax.

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Neck Injuries Common in Pediatric Homicide Victims

THURSDAY, March 19 (HealthDay News) -- Infants who die after abusive head injuries often have neck injuries, although these injuries appear to be only a contributing factor to most brain lesions associated with abusive head trauma, researchers report in the March issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics.

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Catheterization, Surgery Compared for Infant Heart Defect

THURSDAY, March 19 (HealthDay News) -- The transcatheter implantation of the Amplatzer duct occluder in infants to correct the congenital heart defect known as patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is as effective as heart surgery with less risk of infection, a shorter hospital stay and less cost, according to a report in the March 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Premature Births Costly to American Businesses

THURSDAY, March 19 (HealthDay News) -- Employer health plans spend more than 10 times as much money to care for babies born prematurely to their employees as they do for healthy, full-term babies, according to a report issued March 17 by the March of Dimes Foundation.

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DiGeorge Case Offers Example of Genetic Compensation

WEDNESDAY, March 18 (HealthDay News) -- Cytogenetic studies of the family of a child with DiGeorge syndrome highlights a case of genetic compensation, according to a report published in the March 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Cytomegalovirus Vaccine Shows Promise in Women

WEDNESDAY, March 18 (HealthDay News) -- A vaccine against cytomegalovirus (CMV) had a 50 percent efficacy in women of childbearing age, researchers report in the March 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Guideline Aids Decision on Surgery for Birth Injury

WEDNESDAY, March 18 (HealthDay News) -- A newly developed guideline may help determine which infants with obstetrical brachial plexus injury (OBPI) would benefit from surgery, according to a study in the March issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics.

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Periodontal Disease Treatments Lower Birth Risks

MONDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- Treating pregnant women for periodontal disease lowers their risk for a preterm birth or a low birth weight infant, according to a meta-analysis of previous studies published in the March issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Preterm Babies at High Risk for Learning Problems

MONDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- Babies born at 25 weeks' gestation or less are at high risk for learning difficulties in childhood, and the majority require some form of special educational support, according to a study published online March 12 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood - Fetal and Neonatal Edition.

Abstract
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Drug Errors Widespread in Intensive Care Units

FRIDAY, Mar. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Errors in giving parenteral medications appear to be common in intensive care units around the world, according to research published online Mar. 12 in BMJ.

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Specialist Nurses Help Grieving Parents Agree to Autopsy

FRIDAY, Mar. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Bereaved parents are more likely to consent to a request for post-mortem imaging for research purposes if they are approached by a specially trained nurse with experience in family and bereavement counseling, according to a study published online Mar. 12 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Probable Carcinogen Found in Many Children's Bath Products

FRIDAY, Mar. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Many children's bath products may contain formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, both of which are probable carcinogens, according to a report released Mar. 12 by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a coalition of organizations that calls for the removal of certain chemicals from personal care products.

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Older Fathers Linked to Lower Intelligence in Offspring

THURSDAY, Mar. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Children of older fathers are more likely to have subtle neurocognitive problems, while children of older women are more likely to have superior neurocognitive abilities, researchers report in the March issue of PLoS Medicine.

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Children, Teens Most Likely to Survive Cardiac Arrest

TUESDAY, Mar. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in infants approaches that of adults, is less frequent in children and adolescents, and children and adolescents are twice as likely to survive to discharge, according to research published online Mar. 9 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Young Males Drink More When Alcohol Portrayed in Media

FRIDAY, Mar. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Watching a movie or commercials portraying alcohol use leads to higher total alcohol consumption among young men, according to research published online Mar. 4 in Alcohol and Alcoholism.

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Transdermal Patches Pose Burn Risk During Scans

FRIDAY, Mar. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning about the risk of burns as a result of wearing medicated patches, such as those used for smoking cessation or pain relief, during MRI scans.

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Black Neighborhoods Have Fewer Healthy Food Options

THURSDAY, Mar. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Areas of Baltimore with a predominantly black or lower-income population have fewer healthy foods available than white and higher-income areas, according to two studies, one published in the December 2008 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine and the other in the March issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Abstract - American Journal of Preventive Medicine
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Abstract - American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
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Alcohol-Themed Merchandise Affects Kids' Drinking Habits

THURSDAY, Mar. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Non-drinking adolescents who own alcohol-branded merchandise such as hats and T-shirts may be more likely to start drinking, according to a report published in the March issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Obama Wants to Spend $630 Billion on Health Care Reform

THURSDAY, Mar. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Achieving health care reform is one of President Barack Obama's major challenges, and his newly released spending plan calls on Congress to commit $630 billion over the next decade to finance that reform, according to an article published online Mar. 4 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Short Gaps in Health Coverage Can Affect Children

WEDNESDAY, Mar. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Even short periods without health insurance can reduce young children's health care access and utilization, according to research published in the March issue of Pediatrics.

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Parent's Bipolar Disorder, Offspring's Mental Illness Linked

WEDNESDAY, Mar. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Children of patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder are at greater risk of developing psychiatric disorders, especially early-onset bipolar disorder, according to research published in the March issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Suicide Risk Greater Following Post-Traumatic Stress

WEDNESDAY, Mar. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a traumatic event in childhood can independently predict attempted suicide risk, although trauma alone cannot, according to research presented in the March issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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High Recurrence in Native American Infants with Clubfoot

WEDNESDAY, Mar. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Native American infants with clubfoot living in rural areas and treated by the non-surgical Ponseti method are at high risk of recurrence due to low compliance with the bracing protocol, according to a report in the March issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Abstract
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Teens' Lipid Levels Predict Atherosclerosis in Adulthood

WEDNESDAY, Mar. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents who have abnormal lipid levels are at higher risk of developing preclinical atherosclerosis as adults, regardless of the lipid cutoffs used by two classification systems, researchers report in the Mar. 10 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Abstract
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Adolescents at Risk for Vitamin D Deficiency

WEDNESDAY, Mar. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A substantial proportion of adolescents, especially non-Hispanic blacks and females, are deficient in vitamin D, according to a report published in the March issue of Pediatrics.

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Alcohol Abuse Raises Risk for Depression, Not Vice Versa

WEDNESDAY, Mar. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Alcohol abuse/dependence leads to increased risk of major depression instead of vice versa, answering a much debated question regarding the link between these two events, according to research published in the March issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Abstract
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Early Impulsivity May Predict Future Gambling

TUESDAY, Mar. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Impulsive kindergartners may be more likely to become regular gamblers by sixth grade, according to research published in the March issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Abstract
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Infant Television Time Not Linked to Cognition at Age 3

TUESDAY, Mar. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Television viewing during infancy does not influence cognition in children at age 3, and restrictive labels only increase the attractiveness of video games to children, according to two studies published in the March issue of Pediatrics.

Abstract - Evans Schmidt
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Abstract - Nije Bijvank
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Physicians Urged to Implement Nutritional Guidelines

TUESDAY, Mar. 3 (HealthDay News) -- To reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, physicians should learn behavior change and motivational interviewing strategies aimed at changing eating habits in children and adults, according to a Scientific Statement published in the Mar. 3 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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MET Gene Variant Linked to Autism, GI Disorders

TUESDAY, Mar. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Alterations of the MET gene, encoding an enzyme involved in brain development and gastrointestinal repair, may be associated with an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder with associated gastrointestinal dysfunction, according to research published in the March issue of Pediatrics.

Abstract
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Swim Lessons Variably Affect Children's Drowning Risk

TUESDAY, Mar. 3 (HealthDay News) -- In very young children -- but not in older children -- formal swimming lessons may significantly reduce the risk of drowning, according to study findings published in the March issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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US Motor Vehicle-Related Death Rates Vary Geographically

MONDAY, Mar. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Although the mortality rate related to motor vehicles remained almost unchanged from 1999 to 2005 in the United States, on closer inspection the data reveals wide variations from state to state, as well as by gender and ethnicity, according to a report published in the Feb. 27 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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IFRD1 Gene Linked to Severity of Cystic Fibrosis

MONDAY, Mar. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The IFRD1 gene appears to play a role in the severity of cystic fibrosis lung disease through its influence on neutrophil effector function, according to research published online Feb. 25 in the journal Nature.

Abstract
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Trio of Studies Shed Light on Pediatric Asthma Issues

MONDAY, Mar. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Children with asthma have fewer symptoms when their exposure to air pollution is reduced, while antibiotic use is associated with an exacerbation of symptoms, according to two studies published in the March issue of Pediatrics. A third study found that pertussis vaccination is not associated with increased risk of asthma.

Abstract - Renzetti
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Abstract - Marra
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Abstract - Spycher
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Nonionic IV Contrast Material Safe for Children

MONDAY, Mar. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In the pediatric population, the administration of nonionic intravenous contrast material (ioversol) is safe and only rarely is associated with adverse reactions, according to research published in the March issue of Radiology.

Abstract
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