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Category: Pediatrics | Monthly Briefing

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December 2009 Briefing - Pediatrics

Last Updated: January 01, 2010.

 

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

Precautions and Training Can Reduce Scalpel Injuries

THURSDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Although less common than needle-stick injuries, cuts from scalpels also put operating room personnel at risk and can be reduced by closely following safety precautions and taking advantage of new technology, according to a study in the December issue of the AORN Journal.

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Antidepressants Reduce Odds of Suicidal Teens' Readmission

THURSDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Suicidal adolescents who are prescribed an antidepressant medication on discharge from the hospital are far less likely to be readmitted than those who are not given the drug, but patients who leave with three or more drugs from different drug classes are more likely to end up back in the hospital, according to a retrospective cohort study published in the December issue of The Annals of Pharmacotherapy.

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H1N1 Transmissibility Similar to Other Flu Viruses

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The 2009 H1N1 influenza virus proved to be less transmissible within households than viruses that caused previous pandemics, according to a study published in the Dec. 31 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, while a second study of an outbreak in a school found that the natural history of the virus was similar to that of other flu viruses.

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Family Medical History Sharing With Adopters Debated

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- More specific adoption guidelines on the sharing of family medical history information with adoptive parents are needed to ensure the welfare of the adoptee and family medical record confidentiality, according to a study in the January issue of the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Ultrasound Detects Shoulder Dislocation After Birth Injury

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Ultrasound can be used to detect a posterior shoulder dislocation in infants 3 to 6 months old with a permanent brachial plexus birth injury (BPBI), according to a study in the January issue of Radiology.

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Maternal Occupation May Impact Risk for Birth Defects

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Certain occupations may be either positively or negatively associated with one or more birth defects, according to a large population-based case-control study in the January issue of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Affluent Children Examined

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiorespiratory fitness among 10-year-old children continues to decline at an alarming rate, mostly independent of changes in body mass index (BMI), at least in girls, according to a study in the January issue of the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Flu-Related School Closures Have Big Impact on Families

TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Almost one-third of parents whose children's schools close due to an outbreak of influenza have to take time off work to provide child care, but the vast majority of parents still support the decision to close, according to a report published in the Dec. 25 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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2009 H1N1 Took High Toll on Pregnant Women, Children

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic took a high toll on pregnant or recently-pregnant women and on children, according to a pair of studies from California and Argentina published online Dec. 23 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Novel Gene Linked to Early-Onset Asthma in Children

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have identified a novel gene linked to early-onset asthma, with different alleles causing the predisposition in children of European and African descent, according to a study published online Dec. 23 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Drug Treatments Compared in Bipolar Disorder

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Bipolar disorder patients are less likely to have a relapse if they take lithium monotherapy or lithium combined with valproate than if they take valproate alone, but there is no evidence to support the use of combination therapy over lithium alone, according to a study published online Dec. 23 in The Lancet.

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Health Impact of Body Mass Index May Be Misleading

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The adverse impact of low body mass index (BMI) on risk of respiratory disease and lung cancer mortality may be overstated, while the negative impact of high BMI on cardiovascular disease mortality may be underestimated, according to a study published online Dec. 22 in BMJ.

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Uric Acid Concentrations May Affect Pregnancy Outcomes

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- In normotensive pregnant women, high uric acid concentrations in mid-pregnancy are associated with insulin resistance and lower birth weights, according to a study in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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H1N1 Flu Waning, but Many Vaccine Doses Unused

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Although the number of cases of people infected with H1N1 influenza continues to decline and the vaccine supply is now plentiful, not enough people have been inoculated, a top U.S. health official said during a Dec. 22 press briefing held by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Severe H1N1 Infection Linked to Elevated Cytokine Levels

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitalized patients with severe novel H1N1 virus (nvH1N1) infection at 10 Spanish hospitals had high levels of the Th17 and Th1 cytokines, indicating either a robust immune response to the infection or an over-response similar to that found in autoimmune diseases, according to research published online Dec. 11 in Critical Care.

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Surveillance Can Reduce Treatment in Mild Hip Dysplasia

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- In infants with mildly dysplastic hips, active surveillance for six weeks, as opposed to immediate abduction splinting can reduce the need for treatment yet lead to similar results at 1 year of age, according to research published online Dec. 21 in Pediatrics.

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Policy Statement Addresses Child Abuse, Neglect Issues

MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Pediatricians should be aware of their legal rights and responsibilities when child abuse or neglect is suspected in a clinical setting, according to an American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement published online Dec. 21 in Pediatrics.

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Single H1N1 Vaccine Dose Likely Safe and Effective

MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- A single dose of influenza A(H1N1) vaccination is effective and safe in infants and children 6 months to less than 9 years of age, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Prenatal Aspirin Not Linked to Adverse Infant Outcomes

MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Among infants born preterm, low-dose aspirin (LDA) during pregnancy is not associated with fetal or infant deaths, infant cerebral damage, or brain development disorders, according to research published online Dec. 21 in Pediatrics.

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Surgical Approach May Affect Lung Function in Scoliosis

MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- In adolescents with scoliosis who undergo surgery, thoracotomy and thoracoscopy are associated with declines in lung function, while thoracoabdominal surgery has no significant effect, according to a study in the December issue of the Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques.

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Parents Not Stressed by Child's Genetic Risk for Diabetes

MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Parents of children with diabetes-associated autoantibodies did not report an increased level of stress until there was an actual diabetes diagnosis, according to a study in the December issue of Diabetes Care.

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Many Support Screening Newborns for More Disorders

MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Most prospective Dutch parents favor adding childhood-onset disorders to the national newborn screening program even if they're untreatable, according to research published online Dec. 21 in Pediatrics.

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Cost of Treatment for Heart Disease and Stroke Increasing

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The estimated cost of treatment for cardiovascular disease and stroke in the United States in 2010 is estimated to be $503.2 billion, a 5.8 percent increase over the previous year, according to the American Heart Association's Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics -- 2010 Update, published online Dec. 17 in Circulation.

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Autism Spectrum Disorder Prevalence Increases

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Improved documentation and identification of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) may have contributed to a rise in prevalence from 2002 to 2006, but an increased risk of developing an ASD should not be discounted, according to a surveillance summary published Dec. 18 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Twins' Academic Success and Classroom Situation Studied

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- In twin children, sharing or not sharing classrooms during primary school years does not affect academic achievement, according to a study in the January issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

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Stroke Education Program Improves Student Knowledge

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- A stroke education program for middle-school students in a largely Hispanic population, which has a higher incidence of stroke than other groups, improves knowledge of stroke signs and treatment, according to a study published online in Health Promotion Practice.

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Gene Variants Linked to High Fasting Glucose Levels

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The presence of certain gene variants controlling fasting levels of glucose can help identify children at risk for hyperglycemia with the risk increasing the more variants they have, according to a study in the December issue of Diabetes.

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Information Offered on Effect of H1N1 Vaccine Schedules

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- A single 15-µg dose of vaccine provides H1N1 influenza protection in most individuals, though another dose can boost immune response in children and the elderly, according to the results of two studies in the Dec. 17 New England Journal of Medicine.

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Club Participation Is Healthy for Most Adolescents

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- In adolescents, participation in formal clubs is associated with positive health behavior and should be prompted, according to a study in the January issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

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Non-Safety, Voluntary Recall of H1N1 Flu Vaccine Issued

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Approximately 800,000 pediatric doses of H1N1 influenza vaccine have been recalled by the manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur, because of reduced potency, according to information provided Dec. 15 by federal officials.

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Cystic Fibrosis Testing in Italy Linked to Lower Incidence

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Widespread availability of carrier testing for cystic fibrosis in an Italian region was associated with a decline in birth rates of infants with the condition, according to research published in the Dec. 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Tainted Teething Medication Killed 54 Nigerian Children

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Fifty-four Nigerian infants and toddlers died as a result of ingesting diethylene glycol contained in an acetaminophen-based teething medication, according to a study published in the Dec. 11 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Rome II Criteria Beneficial for Gastrointestinal Disorders

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Family pediatricians can properly diagnose and manage functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) using the so-called Rome II criteria, according to research published online Dec. 14 in Pediatrics.

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Emergency Room Reliance Examined in Adolescents

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Emergency department reliance (EDR), the percentage of health care visits occurring in the emergency department (ED), may provide information on whether children who are frequent ED users lack sufficient access to primary care, according to research published online Dec. 14 in Pediatrics.

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Milk Thistle Could Be Useful During Leukemia Treatment

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The use of the herb milk thistle may reduce liver toxicity in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia undergoing chemotherapy, according to research published online Dec. 14 in Cancer.

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Physicians Aware of Choking Game; Few Treat in Practice

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly two-thirds of physicians surveyed were aware of the choking game, an activity typically played by children and teenagers that has been linked to numerous fatalities in recent years, but a small percentage discussed it with adolescent patients, according to research published online Dec. 14 in Pediatrics.

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Weight Loss and Exercise Can Improve Cardiac Function

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Exercise and losing weight improves cardiac function at any age, but some of those benefits can be lost when weight is regained, according to a pair of studies in the Dec. 15/22 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Abstract- Farpour-Lambert
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Part-Time Work Increasingly Common for Pediatricians

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Pediatricians are increasingly working part time, a trend which may keep experienced pediatricians in active practice longer, according to a pair of studies published online Dec. 14 in Pediatrics.

Abstract - Cull
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Lower Speed Limit Reduces Casualties in London

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In London, the introduction of 20 mph speed zones has significantly reduced road injuries and deaths, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in BMJ.

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H1N1 Mortality Found to Be Unexpectedly Low in England

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In England, mortality from the H1N1 pandemic is lower than expected, but disease patterns suggest that the vaccination program should be extended beyond high-risk groups, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in BMJ.

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CDC: 15 Percent of Americans Have Had H1N1 Flu

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- H1N1 has sickened nearly 50 million Americans -- which is one in six people -- and killed almost 10,000, mostly children and young adults, a federal health official said in a Dec. 10 press briefing.

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Patients Often Lack Knowledge of Their Own Medications

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Patients routinely under-report, or even over-report, their outpatient and inpatient medications, and should be included in hospital medication management to improve safety, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

Abstract
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Pandemic Flu Could Lead to Shortages in Blood Supply

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Preparation for an influenza pandemic should include evaluating how the event could affect a nation's blood supply, since shortages could have potentially fatal outcomes, according to research published online Dec. 9 in Transfusion.

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Healthy Changes Linked to Weight Loss in Adolescents

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Overweight adolescents who shed pounds appear more likely to use healthy weight control behaviors than their counterparts who don't lose weight, according to research published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Abstract
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Most Early Cases of H1N1 Across China Were Mild

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Most cases of H1N1 influenza seen in China during the early summer were mild, and initiating oseltamivir within 48 hours of symptom onset could reduce the duration of viral shedding, according to research published online Dec. 9 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Daytime Incontinence Linked to Nighttime Bedwetting

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Children are at increased risk of nocturnal incontinence if they also experience encopresis or daytime incontinence, according to a study published in the December issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Internet-Addicted Teens More Likely to Harm Themselves

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents who are addicted to the Internet may be more likely to harm themselves as compared to their counterparts without Internet addiction, according to a study in the December issue of Injury Prevention.

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Urine Test May Help Detect Sleep Apnea in Children

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Concentrations of certain proteins and protein combinations in the urine of children may be useful in the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), according to a study in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Abstract
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Distribution of Pediatric Subspecialists Still Uneven

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- There was an increase in the number of pediatric subspecialists from 2003 to 2006, but this did not lead to significant improvements in the distribution of subspecialists across hospital referral regions in the short term, according to a study in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Bruising Pattern Can Predict Likelihood of Child Abuse

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Bruising characteristics based on age can be used to predict whether a child's injuries are likely to be due to physical abuse or an accident, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in Pediatrics.

Abstract
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Crucial Pediatric Drug Trial Safety Data Often Ignored

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Important safety data from pediatric drug trials often go unpublished, and articles that are published do not focus on adverse events and labeling changes, according to a study in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Prenatal Microbe Exposure Protects Against Asthma

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Prenatal exposure to environmental microbes protects the offspring from developing asthma, supporting the "hygiene hypothesis," or the idea that the increasing prevalence of allergies and asthma is due to decreasing exposure to environmental microbes, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Abstract
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Most Head Start Programs Outperforming Federal Targets

MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- School-based obesity prevention interventions conducted under the Head Start program are exceeding federal performance targets in terms of healthy eating and gross motor activity, according to a study published in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Abstract
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Physicians Found to Have Fair Knowledge of Food Allergies

MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians have fair knowledge of food allergies, but there is room for improvement, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in Pediatrics, while another study in the same issue found that late introduction of solid food may increase the risk of developing allergies.

Abstract - Gupta
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Children's Sexual Debut Often Precedes Parental Discussion

MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Parents do discuss sexual matters with their children, but topics such as birth control and partner condom refusal are often brought up after the child's sexual debut, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in Pediatrics.

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Study Calls Coverage of Antidepressants Insufficient

MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The news media often failed to convey important health messages regarding pediatric antidepressants after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned of an increased suicidality risk in children taking the drugs, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in Pediatrics.

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Low X-Ray Radiation Exposure Found in Neonates

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Among a group of very low-birth-weight infants treated in a neonatal intensive care unit, radiation exposure from conventional radiographs was low compared to yearly natural background radiation, according to research published in the December issue of Pediatrics.

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Shingles Incidence Following Varicella Vaccination Low

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of shingles (herpes zoster) resulting from the reactivation of the latent varicella-zoster virus following vaccination for chicken pox is very low, but the risk may be higher for children with asthma or those vaccinated later, according to a study in the December issue of Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.

Abstract
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Research Finds Exercise Helps Men With Prostate Cancer

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- An exercise program improves muscle mass and strength, function, and well-being in men with prostate cancer undergoing androgen suppression treatment, according to a study published online Nov. 30 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. In another study published at the same time in the same journal, researchers identify risk factors for impaired fertility in male survivors of childhood cancers.

Abstract - Galvao
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Abstract - Green
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Passive Smoking May Increase Risk of Breast, Lung Cancer

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In nonsmokers, exposure to secondhand smoke is associated with a modestly increased risk of breast cancer and a significantly increased risk of lung cancer, according to two studies published in the December Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Abstract - Reynolds
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Study Tracks Prevalence of Down Syndrome in America

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In several regions across the country, one in 971 children and adolescents had Down syndrome in 2002, according to research assessing the prevalence of the condition published in the December issue of Pediatrics.

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Insect Repellent Associated With Hypospadias Risk

FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The use of insect repellent during the first trimester of pregnancy may be associated with a higher risk of hypospadias in infants, according to research published online Dec. 1 in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Abstract
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HPV Vaccine Can Maintain Effectiveness Beyond Six Years

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline (Cervarix) provides protection beyond six years from infection by HPV-16 and HPV-18, the HPV types most commonly associated with cervical cancer, according to a study published online on Dec. 3 in The Lancet.

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Vitamin D Use Low in Primarily Breast-Fed Babies

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Relatively few infants who were mostly breast-fed for at least six months were given supplemental vitamin D, contrary to American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations, according to research published online Nov. 30 in Pediatrics.

Abstract
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Childhood Stroke Mortality Affects Boys More Than Girls

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Childhood stroke mortality disproportionately affects boys more than girls, and rates have plateaued since the 1980s, according to a study published online Dec. 1 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Abstract
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Ecstasy Identified as Risk Factor for Sleep Apnea

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The use of MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, is associated with a higher risk of sleep apnea in young adults, according to research published online Dec. 2 in Neurology.

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Increased Obesity Outweighs Gains of Decreased Smoking

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In terms of life expectancy, the positive effects of decreasing smoking are increasingly outweighed by the adverse consequences of escalating obesity, according to a study in the Dec. 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Abstract
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Mutation Classes Linked to Cystic Fibrosis Outcomes

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In cystic fibrosis patients, the classification of severity of mutations that is applied to the pancreas may also help predict pulmonary outcomes, according to research published in the December issue of Radiology.

Abstract
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More Preterm Births in Lower Socioeconomic Areas

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- English women living in areas of reduced socioeconomic status are more likely to give birth prematurely compared to their higher-status counterparts, but survival rates and neonatal care are similar across different socioeconomic groups, indicating equity of access to neonatal health services, according to a study published online Dec. 2 in BMJ.

Abstract
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Cardiovascular Effects of Type 1 Diabetes in Youth Studied

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents with type 1 diabetes (T1D) but normal weight, body composition, and serum lipid profile may still have insulin resistance (IR) and impaired cardiovascular function, traits usually associated with type 2 diabetes and obesity, according to a study published online Nov. 13 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Abstract
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H1N1 Influenza Rates Drop in Many States

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- H1N1 influenza rates are declining across the United States, but many experts say there will probably be another surge this winter, a federal health official announced Dec. 2.

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Women Researchers Lag Behind Men in Grant Awards

TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Female physicians with a proven interest in research are less likely to receive prestigious research grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) than are male physicians, according to a study in the Dec. 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Sugar and Skin Contact May Be Best Painkiller for Babies

TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Newborns given a combination of 25 percent oral dextrose solution and skin-to-skin contact feel less pain during hepatitis B vaccination than if they are given either pain relief method on its own, according to a study in the December issue of Pediatrics.

Abstract
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