EPA sets new limit for ground-level ozone | CDC: 70% of teens who use tobacco have tried flavored products | Study links genetic variations with reduced risk of malaria
October 2, 2015
AAP SmartBrief
News for pediatricians and other child health professionals

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EPA sets new limit for ground-level ozone
A new standard for the amount of allowed ground-level ozone, now set at 70 parts per billion from the previous level of 75 ppb set in 2008, was released Thursday by the Environmental Protection Agency. The agency said the reduction will prevent 320,000 childhood asthma attacks per year, but some health experts say it isn't enough. The AAP has called for a limit of 60 ppb to protect children's health, especially those with asthma. Reuters (10/1)
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CDC: 70% of teens who use tobacco have tried flavored products
Researchers said the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey showed that 7 in 10 middle- and high-school students who smoked tobacco within the last month have tried at least one flavored tobacco product. The report in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found 63% of middle- and high-school students smoked flavored e-cigarettes, nearly 63% tried a flavored cigar, almost 61% used flavored water pipe tobacco and about 59% tried flavored smokeless tobacco. HealthDay News (9/30)
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Pediatric Health Care
Study links genetic variations with reduced risk of malaria
Researchers with the Wellcome Trust's Sanger Institute and Center for Human Genetics found that genetic variations near the genes that code for glycophorin proteins were associated with up to 40% reductions in risk for severe malaria. The study team analyzed the DNA of about 25,000 African children, 5,633 of whom had severe malaria. The findings were reported in the journal Nature. Reuters (9/30)
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Study examines level of radionuclides in infant formulas
An analysis of 14 types of infant formula across the world showed Lactogen, a brand from the Philippines, had the lowest level of radionuclides, while Singapore's SMA Gold had the highest level, Malaysian researchers reported in Environmental Engineering Science. The findings revealed the radionuclide levels were "significantly higher" than expected for formula doses given to infants younger than 1, but lower than for those between 1 and 2, and were lower than the acceptable levels of radionuclides in formulas recommended by the World Health Organization. United Press International (10/1)
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Secondhand smoke exposure may raise risk of behavioral problems in youths
French researchers found early exposure to secondhand smoke puts children at a higher risk of behavioral problems, especially emotional and conduct disorders, with the strongest association observed among those who had secondhand smoke exposure both while in the womb and after birth. The findings in the journal PLOS One were based on data from more than 5,200 students in France. HealthDay News (10/1)
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Study: Students' veggie consumption may be affected by entrees
2011 Gruene Woche Agricultural Trade Fair
(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Food pairings can affect whether students are more -- or less -- likely to eat their vegetables, assert researchers at Texas A&M University. Researchers who studied food waste found that students eat more of their veggies when different, less-enticing entrees, are on their plates. The findings were published in the journal Food and Nutrition Sciences. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (9/29)
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Trends & Technology
Business managers, docs have opposing views on ICD-10 transition
Recent surveys show that doctors and business managers have different views on whether the ICD-10 transition will affect practices' revenues and cash flows. A SERMO survey found that 93% of doctors believe the new coding system will cause payment delays in the coming weeks, and 91% agreed that payment delays will still be experienced after the Medicare payment accommodation period. On the other hand, RelayHealth Financial surveys indicate that only 8% of revenue cycle and business managers agree that ICD-10 will cause payment delays. Health Data Management (9/30)
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Health Policy & Regulations
CMS asks physicians to weigh in on new Medicare reimbursement plan
The CMS issued a request for information, asking physicians to weigh in on whether Medicare reimbursement should be linked partly to accepting new Medicaid patients or to participating in health plans offered through Affordable Care Act exchanges. The CMS is developing a Merit-Based Incentive Payment System to replace the sustainable growth rate formula. Medscape (free registration) (9/30)
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HHS hopes to boost insured rate in Northern N.J.
Northern New Jersey is one of five areas in which HHS wants to increase health insurance enrollment when the Affordable Care Act sign-up period opens Nov. 1. Many of the nation's remaining uninsured are young, have low incomes and are ethnic minorities, says HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell. North Jersey has a diverse population and received relatively little financial assistance for enrollment efforts, local groups say. NJSpotlight.com (New Jersey) (10/1)
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The Last Word - News from the AAP
Encourage positive parent-child relationships
Essentials for Parenting Toddlers and Preschoolers” is a free, online resource developed by the CDC to help parents learn skills that form the foundation of a positive parent-child relationship. Skills focus on encouraging good behavior, while decreasing misbehavior using proven strategies.
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Resources on e-cigarettes now available
The AAP Julius B. Richmond Center, dedicated to the elimination of tobacco and secondhand smoke, has created a webpage with resources for pediatricians about electronic nicotine delivery systems, or e-cigarettes. Included on this page are fact sheets, presentations, and information about the AAP’s actions on these products.
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He who rejects change is the architect of decay."
-- Harold Wilson,
former UK prime minister
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This news roundup is provided as a timely update to AAP members and other health professionals about child health topics in the media. Links to articles are provided for the convenience of pediatricians who may find them of use in discussions with patients or colleagues.
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