More teens report use of synthetic growth hormones | Study: 30% of children incorrectly gauge their weight | Asperger's, autism linked to higher obesity risk
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July 24, 2014
AAP SmartBrief
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More teens report use of synthetic growth hormones
From 2012 to 2013, the number of teens in grades 9 through 12 who reported using synthetic growth hormones at least once without a prescription jumped to 11% from 5%, according to a report released by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. Black and Hispanic teens were more likely to use such hormones than whites. Reuters (7/23), CBS News (7/23)
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Study: 30% of children incorrectly gauge their weight
A report from the National Center for Health Statistics says about 30% of children ages 8 to 15 had incorrect perceptions about their weight, with 42% of those who were obese and 76% of those who were overweight indicating they were at the right weight level. USA Today (7/23)
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Using Oximetry to Detect CCHD—ABP MOC Part 2 Approved
For years, oximetry has been used for diagnostic purposes, but now it is utilized effectively as a newborn screening tool for critical congenital heart disease (CCHD). Earn 10 ABP approved MOC Part 2 points for completing the online module focused on understanding the CCHD screening requirements, process and interpreting screening results. Learn More.
Pediatric Health Care
Asperger's, autism linked to higher obesity risk
Medical records of more than 6,600 2- to 20-year-olds showed higher obesity rates among those with autism and Asperger's syndrome compared with typically developing peers. Children with these conditions were also more likely to be overweight, according to the study in the journal Academic Pediatrics. Disability Scoop (7/23)
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Thousands of gene variants may play role in puberty timing
U.K. researchers looked at data on more than 180,000 women and found over 100 regions of the genome that were linked to the timing of menarche. The findings, which researchers hope will aid in understanding the biology behind diseases such as type 2 diabetes and breast cancer, were published in the journal Nature. HealthDay News (7/23)
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Infants can recognize nursery rhymes while in the womb
A study in Infant Behavior & Development showed that fetuses appeared to remember nursery rhymes that were recited to them between 28 and 34 weeks of pregnancy. The heart rates of babies in utero slowed down when played a familiar rhythm four weeks later, indicating recall. NBC News (7/23)
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Trends & Technology
Recertification rules will add to health care provider shortage, physicians warn
New requirements that specialists complete maintenance of certification programs every two to three years, in addition to retaking board certification exams every 10 years, will force competent physicians out of practice, critics say. More than 17,000 doctors have signed an online petition to eliminate the new requirements. Supporters say the requirements ensure that doctors are up-to-date on advances in their fields. Kaiser Health News (7/21), The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (7/21)
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Survey: 31% of parents say their obese child is healthy
A survey of parents whose children were enrolled at an obesity clinic says 31.4% believed their child's health was excellent or very good and 28% did not see being overweight as a health problem. The study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says parents were more likely to support dietary changes for their child over getting an hour per day of physical activity. Science World Report (7/21)
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Health Policy & Regulations
More than 10M Americans gain coverage under ACA
Following the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act last year, approximately 10.3 million Americans gained health care coverage, according to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine. The uninsured rate dropped from 21% prior to the first open enrollment period for insurance plans to 16.3% in April. The number of those finding coverage was particularly higher in states with expanded Medicaid as well as for Hispanics, blacks and young adults. The Hill (7/23), Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (7/23)
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The Last Word - News from the AAP
AAP advocates for albuterol coverage
The AAP addressed the issue of denials issued by UnitedHealthcare for HCPCS codes J7611 and J7613 (albuterol, concentrated or unit dose) based on the patient's age. As a result of the clarifications provided, UHC is rescinding its denials for albuterol based on the patient's age. For more information, visit the AAP website.
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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Detection, Discovery and Diagnosis
3 p.m. ET
Monday, July 28
This session on FASDs will delineate the signs and symptoms that may indicate prenatal alcohol exposure and a possible condition along the continuum of FASDs. An algorithm for evaluation of FASDs will be introduced and discussed as a tool for diagnosis and referral in primary care.
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Progress begins with the belief that what is necessary is possible."
-- Norman Cousins,
American journalist
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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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