WHO to create committee on Zika virus | For more: Read "NIH accelerating research on Zika vaccines" in AAP News. | Obesity, diabetes in mothers may raise children's autism risk
January 29, 2016
AAP SmartBrief
News for pediatricians and other child health professionals

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WHO to create committee on Zika virus
The World Health Organization said it will assemble an emergency committee to handle the Zika virus, which has become a global public health crisis. The CDC says travelers to Zika-infested countries should take "enhanced precautions" and advises pregnant women to avoid such countries because of the risk of the virus causing the birth defect microcephaly in infants. The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model) (1/28)
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Obesity, diabetes in mothers may raise children's autism risk
A study in Pediatrics showed women who had diabetes and obesity had an almost fourfold increased likelihood of having babies with autism spectrum disorder if the diabetes was diagnosed during pregnancy and an almost fivefold increased risk if the disease was present before they conceived, compared with those without either condition. Researchers followed 2,734 mother-child pairs between 1998 and 2014 and found maternal obesity was tied to a 92% increased autism risk on its own. Reuters (1/29)
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Pediatric Health Care
Researchers uncover genetic basis of schizophrenia
People are at elevated risk for schizophrenia if they carry a genetic variation that accelerates the natural process called synaptic pruning, in which the maturing brain cuts weak or redundant connections between neurons, researchers report in the journal Nature. Synaptic pruning occurs in adolescents and young adults, primarily in the prefrontal cortex. The genetic variant appears to tag an excessive number of connections for pruning, the researchers say. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (1/27), Tech Times (1/28)
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More breast-feeding worldwide could prevent children's deaths, study shows
Breast feeding
(Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images)
There would be almost 800,000 fewer children's deaths, which is equivalent to 13% of all deaths among children younger than 2, if almost all women across the world breast-fed their infants and young children, according to a study in The Lancet. Researchers found that worldwide breast-feeding could also prevent around half of all diarrhea cases and one-third of respiratory infections in low- and middle-income countries. HealthDay News (1/29)
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Study: Exposure to air pollution increases premature birth risk
Researchers found that women exposed to high levels of PM 2.5 fine particles during pregnancy had a 19% higher risk of having premature birth, with exposure in the third trimester tied to a 28% increased risk, compared with those exposed to lower levels of air pollution. The findings in the journal Environmental Health were based on an evaluation of almost 225,000 records of singleton births in Ohio between 2007 to 2010. Medical News Today (1/27)
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Trends & Technology
ACOs struggle to integrate EHRs, survey finds
About a third of 101 accountable care organizations use a single EHR platform, while 59% reported facing difficulties streamlining multiple systems, according to a survey by the Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute. Among ACOs that use point-of-care decision software and quality reporting technology, only 34% said the tools were easy to use. Almost all of the survey participants expect to increase their focus on population health in the coming three to five years. Healthcare IT News (1/27)
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How an Ind. health center uses population health technology
HealthLinc Chief Information Officer Melissa Mitchell says the health center uses population health management software from the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association and American Heart Association and has two staff members dedicated to data analysis related to patient needs. While more people have gained access to health care under the Affordable Care Act, many of them have heightened needs due to a lack of previous care. "Population health for us is identifying not just individual gaps in care, but also identifying those patients that have multiple comorbidities that are just getting insurance and need to navigate the landscape of health care right now," Mitchell said. BeckersHospitalReview.com (1/26)
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Health Policy & Regulations
Neos Therapeutics' ADHD drug receives FDA approval
The FDA has approved Neos Therapeutics' Adzenys XR-ODT as treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in patients ages 6 and older. Adzenys XR-ODT is an orally disintegrating tablet and is a longer-acting version of amphetamine. Reuters (1/28)
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Administration to seek $12B for summer nutrition program
President Barack Obama said he would include in his 2017 budget plan $12 billion in funding over 10 years to help ensure children in low-income families have enough to eat during the summer. The USDA also said it would launch a pilot program to make it easier for parents to apply for free and reduced-price lunches by allowing states to use Medicaid data to certify eligibility. The Associated Press (1/27)
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WHO: Tax unhealthy foods, drinks to curb childhood obesity
The World Health Organization in a recent report is urging governments to tax sugar-sweetened drinks as a potential way to help curb childhood obesity. The report also states that some countries may consider additional taxes on foods high in sugar and fat. FoodBusinessNews.net (free registration) (1/27)
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Many uninsured remain unaware of looming deadlines, penalties
Many Americans who remain without health insurance do not realize that this year's deadline to enroll in a plan through an Affordable Care Act exchange is Jan. 31 or that the penalty for not having insurance is rising to the greater of $695 per adult or 2.5% of household income, a Kaiser Family Foundation poll found. President Barack Obama and HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell have made last-minute pitches in metropolitan areas with large populations of uninsured people. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (1/28)
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The Last Word - News from the AAP
Call for Applications: SOID S. Michael Marcy Visiting Professor Program
The AAP Section on Infectious Diseases offers a visiting professorship program and is currently accepting applications for the 2016-2017 academic year. This program has been designed to bring nationally and internationally known pediatric infectious diseases specialists to pediatric and family practice programs around the country that may not have or who have limited access to a PID specialist. The application deadline is Feb. 26.
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Free webinar and input sought
Comment on the draft recommendations for future genetic service networks developed by the National Coordinating Center for the Regional Genetic Service Collaboratives. Visit the NCC website to find out more about the draft recommendations, register for informational webinars beginning on Feb. 1, and provide feedback.
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The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team."
-- John Wooden,
basketball player and coach
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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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