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February 13, 2013
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News for pediatricians and other child health professionals

  Top Stories 
  • Prenatal intake of folic acid may reduce autism risk
    Taking folic acid supplements before conception and early in pregnancy was associated with a lower risk of having children with autism, according to a Norwegian study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The effects of folic acid on genes and DNA repair may explain its role in brain development disorders in babies, including autism, researchers said. Reuters (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Outdoor Play Area at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center Helps Kids "Squirrel Around" A newly opened outdoor playground at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center in St. Louis, MO provides a healthy play space where children who are facing overwhelming difficulties can "leave it all behind," says Dan Buck, ED of the center's Foundation. More
  Pediatric Health Care 
  • First-born children face higher risk for hypertension, diabetes
    New Zealand researchers looked at 85 4- to 11-year-olds and found that first-borns had a 21% decline in insulin sensitivity and a 4 mmHg increase in blood pressure compared with other children. They also found that the eldest children tended to be taller and thinner than other children. The findings will be published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. HealthDay News (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Specific praise may help children succeed later in life
    Children who were complimented for their actions more than their characteristics were more likely to have positive attitudes toward challenges at ages 7 to 8, according to a study in the journal Child Development. These children were also more capable of coming up with solutions to problems and were more likely to believe that they could improve through hard work, researchers said. HealthDay News (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Advancing pediatric oncology, improving outcomes
What are we doing to make pediatric cancer medications safer and more effective? Can we target leukemia cells and avoid damage to normal cells? Get these answers and more in the pediatric oncology SmartBrief sponsored by Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City.
  Trends & Technology 
  • Patient satisfaction is key part of primary care, expert says
    Health care is being driven by more informed patients who demand from primary care and other physicians the type of service they have come to expect in retail, says Warren Skea of PricewaterhouseCoopers, which released its annual "Top Health Industry Issues" report. Skea says payment models are being linked to patient satisfaction, and in population health models, primary care physicians are "very much the quarterbacks, the coordinators of care." American Medical News (free content) (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • CDC: Hospitals made steady progress in curbing some infections
    A CDC report released on Tuesday found that the rates of central line-associated bloodstream infections declined by 41% and surgical site infections fell by 17% in U.S. hospitals since 2008. However, catheter-associated urinary tract infections have not declined further since 2010, possibly due to the number of catheter days holding steady in critical-care settings. CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden called on hospitals to do more to control and track infections. Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (2/12), (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health Policy & Regulations 
  • Obama vows to contain health spending in State of the Union
    President Barack Obama promised to seek to further reduce health care spending while praising the Affordable Care Act during his State of the Union address on Tuesday. "We'll reduce taxpayer subsidies to prescription drug companies and ask more from the wealthiest seniors," Obama said. "We'll bring down costs by changing the way our government pays for Medicare." The Huffington Post (2/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • HHS-drafted health rules advance to final review
    Two sets of Affordable Care Act health regulations from HHS have been sent to the White House for final review. One sets standards for essential health benefits and a timeline for the accreditation of qualified health plans in health insurance exchanges. The second concerns the protection of health insurers against financial losses. The Hill (2/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  The Last Word - News from the AAP 
  • Webinar: Strengthening State Gun Laws - Strategies to Protect Children from Firearms
    Feb. 14
    Noon CT
    Learn about the legislative strategies that states are exploring to reduce gun deaths and injuries, current research on these strategies, and the role that AAP chapters can play in representing the pediatric voice on this issue. Space is limited so reserve your “seat” now.
    Editor’s note: Visit the AAP website to see the AAP response to President Obama’s State of the Union address and protecting children from gun violence. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Interested in advocating for children?
    The AAP 2013 Legislative Conference takes place April 28 to 30 in Washington, D.C. The conference educates experienced and novice child health advocates about AAP federal policy priorities through interactive skills-building workshops and in-depth training sessions. At the end of the conference, attendees will visit with members of Congress and/or staff on Capitol Hill to put their new skills to immediate use. Visit the AAP website to learn more about the conference or register online through PediaLink. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Several excuses are always less convincing than one."
--Aldous Huxley,
British author

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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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