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December 20, 2012
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News for pediatricians and other child health professionals

  Top Stories 
  • Marijuana use among U.S. teens is still prevalent
    Marijuana use among eighth, 10th and 12th graders remained high, but the use of other illegal drugs, cigarette smoking and drinking continued to drop, according to an annual survey by University of Michigan researchers. They reported that the number of teens who considered regular or occasional marijuana use harmful hit its lowest mark since the survey started. WebMD (12/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Child abuse linked to greater risk of asthma in adulthood
    Black girls exposed to physical or sexual abuse before age 11 were more likely to develop asthma as adults, Boston University researchers reported. However, they found little evidence linking abuse during teen years to a higher asthma risk as adults. The findings, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, suggest chronic stress may play a role in the onset of asthma. HealthDay News (12/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Pediatric Health Care 
  • Studies find 2 drugs effective for treating JIA
    The use of tocilizumab and canakinumab for treatment of children with active systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis yielded positive outcomes in two Italian studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine. However, tocilizumab was linked to adverse effects such as infections, neutropenia and higher aminotransferase levels, researchers said. News (12/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Probiotic supplements lower risk of infant eczema, review finds
    U.S. researchers reviewed 21 studies and found that taking probiotic supplements reduced babies' risk of developing eczema. Some studies showed that at-risk children who were provided with Lactobacillus rhapsodic GG or Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain HN001 had a 50% lower risk of having the skin condition compared with the placebo group. The findings were published in the Archives of Dermatology. Reuters (12/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Gene therapy may boost life expectancy in rare brain disorder
    An experimental gene therapy in which healthy genes were inserted into patients' brain cells via a virus to produce the enzyme aspartoacylase extended the lives of children with a rare brain disorder called Canavan disease, a study showed. The treatment slowed down the degeneration of brain tissues and improved the quality of life of the children with fewer seizures, better sleep quality, and more mobility and alertness. The findings appear in the journal Science Translational Medicine. Bloomberg Businessweek (12/19), U.S. News & World Report/HealthDay News (12/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study: Kids' intake of fruits, veggies goes up with family meals
    Children whose families regularly ate meals together had higher fruit and vegetable intake compared with those who never had family meals, a British study found. Once- or twice-weekly family meals were also associated with increased fruit and vegetable intake in children, researchers wrote in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. (12/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Trends & Technology 
  Health Policy & Regulations 
  • AAP calls for gun-control measures
    The AAP on Wednesday wrote a letter to President Barack Obama and Congress in support of additional gun-control measures and legislation to improve access to mental health services. The group said it supports a measure to ban assault weapons and the sale of high-capacity magazines and to strengthen requirements for background checks and waiting periods for gun purchases. The Hill/Healthwatch blog (12/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Policymakers search for solutions to high health care spending
    Health care spending accounts for nearly 25% of the federal budget and is projected to consume nearly a third of the budget within a decade unless it is curtailed. Pressure to address health care spending will continue after Congress passes a budget, which is not likely to address the problem in any significant way. The Wall Street Journal (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  The Last Word - News from the AAP 
  • Apply now for CATCH grants
    Grants of up to $12,000 for pediatricians and $3,000 for pediatric residents are available from the Community Access to Child Health Program for innovative initiatives that will ensure all children, especially underserved children, have medical homes and access to health services not otherwise available in their communities. Applications will be accepted for Implementation Grants, Planning Grants and Resident Grants until Jan. 31, 2013. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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No man for any considerable period can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true."
--Nathaniel Hawthorne,
American 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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