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January 10, 2013
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News for pediatricians and other child health professionals

  Top Stories 
  • U.S. life expectancy, health status lag behind other countries
    Americans have shorter average life expectancy than people in other wealthy nations and are more likely to practice unhealthy behaviors such as consuming a high-fat, high-calorie diet, according to a report released by the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine. Researchers said the U.S. had the highest rates of infant mortality and teen pregnancy compared with 16 other rich countries. The report highlights the "need to do a better job of prevention," AAP president Thomas McInerny said. Reuters (1/9), WebMD (1/9), USA Today (1/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Pediatric Health Care 
  • One in 8 U.S. teens have suicidal thoughts
    Harvard University researchers looked at nearly 6,500 teenagers and found that 12.1% of them experienced suicidal ideation and 4% have either made plans to end their life or attempted suicide. Although most teens with suicidal thoughts received treatment for mental health problems, more than 50% of them didn't begin manifesting suicidal tendencies until after treatment started. The findings were published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. HealthDay News (1/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • High BPA levels may put children at risk for heart, kidney problems
    Youths with the highest concentrations of bisphenol A in their urine had a greater albumin-to-creatinine ratio than those with lower levels, indicating a risk of kidney damage and future heart problems, a study showed. The findings, based on more than 700 6- to 19-year-olds included in the 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, appear in the journal Kidney International. HealthDay News (1/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Postoperative acetaminophen reduces morphine use among infants
    Infants who received intermittent intravenous acetaminophen after undergoing major surgery had a substantially lower cumulative morphine dose in the initial 48 hours than the continuous morphine group, a Dutch study found. Pain scores and side effects were not significantly different between the groups, researchers wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association. News (1/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Anti-obesity effect is seen from active video games
    Children burned more energy overall by participating in gym activities, but those in third, fourth and fifth grades were able to meet recommended physical-activity goals while playing active video games, U.S. researchers found. Among those in sixth through eighth grades, boys were able to meet fitness requirements during gym classes, but girls didn't move enough to meet the requirements, according to the study to be published in the Games for Health Journal. (1/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Trends & Technology 
  • High-intensity EHR technical help may boost physician quality measures
    Physicians in small-practice settings and underserved areas who received high-intensity technical assistance with EHR adoption attained better scores on selected quality measures than those who did not get the assistance, a study in Health Affairs found. The findings may aid federal regional extension centers that help providers adopt EHRs in choosing where and how to spend their resources, the study's lead author said. Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (1/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study: Few states measure up on dental sealant initiatives
    Most states lag in the percentage of children provided with dental sealants, about two-thirds lack sealant programs in schools with high need, and just five received an A grade and 40% received a D or F grade in a Pew Children's Dental Campaign survey. Providing dental sealants for high-risk children through school-based programs is cost-effective and can help prevent caries while lowering Medicaid costs, research has shown. (free registration) (1/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health Policy & Regulations 
  • Military to cover ABA therapy for children with autism for one year
    The U.S. Department of Defense is offering all children with autism on its Tricare insurance plan access to applied-behavior analysis therapy as part of a one-year pilot program. Advocates are pleased that therapy will be covered, but some also express concern that it is only for one year and does not cover ABA for other disabilities. Disability Scoop (1/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  The Last Word - News from the AAP 
  • AAP endorses SmartTots consensus statement
    Research has shown mixed results about whether anesthetic or sedative agents are associated with later deficits in learning or behavior. While experts continue to study the issue, an AAP-endorsed SmartTots statement says it is unethical to withhold sedation and anesthesia when necessary. Additional research is urgently needed to identify any possible health risks of anesthesia to children. Read more in this AAP News article. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • 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 for Implementation Grants, Planning Grants and Resident Grants are due by Jan. 31. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Luck enters into every contingency. You are a fool if you forget it -- and a greater fool if you count upon it."
--Phyllis Bottome,
British writer

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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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