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December 26, 2012
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News for pediatricians and other child health professionals

  Top Stories 
  • Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent among overweight, obese youth
    Overweight, obese and severely obese children and teens were more likely than their healthy-weight peers to have low vitamin D levels, according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics. Researchers examining data from the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that Latino and black children were more likely than their white counterparts to have low vitamin D levels, suggesting the need for targeted screening. WebMD (12/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • CDC: Obesity rates drop slightly in preschool-age children
    The percentage of obese, low-income preschoolers declined from more than 15% in 2003 to less than 15% in 2010, CDC researchers report in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The rate of extreme obesity went from 2.2% in 2003 to about 2.1% in 2010. Progress in reducing childhood-obesity rates may be related to greater breast-feeding rates and increasing awareness of the importance of exercise, researchers said. Reuters (12/25)
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  Pediatric Health Care 
  • Study: Link between marijuana and psychosis goes 2 ways
    Teenagers who use marijuana are more likely than those who do not to develop psychotic symptoms, and teens with psychotic symptoms are more likely to become marijuana users, according to a study published in the journal Addiction. The bidirectional link between marijuana use and psychosis might be genetic, the lead researcher said. Reuters (12/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Sibling conflicts may affect teens' emotions, study finds
    Teenagers who fight with their siblings about "invasion of the personal domain" are more likely to have higher anxiety levels and lower self-esteem a year later, a study in the journal Child Development found. Teens who have equality and fairness conflicts with their siblings were more likely to show depressive moods later on. Accommodating teens' privacy and equality needs might help their emotional adjustment, the researchers said. News (12/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Trends & Technology 
  • More hospitals, providers receive EHR incentive payments
    Three-quarters of eligible hospitals and one-third of doctors and other eligible professionals have received incentive payments for EHR system adoption, data from CMS reveal. A total of $9.3 billion has been released since the incentive program launched, with $6.1 billion going to eligible hospitals and $3.1 billion directed to doctors and other eligible professionals, the agency's November report shows. Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (12/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Deadline approaches to report EHR meaningful use
    The deadline for Medicare EHR meaningful use reporting and attestation this year is Dec. 31. The CMS website describes the process for reporting and attesting to EHR meaningful use and lists state attestation deadlines for doctors and other eligible professionals participating in the Medicaid MU program. AHA News Now (12/19), (12/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Health Policy & Regulations 
  • Medicaid pay rates to rise for primary care docs
    Medicaid reimbursement rates for qualifying primary care physicians are estimated to rise 73% over the next two years, according to a survey by the Urban Institute and the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. Physicians certified in internal, family or pediatric medicine subspecialties who use certain evaluation and management and vaccination codes to make Medicaid claims are among those eligible for higher reimbursement under new CMS guidance. Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (12/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • FDA OKs use of Varizig to ease effects of chickenpox
    Cangene's Varizig has been approved by the FDA to reduce the severity of chickenpox symptoms within four days after exposure to varicella zoster virus among individuals at high risk for chickenpox. High-risk patients include newborns, pregnant women, premature babies, children less than a year old, those with compromised immune systems and those without viral immunity, according to the agency. News (12/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  The Last Word - News from the AAP 
  • Section on Breastfeeding - Now on Facebook
    The AAP Section on Breastfeeding has launched a Facebook page to share the latest research, tools and resources. Join the ongoing discussions or become a fan/supporter by “Liking” us. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Reducing the Risk of SIDS in Child Care
    Tell your families about a free, online course that educates child care providers about safe sleep environments. It’s available in English and Spanish.  AAP members can also take the course, which qualifies for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s). (Grant funding limits free access to child care providers only.) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Never get so fascinated by the extraordinary that you forget the ordinary."
--Magdalen Nabb,
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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