A new study by Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health has revealed that children who were exposed to air pollutants during their first two years of life are more likely to develop Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The study, which was presented in the American Association for Aerosol Research annual meeting in Orlando, Florida, has explained that the risk is related mainly to two pollutants: chromium, which is released by combustion processes and metal industries, and styrene, the product of poly styrene plastics and resins. What are your thoughts about air pollution? What should be done to prevent its negative effects, especially on children?
For more information, please visit Youth Health Magazine.
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The Journal of American Medical Association published recent findings from the National Survey of Children’s Health. When the data was compared between 2003 and 2011, a significant increase in diagnosis of Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder and medication use among children and teenagers were reported. Some potential reasons include – physicians are more comfortable with the diagnosis and treatment and there is an increased awareness of this condition. How often do you talk to parents of these patients about potential alternatives for their ADHD medications?
For additional information please see JAMA.
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A recent population-based prospective cohort study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine evaluated exposure to mercury during pregnancy and the development of ADHD behavior in children. The study concluded that low level mercury is associated with a greater risk of ADHD related behaviors. Fish consumption during pregnancy was also concluded to be protective of these behaviors. This association was seen primarily in boys. How do you balance the benefit of fish consumption and potential dietary mercury exposure in your recommendations? What fish do you recommend to women during pregnancy?
For more information see JAMA
A recent cross-sectional study published in the journal Sleep evaluated 245 high school students in a community setting. For one week during the school year, students provided fasting blood glucose samples, a sleep diary/log, and wore a wrist actigraph, which measured the duration of inactivity. An average of 7.4 hours of sleep was reported in the sleep logs, while an average of 6.4 hours was based on the actigraph, with weekends significantly higher than the weekdays. After adjustment for other factors, higher insulin resistance was seen in students who had a shorter sleep duration. How much sleep do you get? How much sleep do you recommend to your patients?
For more information, please read the abstract in Sleep.
A prospective cohort study published in Pediatrics surveyed 1,843 Canadian kids between the ages of 10 and 12 to see if they played any active videogames, such as Dance Dance Revolution and Wii Fit. What they found was that not only do nearly a quarter of the surveyed kids report exergaming, but they also are playing on average 2 days per week for about 50 minutes each, providing the opportunity for kids to reduce sedetary lifestyle and to engage in physical activity. What is your opinion on the use of videogames to achieve a more active generation?
For more information, please read the article in Pediatrics.
The journal Pediatrics published two prospective cohort studies evaluating the effects of vitamin D deficiency in pediatric patients admitted to pediatric intensive care units (PICUs). Researchers tested vitamin D levels in 511 patients admitted to Boston Children Hospital and 326 pediatric patients admitted to hospitals in Canada. The study found that vitamin D deficiency was common in this population and lower vitamin D levels were associated with longer hospital stay. How do you counsel adult and pediatric patients about vitamin D?
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