Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 12.05.2015

Matthew PearceMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Matthew Pearce NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group UK Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Despite evidence to suggest that the prevalence of childhood obesity in the UK has stabilized in recent years, we know that approximately one in five children start their school life either overweight or obese, increasing to one in three children by the last year in primary school. Our research was the first to undertake an in-depth analysis on the UK’s National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) and retrospectively track the weights of individual children over a 7-year period. Our study included a sample of 1863 children in South Gloucestershire, Bristol in the UK. Our results were found to be similar to cross sectional data with obesity prevalence approximately doubling between the first (4/5yrs old) and last year (10/11yrs old) of primary school. Our findings provide little reassurance that those children who are obese in early childhood ‘grow out of ’ excess adiposity. Including overweight, we found that 84% of obese children at Reception year went on to be either overweight or obese by Year 6. Although previous studies have failed to identify any significant differences in BMI change between boys and girls during mid-childhood, our research found that more boys than girls dropped a weight category (from overweight or obese) by the time they reached Year 6. We found that the odds ratios of being overweight (BMI ?85th percentile) or obese (?95th percentile) based on BMI at Reception were similar to published literature. Our data found children who are within the upper range of the healthy weight category (75th–85th percentile) at Reception had an increased risk of being overweight or obese by the time they reach year 6. (more…)
Author Interviews, NEJM, Pediatrics / 08.05.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mr. Matthew A. Rysavy, B.S and Edward Bell, MD Department of Pediatrics, University of Iowa Iowa City, IA Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We were interested in understanding reasons for differences in outcomes among extremely preterm infants among hospitals.  This has been shown in many studies.  We found that differences among hospitals in whether treatment was initiated for infants born at very early gestations (22, 23, 24 weeks' gestation) accounted for a lot of the variation in hospital-level outcomes at these gestational ages. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 07.05.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Tejpratap S.P. Tiwari, MD Meningitis and Bacterial Vaccine Preventable Diseases Branch Division of Bacterial Diseases National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases Division of Global HIV/AIDS, Center for Global Health Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Tiwari: Infants younger than one year old in the United States are at highest risk for severe outcomes from pertussis and death. The first childhood pertussis vaccine dose is recommended at 2 months old, with additional doses in the first year of life at 4 and 6 months. Studies have established that pertussis vaccines can protect against pertussis disease, complications, and hospitalization in infants when 1 to 3 doses are administered by six months old. This study’s findings suggest that the first pertussis vaccine dose and appropriate antibiotic treatment protect infants against death, hospitalization, and pneumonia. Improved on-time infant vaccination (at 2, 4, and 6 months) could potentially prevent up to 1 out of every 4 infant pertussis deaths. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, JAMA, Pediatrics / 04.05.2015

Thomas P. Dompier, PhD, ATC President and Injury Epidemiologist Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention, Inc Indianapolis, IN 46202 Adjunct Faculty Appointments Ohio University Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions University of South CarolinaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Thomas P. Dompier, PhD, ATC President and Injury Epidemiologist Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention, Inc Indianapolis, IN 46202 Adjunct Faculty Appointments Ohio University Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions University of South Carolina Medical Research: What is the background for this study? D: Dompler: Per the Institute of Medicine’s recent recommendations to better describe the incidence of concussion in sport across the entire spectrum of youth sports (5-23 years), this study is the first to provide an apples-to-apples comparison using epidemiologic data provided by healthcare providers (athletic trainers) who attended all practices and games and used the same methodology to report concussions and student-athlete exposure information. Medical Research: What are the main findings? D: Dompler: a.  The main findings are that the risk (how many players out of 100 can expect to suffer at least one concussion during the season) is lowest in the youth, and increases with age. b. Game concussion rates (how many players out of 1000 exposed during a practice or game, includes multiple concussions to the same player) are highest in college but practice concussion rates are lowest in college during practice.  This suggests more can be done during high school and youth practices to reduce concussion frequency (e.g. limiting how much time can be devoted to full contact, reducing player-to-player contact by teaching proper tackling without using full contact drills such as the Oklahoma drill and others). c. While the rate is higher, there is still a substantial number of concussions that occur during practice (because there are more practices), therefore sports medicine staff should be available at both if possible (this is difficult at the youth level because of cost, however). (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Pediatrics / 04.05.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jennifer A. Emond, M.Sc., PhD Research Instructor Department of Epidemiology Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College Cancer Control Research Program Lebanon, NH  03756 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Emond: Several studies have documented a link between consuming alcohol mixed with energy drinks and an increased risk of negative outcomes while drinking, including binge drinking. It is known that mixing energy drinks with alcohol increases the risk for binge drinking--the high caffeine intake consumed when mixing energy drinks with alcohol may cause individuals to feel what is been called "wide-awake drunk," and they may underestimate their level of intoxication. However, most studies to date have been conducted among undergraduate college students, and we wanted to know if those same associations were also observed among adolescents. In our study of 3,342 adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15-23, we also found a positive link between a history of consuming alcohol mixed with energy drinks and abusive alcohol use. Specifically, 22.3% of participants had ever consumed an energy drink mixed with alcohol (including 9.7% of 15-17 year olds), and such a history of mixed use was associated with a more than 4-fold increased likelihood of engaging in binge drinking. Importantly, that association was just as strong among 15-17 year olds as it was among the older participants. One critical component of our study was that we also looked at a validated outcome for alcohol use disorder (i.e., the participants completed the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test [AUDIT]), and participants with a history of consuming alcohol mixed with energy drinks were also 4.2 times more likely to meet that clinically defined criteria for alcohol use disorder as defined for adolescents. Again, those associations were observed for all participants, regardless of age. Our study has limitations. It was cross-sectional, so we cannot prove that mixed use of alcohol and energy drinks causes abusive alcohol use behaviors. However, our study does support that mixed use of alcohol with energy drinks can identify adolescents at risk for alcohol abuse. (more…)
Author Interviews, Genetic Research, Lancet, Pediatrics / 29.04.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Stephen F. Kingsmore MB ChB BAO DSc FRCPath Dee Lyons/Missouri Endowed Chair in Genomic Medicine, Children’s Mercy - Kansas CityMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Stephen F. Kingsmore MB ChB BAO DSc FRCPath Dee Lyons/Missouri Endowed Chair in Genomic Medicine, Children’s Mercy - Kansas City Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Response: The background to this study is that genetic diseases are the leading cause of death in infants and, especially, in infants in neonatal intensive care units. Making a molecular (etiologic) diagnosis of the specific genetic disease is critical for optimal care and decision making for acutely ill infants who are likely to have such diseases. However there are over 5000 known genetic diseases and their presentations overlap considerably in infants. Until now it has not been possible to make timely diagnoses in these infants. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Response: Rapid whole genome sequencing is a new way of making a genetic disease diagnosis in acutely ill newborns in neonatal intensive care units. It appears to be effective for diagnosis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, UCSD, Weight Research / 28.04.2015

Mark D. DeBoer, MD, MSc, MCR Associate Professor of Pediatrics Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, University of VirMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mark D. DeBoer, MD, MSc, MCR Associate Professor of Pediatrics Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, University of Virginia Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. DeBoer: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children watch no more than 2 hours of TV daily. We wanted to see if children watching shorter amounts of TV were more likely to have higher weight status. We found that children in kindergarten who watched 1-2 hours a day were more than 40% more likely to be overweight and obese and gained more unhealthy weight over the next year. (more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, Education, Emory, JAMA, Pediatrics / 22.04.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lawrence Scahill, MSN, PhD and Karen Bearss, PhD Department of Pediatrics, Marcus Autism Center Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University Atlanta, Georgia Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects an estimated 0.6 to 1% of children worldwide. In young children with ASD (e.g. 3 to 7 years of age) up to 50% also have disruptive behaviors such as tantrums, aggression, self-injury and noncompliance. When present, these disruptive behaviors interfere with the child’s readiness to make use of educational and other supportive services. The presence of disruptive behaviors also hinders the acquisition of routine daily living skills. Parent Training has been shown to be effective for young children with disruptive behaviors who do not have Autism spectrum disorder – but it has not be well-studied in children with ASD. The current multisite study shows that parent training is effective in reducing serious behavioral problems in young children with ASD. This is the largest randomized trial of a behavioral intervention in children with ASD.  180 children were randomly assigned to parent training or parent education. Both treatments were delivered individually to parents over 24 weeks. Serious behavioral problems were reduced by almost 50% in the parent-training group compared to about 30% for parent education. A clinician who was blind to treatment assignment rated positive response in 69% of children in the parent training group compared to 40% for parent education. In addition, 79% of children who showed a positive response to parent training at the end of the 24-week trial maintained benefit at 6 months post treatment. Parent training provided parents with specific strategies on how to manage tantrums, aggression, self-injury and noncompliance in children with autism spectrum disorder. Parent education provided up-to-date and useful information about ASD, but no instruction on how to address behavioral problems. Parents were engaged in the study treatments as evidenced by the low drop-out rate of 10% . (more…)
Author Interviews, Microbiome, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 10.04.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lisa J. Martin PhD Professor Division of Human Genetics Jessica G. Woo PhD Associate Professor Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Cincinnati, OH MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Response: Obesity is a major public health concern. In the past 30 years, more and more children are being considered obese. Because treatment is challenging, researchers are looking toward prevention. The health benefits of breastfeeding over infant formula feeding are well recognized, including evidence that breastfeeding may protect against obesity. But, how much protection it provides and the reasons for protection are unclear. Thus, the purpose of this paper was to examine the relationship between breastfeeding and reduced risk of obesity later in life, with special emphasis on potential mechanisms. MedicalResearch: What are the main findings? Response: After reviewing more than 80 studies conducted over a period of 20 years, the authors showed that breastfeeding is associated with a 10 to 20 percent reduction in obesity prevalence in childhood. Mechanisms that connect human milk and infant physiology include maternal obesity, development of a healthy gut environment (microbiome) in the infant, and the development of taste preference and diet quality. Importantly, each of these mechanisms can be influenced by biologic and social factors which may directly and indirectly affect the child’s obesity risk. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Diabetologia, Pediatrics, Social Issues / 10.04.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Maria Nygren Division of Pediatrics Linköping University, Sweden MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: What factors that cause type 1 diabetes is still unknown, but we know that environmental factors are involved besides the genetics. Since the incidence of type 1 diabetes among children have increased worldwide in recent decades, it is important to find out the reasons behind the disease to hopefully be able to prevent new cases. We have in a prospective study of over 10000 children and their parents in Sweden investigated if psychological stress can be a risk-factor, and found that childhood experience of serious life events (such as death/illness in family, divorce, new adult/child in the family) was associated with increased risk for diagnosis of type 1 diabetes up to 14 years of age. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cannabis, JAMA, Lipids, Pediatrics / 06.04.2015

Holly Gooding, MD, MS Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital Division of General Internal Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston, MAMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Holly Gooding, MD, MS Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital Division of General Internal Medicine Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston, MA Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Gooding: As an adolescent medicine physician, I primarily care for patients between the ages of 12 and 30, although I first trained in internal medicine.  One of the things I noticed when I started working with this age group is that pediatric and adult guidelines differ for many conditions.  Cholesterol treatment is one condition that comes up frequently, because the NHLBI and the AAP recommend screening youth ages 17 to 21 for cholesterol problems. The study team and I set out to discover the proportion of American youth ages 17 to 21 who would meet criteria for pharmacologic treatment of abnormal cholesterol levels if clinicians applied the pediatric versus the adult guidelines.  We found that 2.6% of young people ages 17 to 21 would qualify for pharmacologic treatment of abnormal LDL cholesterol levels under the pediatric guidelines, but less than 1% would qualify under the adult guidelines.  This translates to almost 500,000 youth qualifying for treatment under the pediatric guidelines, but only about 78,000 under the adult guidelines.  Those who met pediatric criteria had lower LDL levels but higher proportions of high blood pressure, smoking, and obesity. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 06.04.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor of Pediatrics Hans Bisgaard, MD, DMSc Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Denmark Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Bisgaard: Extended breast-feeding is recommended for newborn children at risk of allergy-associated diseases, but the evidence of a protective effect on sensitization and these diseases remains elusive. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Bisgaard: Exclusive breastfeeding does not affect sensitization in early childhood or associated diseases at 7 years of age in at-risk children. (more…)
Author Interviews, HIV, JAMA, Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania / 02.04.2015

Elizabeth Lowenthal, MD MSCE Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Children's Hospital of PhiladelphiaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Elizabeth Lowenthal, MD MSCE Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Lowenthal: Between 2005 and 2012, HIV related deaths declined by 30% worldwide. However, during the same time period, HIV related deaths increased 50% among adolescents. Over 90% of HIV-infected children and adolescents live in sub-Saharan Africa and HIV is the leading cause of death among adolescents in Africa. Treatment is available that can allow babies born with HIV to live to be healthy adults. However, strict adherence to these medicines is necessary and often becomes a great challenge during adolescence. In our study of 300 adolescents (ages 10-19) in Botswana, my team found that adolescents who come to clinic without a parent or guardian have a 4.5X greater odds of failing their HIV treatment. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics / 01.04.2015

Dr. Julie Magno Zito, PhD University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD 21201MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Julie Magno Zito, PhD University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD 21201 MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Dr. Zito: Atypical antipsychotic (AAP) use in children and adolescents has grown substantially in the past decade, largely for behavioral (non-psychotic) conditions. Poor and foster care children with Medicaid-insurance are particularly affected. This ‘off-label’ usage has insufficient evidence of benefits regarding improved functioning (i.e. appropriate behavior and performance, socially and academically) while the little evidence that accrues tends to emphasize ‘symptoms’, i.e. less acting out. Recent evidence shows that youth treated with atypical antipsychotics are at risk of serious cardiometabolic adverse events including diabetes emerging after atypical antipsychotics are ‘on board’. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, JAMA, Pediatrics / 01.04.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Michele Jonsson Funk, PhD Research Associate Professor, Dept of Epidemiology Director, Methods Core, Center for Women’s Health Research University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Dr. Wendy Camelo Castillo, MD, PhD Post-doctoral fellow at the University of Maryland Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Response: Gestational diabetes is a condition that affects between 8-11% of pregnant women worldwide. In the United States, the prevalence of gestational diabetes has more than doubled since the 1990’s. Most women can control their blood glucose levels with changes in diet and exercise, but approximately 10% need to take medication during pregnancy. Over the last decade, the use of glyburide (a pill) to manage gestational diabetes has increased and it is now used more often than insulin (an injectable). Medical Research: What are the main findings? Response: Treatment with glyburide (compared with insulin) was associated with higher risks of admission to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) (by 41%), respiratory distress (by 63%), hypoglycemia in the newborn (40% ), birth injury (35% ) and being large for gestational age (43% ).  The risk of NICU admission, large for gestational age and respiratory distress between glyburide and insulin treated women was increased by 3.0%, 1.4% and 1.1% respectively. (more…)
Infections, Lancet, Pediatrics / 30.03.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Anne K Detjen, MD Child Lung Health Consultant International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Detjen: The bacteriological diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) in children is challenging due to the difficulty in obtaining specimens such as sputum and the lack of an accurate and accessible diagnostic test. In most cases, diagnosis is made on clinical grounds based on a contact history and a combination of signs and symptoms. We included 15 studies in a systematic review and meta-analysis of Xpert for the diagnosis of pulmonary TB in children. The accuracy of Xpert for diagnosing TB in children is suboptimal, and the majority of children will still have to be diagnosed clinically. However, in settings where it replaces smear microscopy Xpert will increase the likelihood of bacteriological confirmation of TB as well as MDR TB among children. Xpert does not increase the number of confirmed TB cases among culture-negative children. We also found that smear status highly impacted Xpert results, i.e. a higher yield among smear positive compared to smear negative children. Smear positivity increases with bacillary load and might be a proxy for disease severity. Unfortunately, we were not able to assess the performance among children with different stages of disease severity since this was not classified in any of the studies included. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Nutrition, Pediatrics, Salt-Sodium / 19.03.2015

Joyce Maalouf MS MPH Nutrition Epidemiologist CDC, AtlantaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joyce Maalouf MS MPH Nutrition Epidemiologist CDC, Atlanta Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Although significant research shows U.S. children are eating too much sodium, data on the top dietary sources contributing to that intake is limited – particularly among babies and toddlers. This study identifies the primary sources of dietary sodium consumed by children from birth to 24-months-old, as well as differences in intake and food source broken down by demographic characteristics including age, gender and race/ethnicity. Overall, our research revealed that after the age of six months, more than 70 percent of sodium intake comes from foods other than breast milk and infant formula. Commercial baby foods, soups and pasta mixed dishes are top sodium contributors for U.S. infants 6 to 11.9 months, while soups, cheese, pasta mixed dishes and frankfurters and sausages are key contributors among toddlers aged 12 up to 24 months. Top sodium sources varied by race/ethnicity within age groups, suggesting that for sodium reduction to be effective, it needs to occur across a wide variety of foods. In addition, we found that non-Hispanic black toddlers ate more sodium than non-Hispanic white and Mexican-American children. Average sodium intake increased almost 9-fold from children under six months to those between one and two-years-old, while average energy intake only doubled. This suggests that, during the first two years of life, U.S. children increasingly consume sodium-rich foods. To determine these findings, we examined eight years of data encompassing more than 2,900 participants between birth and two-years-old. The information was pulled from the nationwide NHANES What We Eat in America survey between 2003 and 2010. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Pediatrics, University of Michigan / 19.03.2015

  Donald M Lloyd-Jones, MD/ScM Senior Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Research Chair, Department of Preventive Medicine Director, Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (NUCATS) Eileen M. Foell Professor Professor in Preventive Medicine-Epidemiology and Medicine-CardiMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Donald M Lloyd-Jones, MD/ScM Senior Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Research, Chair, Department of Preventive Medicine Director, Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (NUCATS) Eileen M. Foell Professor Professor in Preventive Medicine-Epidemiology and Medicine-Cardiology Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Lloyd-Jones: Previous studies have examined the associations of cardiovascular health, as defined by the American Heart Association, with outcomes in younger and middle-aged adults. Prior studies have also examined the status (i.e., prevalence) of cardiovascular health in adults across the age spectrum, and in adolescents ages 12-19 years. However, no study to date has examined the status of cardiovascular health in children under 12 years of age, so we sought to define it in detail using nationally-representative data. Overall, although we have inadequate surveillance systems to monitor cardiovascular health optimally in our youngest children, this study shows that there are concerning signals that they are losing the intrinsic cardiovascular health they are born with, even well before age 12 years. The implications for loss of cardiovascular health before adulthood have been well established, with earlier onset of cardiovascular diseases, cancer and other diseases, earlier mortality, lower quality of life and many other adverse consequences. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 13.03.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sabine Roza MD Ph.D. and Ayesha Sajjad MD, Phd student Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry & Psychology Department of Psychiatry, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Roza: WHO guidelines recommend six months of exclusive breastfeeding followed by partial breastfeeding until two years for overall optimum growth and development of children. However, the role of breastfeeding duration on child cognitive development remains a topic of continual debate. Previous research has shown mixed results on the role of breastfeeding duration and exclusivity on child IQ. Several methodological differences in study design inhibit comparisons of these studies and thus limit their generalizability. Furthermore, the association of breastfeeding with child cognitive development is subject to confounding by various factors especially maternal IQ. Therefore, we aimed to study the association between breastfeeding duration and breastfeeding exclusivity with non-verbal IQ in children. We used data the Generation R Study, which is a prospective cohort study from fetal life until young adulthood. Due to the large variability in ethnic backgrounds in our study participants, we focused on non-verbal IQ. In a large sample of 3761 children aged on average 6 years, we found an initial advantage of 0.32 points in non-verbal IQ for every increasing month of breastfeeding, which strongly attenuated after adjustments were made for child factors, maternal factors, sociodemographic factors, parental lifestyle and maternal IQ. Similar attenuation of effect sizes was observed for breastfeeding duration as a categorical variable and duration of exclusive breastfeeding. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, CDC, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 11.03.2015

Dr. Jennifer Lind PharmD, MPH Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, CDCMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Jennifer Lind PharmD, MPH Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, CDC Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Lind: CDC and Florida investigators published a new report describing the characteristics of infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) and their mothers.  NAS is a group of signs exhibited by newborns exposed to addictive drugs taken by a mother during pregnancy. Infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome have prolonged hospital stays, experience serious medical complications, and are very costly to treat. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Dr. Lind: In this investigation, 242 infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome were identified in three Florida hospitals during a 2-year period (2010–2011). Nearly all of the infants with NAS were exposed to opioid painkillers during pregnancy (99.6%) and experienced serious medical complications, with more than 97% being admitted to an intensive care unit, where the average length of stay was 26 days. Despite a high prevalence of positive urine toxicology tests during the birth hospitalization, only a small proportion of mothers had documentation of referrals for drug counseling or rehabilitation. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Mayo Clinic, Outcomes & Safety, Pediatrics, Pediatrics / 11.03.2015

Marc Ellsworth, M.D Neonatology fellow at the Mayo Clinic Children’s CenterMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marc Ellsworth, M.D Neonatology fellow at the Mayo Clinic Children’s Center MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Dr. Ellsworth: Inhaled Nitric Oxide (iNO) is a drug that has FDA approval for use in neonates >34 weeks gestational age. It is used for severe respiratory failure secondary to pulmonary hypertension. However, it has been previously shown that neonatologists have been using this medication off-label and especially in the most premature neonates. Over the last 10 years there have been multiple large studies trying to determine a clinical use (ie long term benefit) for iNO in preterm neonates (patients where there is no FDA approval for iNO use currently). Despite evidence of short term benefit (improved clinical stability) use of this drug has not been shown to improve long-term outcomes (death and chronic lung disease) in premature neonates. As a result of these findings the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) released a consensus guideline in 2011 indicated that available evidence did not support the routine use of iNO in preterm neonates and discouraged this use of this expensive therapy in preterm neonates. Similarly, in 2014 the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a similar statement with similar recommendations. In 2014 a group of NICUs (collectively called the Neonatal Research Network) associated with the NICHD published a report showing that the use of Inhaled Nitric Oxide in preterm infants (ie off-label) decreased following the report in 2011. However, I did not feel that these NICUs were representative of the United States alone as the Neonatal Research Network consists of only a handful of NICUs (~15) and is directly associated with the NICHD. As a result I wanted to get a better idea of Inhaled Nitric Oxide use in a population based study to see if the trends were similar (ie use of iNO has been decreasing) on a much larger, more representative scale. (Editorial comment: My anecdotal experience was that rates of iNO use off-label have not decreased in preterm neonates since the 2011 report). (more…)
Author Interviews, Herpes Viruses, Pediatrics, Pediatrics, Vaccine Studies / 07.03.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Su-Ying Wen, MD Chief of Department of Dermatology, Taipei City Hospital, Renai Branch, Taipei City, Taiwan Department of Dermatology, Taipei City Hospital, Renai Branch, Taipei City, Taiwan Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Su-Ying Wen: Though herpes zoster is seen as a disease of the elderly, it can affect individuals in any age group including children. There are limited population-based data regarding pediatric herpes zoster. We reported a higher incidence rate of pediatric herpes zoster than in previous studies. The higher incidence observed in this population-based study might be because it was measured in a cohort of children who were all infected with varicella rather than as other reports including individuals free of varicella infection in the denominator. Children younger than 2 years at the diagnosis of varicella had a significantly higher risk and shorter duration of developing herpes zoster. (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Metabolic Syndrome, Nutrition, Pediatrics, UT Southwestern / 06.03.2015

Dr. Roy Kim, MD Depts. Endocrinology and Pediatrics UT Southwestern Medical CenterMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Roy Kim, MD Depts. Endocrinology and Pediatrics UT Southwestern Medical Center Medical Research: What was the problem you were focused on? Dr. Kim: We were focused on the problem of adolescent metabolic syndrome, a major public health problem. Our objective was to determine whether nut intake is linked with any difference in odds for metabolic syndrome in US adolescents. Medical Research: How is metabolic syndrome defined? Dr. Kim: In general it is diagnosed when there are 3 or more of the following things: increased belly fat, high blood pressure, high fasting glucose, elevated triglycerides, and low HDL cholesterol. Medical Research: How did you do your study? Dr. Kim: We used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), years 2003-2010, to examine health status and the diet history for 2,322 US adolescents age 12 to 19 years. Dr. Kim: Our first major finding was that adolescents who ate at least 12.9 grams of nuts per day - this is the equivalent of about 1 ounce of nuts 3 times per week – had a dramatically lower odds for metabolic syndrome compared to adolescents who ate less than that amount. The odds for nut-consumers was only about 43% of the odds for non-consumers. This remained true after controlling for age, gender, race, income, and dietary factors including sugar, fruit, and vegetable intake. Our second major finding was that average nut intake is very low among US adolescents – only about 5 grams per day - and more than 75% of US adolescents eat no nuts at all on a typical day. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Microbiome, Pediatrics / 04.03.2015

Anita Kozyrskyj Ph.D Professor, Department of Pediatrics University of AlbertaMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anita Kozyrskyj Ph.D Professor, Department of Pediatrics University of Alberta Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Prof. Kozyrskyj: Our study determined what "good" gut bacteria were present in 166 full-term infants enrolled in the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study. Funded by CIHR and AllerGen NCE, this landmark study involves more than 3,500 families and their newborn infants across Canada. Gut bacteria were identified by DNA sequences extracted from infant poop. Infants with a fewer number of different bacteria in their gut at 3 months of age were more likely to become sensitized to foods such as milk, egg or peanut, by the time they were 1 years old. Infants who developed food sensitization also had altered levels of two specific types of bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae and Bacteroidaceae, compared to infants who didn’t. (more…)
Author Interviews, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania / 04.03.2015

Courtney Benjamin Wolk, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Researcher Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research Perelman School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 19104MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Courtney Benjamin Wolk, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Researcher Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research Perelman School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 19104 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous research investigating the relationship between anxiety and suicidality has been mixed. An ongoing question in the field has been whether anxiety disorders independently increase risk for suicidal ideation and behavior or if the high co-occurrence of anxiety and mood symptoms or other shared demographic factors are driving relationships that have been observed between anxiety and suicidality. We examined the relationship between response to treatment for an anxiety disorder in childhood and suicidal ideation, plans, and attempts 7 to 19 years after treatment with cognitive-behavioral therapy, more commonly referred to as CBT. Our results indicated that participants who responded favorably to cognitive-behavioral therapy during childhood had lower rates of lifetime, past month, and past two-week suicidal ideation endorsement than treatment non-responders. This was the case across both self-report and interview-report of suicidal ideation. Treatment response was not significantly associated with suicide plans or attempts, though plans and attempts were infrequently endorsed in our sample, limiting the ability to detect findings. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics / 03.03.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Kevin Vagi, Ph.D Division of Violence Prevention, CDC’s Injury Center. MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Vagi: Although there has been research on teen dating violence (TDV) for several decades, the subject has only received attention as a public health concern in recent years. Over time, prevalence estimates of physical teen dating violence victimization from CDC’s national Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) (first measured in 1999) have remained around 9% with similar rates among female and male students. Until recently, there have been no ongoing national studies of sexual TDV to our knowledge. This article describes new physical and sexual teen dating violence victimization questions first administered in the 2013 YRBS, shares the prevalence and frequency of TDV and national estimates using these new questions, and assesses associations of teen dating violence experience with health-risk behaviors. By including questions on both physical and sexual TDV, we are able to look at those youth who experienced physical TDV only, sexual TDV only, both physical and sexual TDV, any TDV, and none. These distinctions were important when investigating health outcomes associated with different types or combinations of TDV, as some health-risk behaviors have been shown to be associated with certain types of teen dating violence but not others. In 2013, among high school students who dated, 1 in 5 females and 1 in 10 males experienced physical and/or sexual TDV in the 12 months before the survey. The majority of students who experienced physical and sexual teen dating violence experience it more than once. Students who experienced both physical and sexual TDV are more likely to have other health-risks, such as suicidal ideation and behavior, fighting, carrying a weapon, being electronically bullied, alcohol and drug use, and risky sexual behaviors. This report also offers the first national estimate of sexual TDV. Findings suggest that comprehensive prevention efforts should focus on helping students develop healthy relationship skills to prevent teen dating violence and other risk behaviors. (more…)
Author Interviews, Compliance, Diabetes, Pediatrics / 03.03.2015

Dr. Yang Lu Ph.D Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute Dr. Lu’s research interests include utilization, cost and treatment regimen adherence of chronic conditions, such as obesity and diabetes; behavioral economic interventions, and cost effectiveness studiesMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Yang Lu Ph.D Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute Dr. Lu’s research interests include utilization, cost and treatment regimen adherence of chronic conditions, such as obesity and diabetes; behavioral economic interventions, and cost effectiveness studies MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Response: Non-adherence is a serious issue in type 1 diabetes management. It leads to poor glycemic control and peaks in adolescence and young adulthood. Peer support is critical for young patients yet few studies examined whether pairing youth with slightly older and more experienced peers with diabetes improves their diabetes self-management and glycemic control. This study had two aims: (1) assess whether adolescents (as prospective mentees) and young adults (as prospective mentors) with diabetes would be interested in peer mentoring as a way to improve adherence, and (2) identify contents and delivery modes for a peer mentoring topic from the perspective of patients and their parents. Fifty-four adolescents and 46 young adults with type 1 diabetes were surveyed. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics, Smoking / 03.03.2015

Rebecca S. Williams, MHS, PhD University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NCMedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rebecca S. Williams, MHS, PhD University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study?  Dr. Williams: In recent years, the e-cigarette industry has ballooned into a multi-billion dollar market, with at least 466 brands and 7764 unique flavors of e-cigarettes sold online. With both smokers and people who never smoked turning to e-cigarettes, there are concerns about their safety, lack of regulation and accessibility to teens. The CDC reported that 17% of high school seniors use e-cigarettes, more than twice as many as use traditional cigarettes; furthermore, that hundreds of thousands of youth annually are using e-cigarettes who never smoked cigarettes. Our previous studies of Internet cigarette sales indicated that Internet Tobacco Vendors did a poor job of preventing sales to minors, which helped inform development of state and federal regulations to regulate such sales.  In 2013, North Carolina passed a law requiring age verification for online e-cigarette sales. This study was the first study to examine age verification used by Internet e-cigarette vendors and the first to assess compliance with North Carolina’s e-cigarette age verification law. MedicalResearch: What are the main findings? Dr. Williams: It was very easy for minors to buy e-cigarettes online. It took little effort for them to bypass the age verification practices of the vendors because there was very little use of rigorous age verification.  With only 5 orders rejected by vendors due to age verification, there was a youth e-cigarette purchase success rate of 94.7%.  No vendors used age verification at delivery, and few used rigorous methods of age verification that could potentially block youth access. While 7 vendors claimed to use age verification techniques that could potentially comply with North Carolina’s law, only one actually did. (more…)
Author Interviews, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics / 02.03.2015

David C. Rettew, MD Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics Director, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship     Director, Pediatric Psychiatry Clinic University of Vermont College of MediciMedicalResearch.com Interview with: David C. Rettew, MD Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics Director, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship Director, Pediatric Psychiatry Clinic University of Vermont College of Medicine Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Rettew: We did this study because while everyone knew that antipsychotic medication rates were going up, there was very little data that drilled deeper and was able to get at the question about the appropriateness of this increase. There’s good news and bad news in this study.  The bad news is that our data show that about half the time, kids are not being treated with antipsychotic medications according to best practice guidelines.  The good news is that it doesn’t look like these medications are being used casually or in a knee jerk way.  In the vast majority of cases, youth are getting to this class of medications only after many other things have failed. (more…)