Joint Physical Custody Better For Children’s Psychological Health

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Malin Bergström PhD Center for Health Equity Studies  Karolinska Institutet  

Dr. Bergstrom

Malin Bergström PhD
Center for Health Equity Studies
Karolinska Institutet  

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The increase in children who move between their parent’s homes after a divorce is one of the major changes in children’s life circumstances during the last decade. Spending equal amounts of time in both parents’ homes means that these children move fifty times a year. Child experts have claimed this to be stressful and potentially harmful to children’s attachment relations to their mothers. Especially for children this young the practice of joint physical custody has been questioned.

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New Assay Can Distinguish Between Viral and Bacterial Infections in Kids

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Prof. Alain Gervaix
Head of the Emergency Division
Department of Children and Adolescents
University Hospitals of Geneva
Switzerland

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Many are familiar with the following ‘seemingly’ simple clinical dilemma that occurs on a daily basis across the world. A patient visits the doctor with a fever. Commonly, assigning a diagnosis comes down to deciding whether the infection is bacterial or viral. Accordingly, the doctor decides if to treat or not to treat with antibiotics. The problem is that bacterial and viral infections often present with very similar symptoms, causing uncertainty that leads to antibiotics being used, in many instances, when they are not needed. This antibiotic misuse contributes to the rise of antimicrobial resistance, one of the biggest health threats of the 21st century.

Host biomarkers hold great promise as routine diagnostic tools that can assist doctors in making correct antibiotic treatment decisions, as they overcome key limitations of currently applied pathogen-based tests. Recently, a novel host-assay (ImmunoXpert™) for differentiating bacterial from viral infections was developed and validated to yield high sensitivity and specificity. The three-protein host-assay comprises tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), Interferon gamma-induced protein-10 (IP-10) and C-reactive protein (CRP).

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Cheap Cigarettes in Europe Associated With Increased Infant Mortality

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Filippos Filippidis MD MPH PhD Lecturer in Public Health School of Public Health Imperial College London London

Dr. Filippidis

Filippos Filippidis MD MPH PhD
Lecturer in Public Health
School of Public Health
Imperial College London
London

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Smoking kills millions of people every year. It is well established that increasing tobacco prices is the most effective way to reduce tobacco consumption and hence mitigate the devastating effects of tobacco on health. Taxation on tobacco products is high in the European Union, which makes cigarettes less affordable. However, transnational tobacco companies are known to manipulate prices, ensuring that cheap or ‘budget’ cigarettes are still available. This is particularly important for younger smokers and those of low socioeconomic status who are more sensitive in price increases.

Smoking during pregnancy, as well as exposure of pregnant women and babies to cigarette smoke increase infant mortality. There is also evidence that increasing tobacco prices is associated with lower infant mortality. However, researchers typically use average or premium cigarette prices. We analysed 54 million births from 23 European Union countries to see if the differential between average priced and budget cigarettes (i.e. the availability of cigarettes much cheaper than average priced ones) is associated with infant mortality.

We found that increasing average cigarette prices by 1 Euro per pack was associated with 0.23 fewer deaths per 1,000 live births in the same year and an additional 0.16 fewer deaths per 1,000 live births in the following year. A 10% increase in the price differential between budget and average priced cigarettes was associated with 0.07 more deaths per 1,000 live births the following year. This means that 3,195 infant deaths could potentially have been avoided in these 23 countries if there was no price difference between cigarette products over the 10-year study period.

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Adverse Birth Outcomes and Agricultural Pesticide Use in the San Joaquin Valley of California

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Ashley Larsen, PhD Assistant professor Bren School of Environmental Science & Management University of California, Santa Barbara

Dr. Larsen

Ashley Larsen, PhD
Assistant professor
Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
University of California, Santa Barbara

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The relationship between pesticides and adverse birth outcomes has been recognized as an important question for quite some time, and there have been many good studies on the topic. Since randomly exposing people to different levels of pesticides is clearly unethical, researchers focused on the health consequences of non-occupational pesticide exposure often have to choose between detailed studies that follow a couple hundred or couple thousand individuals through pregnancy or larger scale studies that use easier to observe, but less accurate metrics of pesticide exposure (e.g. nearby crops or crop types). Here we tried to provide complementary insight by bridging the gap between detail and scale using detailed pesticide use data and individual birth certificate records for hundreds of thousands of births in an agriculturally dominated region of California. While we found negative effects of pesticide use on birth outcomes including low birth weight, preterm birth and birth abnormalities, these effects were generally in the magnitude of a 5-9% increase in probability of an adverse outcome, and only observed for individuals exposed to very high levels of pesticides.

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Weight Gain Early In Pregnancy Linked To Higher Birthweight Babies

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Leanne M. Redman MS, PhD LPFA Endowed Fellowship Associate Professor Pennington Biomedical Research Center Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Dr. Redman

Leanne M. Redman MS, PhD
LPFA Endowed Fellowship
Associate Professor
Pennington Biomedical Research Center
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Two well-documented risk factors for aberrant weight gain and obesity is whether your mother was obese when she was pregnant and the amount of weight she gained.

Up until now few studies have asked questions about whether the pattern of weight gain in pregnancy affect outcomes in offspring, such as birth weight.

In a cohort of over 16,000 pregnant women and infants, we found that regardless of the obesity status (BMI) of the mother at the time of pregnancy, weight gain that occurs up until week 24, had the strongest effect on infant birth weight. Infants born to mothers who had weight gain in excess of the 2009 IOM guidelines from conception until week 24, had a 2.5 times higher likelihood of being born large for gestational age. The weight gain that occurred after 24 weeks until delivery, did not attenuate this risk.

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Risk Factors for Adverse Events in Emergency Procedural Pediatric Sedation

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Maala Bhatt MD, MSc., FRCPC Director, Pediatric Emergency Research Staff Physician, Emergency Medicine  Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario

Dr. Bhatt

Maala Bhatt MD, MSc., FRCPC
Director, Pediatric Emergency Research
Staff Physician, Emergency Medicine
Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Procedural sedation, defined as the administration of medications to minimize pain and awareness, has become standard practice in pediatric emergency departments worldwide to facilitate short, painful procedures such as orthopedic reduction and complex laceration repairs. Although emergency department sedation is regarded as safe, serious adverse events have been reported. The incidence of these events has been difficult to determine due to the infrequency of their occurrence and lack of large, multi-center surveillance studies focused on systematic detection of adverse events. Previous studies of emergency department sedation have been limited by single-center design and small sample sizes. These studies have not been able to reliably predict sedation-related adverse events, their severity or impact on patients.

To improve understanding of the safety and comparative effectiveness of ED procedural sedation, we conducted a large multi-center cohort study using standardized outcome measures that are valid and relevant to clinical practice. Our primary objective was to determine which practices lead to the best outcomes in children undergoing emergency department procedural sedation.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: We enrolled 6,295 patients undergoing parenteral procedural sedation for a painful procedure in one of six Canadian pediatric emergency departments from July 2010 to February 2015.

The overall incidence of adverse events in our population was 11.7%. Oxygen desaturation (5.6%) and vomiting (5.2%) were the most common events. Serious adverse events and significant interventions in response to an adverse event were rare occurring in only 1.1% and 1.4% of patients respectively.

We found that choice of sedation medication had the biggest impact on the incidence of adverse events and need for significant interventions in response to those events. The incidence of serious adverse events and significant interventions was lowest among patients sedated with ketamine-alone and highest among patients sedated with combination drugs ketamine+propofol and ketamine+fentanyl. We also found that pre-procedural opioid administration was strongly associated with increased odds of oxygen desaturation, vomiting and need for significant interventions, regardless of sedation medication.

Higher doses of ketamine were associated with increased odds of oxygen desaturation and vomiting. These findings are in opposition to the common belief that ketamine does not exhibit a dose-response relationship.

We also found that pre-procedural anti-emetics were associated with a 50% reduction in the odds of vomiting. However, based on published evidence, use in children under five years may not be as advantageous as their baseline risk is much lower.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: Procedural sedation for children provided by Emergency Physicians in these tertiary care pediatric emergency departments is safe and effective with low rates of serious adverse events (1.1%) and significant interventions (1.4%). Ketamine, Ketamine and Propofol and Propofol alone are all effective and safe in the hands of competent/experienced providers, however using ketamine alone is associated with fewer serious adverse events and significant interventions.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Our finding that administering opioids prior to sedation increases the odds of oxygen desaturation, vomiting and the need for significant interventions is interesting. Future work could focus on the timing of opioid administration and the incidence of adverse events. We are also interesting in understanding the longer term effects of sedation medications, controlling for age.

Disclosures: This study was supported by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Team Grant in Pediatric Emergency Medicine.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

Bhatt M, Johnson DW, Chan J, Taljaard M, Barrowman N, Farion KJ, Ali S, Beno S, Dixon A, McTimoney CM, Dubrovsky AS, Sourial N, Roback MG, for the Sedation Safety Study Group of Pediatric Emergency Research Canada (PERC). Risk Factors for Adverse Events in Emergency Department Procedural Sedation for Children. JAMA Pediatr. Published online August 21, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.2135

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preterm Babies Still At Risk of Developmental Delays

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Andrei Morgan and Dr.Veronique Pierrat

Obstetrical, Perinatal, and Pediatric Epidemiology Team,
Epidemiology and Biostatistics Sorbonne
Cité Research Center INSERM, Paris France
Descartes University, Paris, France
Department of Neonatal Medicine, Jeanne de Flandre Hospital, Lille, France. 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The risk of neurodevelopmental and behavioural disabilities remains high in children and adults born preterm. In the 2000s, outcomes of neonates born extremely preterm was described in several settings, but the outcome of neonates born very and moderately preterm was rarely reported. However, in absolute numbers, these infants represent a larger proportion of preterm births and account for more children with long-term deficits and learning disabilities.

EPIPAGE-2 is a national study which aims to study short and long term outcomes of children born at 22-26 weeks’gestation, 27-31 weeks’gestation and 32-34 weeks’gestation in France in 2011. We also compared results from this study with the first EPIPAGE study, carried out in 1997. At two years of age, neuro motor and sensory impairment, as well as overall development, were investigated by sending questionnaires to the attending physician and the parents.

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Neonatal Hypoglycemia Linked To Neurodevelopmental Outcomes at 4.5 Years

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jane E. Harding, DPhil Liggins Institute The University of Auckland Auckland, New Zealand

Prof. Harding

Jane E. Harding, DPhil
Liggins Institute
The University of Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Neonatal hypoglycaemia – low blood sugars in newborns – affects up to one in six babies born. It involves a sustained dip in blood sugar levels following birth. Blood glucose is the only fuel for babies’ brains (adults have alternative, back-up sources). So, if left untreated, this condition can cause developmental brain damage and lowered education outcomes later in life.

In developed economies, as many as a third of babies born are at risk. Risk factors include being born smaller or larger than usual, preterm babies and babies whose mothers have any form of diabetes – this last a growing group, with the rising incidence of gestational (pregnancy-related) diabetes.

We wanted to systematically track a cohort of babies to see if hypoglycaemia in babies affects their long-term health and development. So we designed the CHYLD study – Children with Hypoglycaemia and their Later Development. We are following 614 New Zealand babies born at risk of low blood sugar levels (neonatal hypoglycemia) into childhood to see if the condition affects their later growth and development. Our team includes researchers from the Liggins Institute, the University of Auckland, Waikato Hospital, the University of Canterbury and the University of Waterloo.

Half of the babies in the study were diagnosed with, and treated for low blood sugars. Seventy percent received extra, continuous monitoring of their blood sugar levels, which detected in some babies low levels that were not diagnosed by the heel-prick tests.

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Children from Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Families Have Increased Cardiovascular Risks

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Lead author, Dr Richard Liu, MCRI Ph.D. student and
Senior author – Professor David Burgner PhD
The Child Health CheckPoint Investigator Group
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
The Royal Children’s Hospital
Parkville, Victoria, Australia

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The socioeconomic gradient in cardiovascular disease is well recognised in adults. The more disadvantaged someone is, the higher their risk of heart attack and stroke. The mechanisms by which this occurs are not well understood, but we know the pathological process underlying this, thickening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis, begins very early in life. Our current understanding of the early development of atherosclerosis has previously been limited mainly to autopsy studies. Non-invasive imaging is increasingly being used to examine the early development of atherosclerosis.

We wanted to determine if there was an association between socioeconomic disadvantage and the thickness of the carotid artery wall in mid-childhood, which in adults is a proxy for atherosclerosis and indicates higher risk for heart attack and stroke in later life. We analysed both family and neighbourhood socioeconomic position data from 1477 Australian families, which included data on income, education and occupation of parents, as well as the relative socioeconomic status of the immediate neighbourhood.

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No Clear Health Benefits of Dogs and Cats for Children

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Layla Parast PhD Statistician RAND

Dr. Parast

Layla Parast PhD
Statistician
RAND

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: This study examined the association between pet ownership, specifically dog or cat ownership, and children’s physical and mental health. There has been a lot of previous work looking at this association and these previous results seemed to show that kids with pets have better health than those without pets. The hypothesis has been that pets can improve children’s health by increasing physical activating and improving young people’s empathy skills.

We used data from over 5,000 households in California which was obtained from the California Health Interview Survey and looked at physical and mental health outcomes among children in households with pets vs. without pets.

We found that children in households with pets do have better health than those without pets, but that after we account for factors such as family income and housing type, for example, there is no evidence of an association between pet ownership and health. That is, households that have pets are more likely to be higher income, to be in a house as opposed to an apartment, and to have healthier adults in the household, for example – and these factors are also associated with better child health.

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