40% of High School Drivers Text While Driving

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:,
Motao Zhu, MD, MS, PhD Principal Investigator Center for Injury Research and Policy The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital? Columbus, OHMotao Zhu, MD, MS, PhD
Principal Investigator
Center for Injury Research and Policy
The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital?
Columbus, OH

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

Response: We know that texting while driving occurs frequently among teen drivers. This study looks at the differences of texting while driving among teens between states.

Motor vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of death among teenagers in the United States. In 2016, over 2,000 teens in the US aged 14-18 years died in motor vehicle crashes and nearly 260,000 were seriously injured in traffic-related incidents. Even though there are cheap car insurance brokers available, teen motor vehicle crashes are preventable, and proven strategies can improve the safety of young drivers on the road. Among distracted driving, texting while driving may be especially risky because it involves at least three types of driver distraction: visual, physical, and cognitive. Texting while driving is banned for all drivers in 47 states and the District of Columbia, yet this study shows it still occurs regularly among teen drivers.

Overall (nationally), about 40% of high school student drivers text while driving at least once/month. The rate varies among states. The lowest is 26% (Maryland) and highest is 64% (South Dakota). Texting while driving among high school student drivers is highest in Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska.

These results were not surprising. There are state level factors to explain them. The top 5 highest texting while driving among high school student drivers (Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska) are rural states with a high percent of high school student drivers and students can get their learners permit by age 15. Continue reading

Tanning Salon Compliance With State Laws Restricting Access to Minors Remains Unsatisfactory

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Erik Stratman, MD

Chairman, Department of Dermatology
Marshfield Clinic, WI

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

Response: The United States Food and Drug Administration has classified tanning beds as cancer-causing. Tanning bed exposure has been linked with increased risk of melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer that preferentially affects young people.  While no current federal ban exists on indoor tanning of minors, there have been over 40 states (43) and the District of Columbia that passed laws limiting the use of tanning beds for minors.  Despite these laws, nearly 1.9 million high school students in the United States are tanning in tanning salons.

In this study, researchers posed as minors called 427 tanning salons in 42 states and the District of Columbia.  Following a script that included questions like ‘would my mom have to come with me? I was hoping to come after school.’ Salons were randomly selected by zip code, with 10 salons selected for each state.  Overall, 37.2% of tanning salons were out of compliance with state legislation. Illinois, New Hampshire, and Oregon were the only states scoring 100% compliant with the state law for those tanning salons contacted.  Alabama scored the lowest with 0% compliant for those tanning salons contacted.  Statistically significant decreases in compliance were found for rural, independently owned, and Southern US tanning salons.

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More Teenage Boys Becoming Fathers

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Maureen Pirog PhD Rudy Professor of Policy Analysis School of Public and Environmental Affairs Indiana University

Dr. Pirog

Maureen Pirog PhD
Rudy Professor of Policy Analysis
School of Public and Environmental Affairs
Indiana University 

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

Response: We analyzed parenthood, education and income statistics over a long time span from two groups of about 10,000 people — those born in 1962-64 and those born in 1980-82.

  • Teen fathers and mothers came increasingly from single-mother families with disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • The proportion of teen mothers or fathers living with their partners didn’t change, but far fewer were married.
  • The birth rates to teenage girls across the two groups didn’t change, but the reported rate of teenage fatherhood increased, a seemingly contradictory conclusion. For example, 1.7 percent of the men in the older group were fathers by the time they were 17, while in the younger group, nearly double that number were dads. About 8 percent of the 17-year-old females in both groups were mothers.

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Many Teens Use Less Effective Contraceptives After Pregnancy

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Deborah L. Dee, PhD
Division of Reproductive Health
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
CDC

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

Response: Although the national teen birth rate has dropped to a historic low (22.3 births per 1,000 females aged 15-19 years in 2015), many teens continue to have repeat births. Because repeat teen births are more likely than first teen births to be preterm and low birth weight, and giving birth more than once as a teenager can significantly limit a mother’s ability to attend school and obtain work experience, it’s important to assess patterns in repeat teen births and better understand contraceptive use within this population. Continue reading

Teens Used More Marijuana Following Change in Recreational Use Law

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Magdalena Cerda, DrPH, MPH Vice Chancellor's Chair in Violence Prevention Associate Director, Violence Prevention Research Program UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program

Dr. Magdalena Cerda

Magdalena Cerda, DrPH, MPH
Vice Chancellor’s Chair in Violence Prevention
Associate Director, Violence Prevention Research Program
UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program

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

Response: The potential effect of legalizing marijuana for recreational use has been a topic of considerable debate since Washington and Colorado first legalized its use for adults in 2012. Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C., followed suit in 2014, and voters in California, Massachusetts and Nevada approved recreational use this past November.

In our study, we examined changes in perceived risk of marijuana use, and in use of marijuana among school-attending adolescents, in Washington and Colorado, following legalization of recreational marijuana use, and compared pre- to post-legalization changes in these two states to changes in the 45 contiguous US states that had not legalized recreational marijuana use.

Marijuana use significantly increased and its perceived harm decreased among eighth- and 10th-graders in Washington state following enactment of recreational marijuana laws. There was no change in use or perceived harm among 12th graders or among similar grades in Colorado.

In particular, the data showed that legalization of recreational marijuana use significantly reduced perceptions of marijuana’s harmfulness by 14 percent and 16 percent among eighth and 10th graders and increased their past-month marijuana use by 2 percent and 4 percent in Washington state but not in Colorado. Among states without legalized marijuana use, the perceived harmfulness also decreased by 5 percent and 7 percent for students in the two grades, but marijuana use decreased by 1.3 percent and .9 percent. Among older adolescents in Washington state and all adolescents surveyed in Colorado, there were no changes in perceived harmfulness or marijuana use in the month after legalization.

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Elevated BMI Linked To Higher Blood Pressure In Healthy Teenagers

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Yaron Arbel, M.D.
Department of Cardiology
Tel Aviv Medical Center

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Arbel: We examined 715,000 Israeli adolescents, both male and female, aged 16-20, who had received medical exams from 1998-2011 before enlisting in the army. They were all healthy with no known background medical conditions.

There was a statistically significant link observed between BMI and blood pressure, both of which saw significant annual increases during the study. The percentage of overweight adolescents increased from 13.2% in 1998 to 21% in 2011, while the percentage of adolescents with high blood pressure (SBP > 130mmHg) rose from 7% to 28% in males and 2% to 12% in females.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Arbel: The association of BMI to blood pressure was more pronounced in females than males. The reason is not clear.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Arbel: We think that more efforts should be put in to addressing childhood obesity. “Obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. They are much more likely to be obese as adults and are consequently more at risk for adult health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, numerous types of cancer, and osteoarthritis.”

Future studies should focus on treating modalities and increased awareness.

Citation:

Yaron Arbel et al. Trends in Adolescents Obesity and the Association between BMI and Blood Pressure: A Cross-Sectional Study in 714,922 Healthy Teenagers. American Journal of Hypertension, March 2015 DOI: 10.1093/ajh/hpv007

 

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Yaron Arbel, M.D., Department of Cardiology, Tel Aviv Medical Center (2015). Elevated BMI Linked To Higher Blood Pressure In Healthy Teenagers 

Sexting Teens More Likely Sexually Active

Jeff R. Temple, PhD Associate Professor and Psychologist Director, Behavioral Health and Research Department of Ob/Gyn UTMB Health Galveston, TX 77555-0587MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jeff R. Temple, PhD
Associate Professor and Psychologist
Director, Behavioral Health and Research
Department of Ob/Gyn
UTMB Health Galveston, TX 77555-0587

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Temple: Through previous research, we know that teen sexting is related to actual sexual behaviors, but we did not have any information on the temporal link between these two behaviors.

In short, we found that teens who sexted had 32% higher odds of being sexually active over the next year relative to youth who did not sext – this was even after controlling for history of prior sexual behavior, ethnicity, gender, and age. We also found that active sexting (actually sending a naked picture to another teen) mediated the relationship between passive sexting (asking for or being asked for a sext) and sexual behaviors. In other words, while sending a sext was predictive of subsequent sexual behavior, asking for/being asked for a sext was only associated with sexual behavior through its relationship with active sexting.

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Brief Screening Guages Teenage Substance Abuse risk

Sharon Levy, M.D., M.P.H. Director, Adolescent Substance Abuse Program Assistant Professor in Pediatrics Boston Children’s HospitaMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Sharon Levy, M.D., M.P.H.
Director, Adolescent Substance Abuse Program
Assistant Professor in Pediatrics
Boston Children’s Hospital

 
Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Levy: We found that questions that asked about the frequency of alcohol, tobacco and drug use accurately triaged adolescents into “risk categories”.  In other words, kids who reported using alcohol or marijuana “once or twice” last year were unlikely to have a substance use disorder, those who reported “monthly” use were very likely to meet diagnostic criteria for a “mild” or “moderate” substance use disorder while those who reported use weekly or more were very likely to meet diagnostic criteria for a “severe” substance use disorder.
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Teenagers: What are the Psychosocial Problems if Parent has Cancer?

Dr. Elisabeth Jeppesen MPH, PhD-fellow National Resource Center for Late Effects after Cancer Treatment, Department of Oncology, Oslo University, Hospital, The Norwegian Radiumhospitalet, OslMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Elisabeth Jeppesen MPH, PhD-fellow
National Resource Center for Late Effects after Cancer Treatment, Department of Oncology, Oslo University, Hospital, The Norwegian Radiumhospitalet, Oslo, Norway
mobil +47 951 05271 
Wisit: Ullernchaussen 70 (Radiumhospitalet)
www.oslo-universitetssykehus.no


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

Answer: Each year a considerable number of parents with children younger than 18 years of age are affected by cancer in a parent. Cancer in one of the parents might represent a potentially traumatic event and thereby may be a risk factor for psychosocial problems in the offspring. So far, teenagers’ psychosocial responses to parental cancer have only been studied to a limited extent in controlled trials. Using a trauma theory perspective many studies have shown significant direct associations between parental cancer and psychosocial problems in teenagers. However, the literature also indicates that most children and teenagers have normal stress reactions to such events. In order to identify the need for eventual prevention and intervention among teenagers exposed to such a stressor, we need more empirical knowledge of their psychosocial situation.

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