June 17th, 2013
09:13 AM ET
Editor's Note: Dr. Arshya Vahabzadeh is a resident psychiatrist at Emory University's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health.
African-American and Hispanic children are far less likely to be seen by specialists - for autism, but also other medical conditions - and also less likely to receive specialized medical tests than their white peers, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
Dr. Sarahbeth Broder-Fingert and colleagues studied the records of 3,615 children with autism at the Massachusetts General Hospital, specifically looking at the rates of both referral to specialists and medical tests undertaken. They discovered that children from African-American and Hispanic families were far less likely to receive specialized care or specific medical tests such as a sleep study, colonoscopy, or endoscopy.
When compared to their white peers, African-American children were three times less likely to see a gastroenterologist or nutritionist, and half as likely to see a neurologist or mental health specialist, according to the study. The story is similar among children from Hispanic families.
June 12th, 2013
05:05 PM ET
Poor diet and lack of exercise might not be the only factors contributing to the obesity epidemic. A new study suggests the environment may also play a role.
“Eating too much and exercising too little are important factors,” said Dr. De-Kun Li, a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California. “But they cannot explain the steep increase in the obesity rate the last three decades. We haven’t really changed our eating habits and exercise that much.”
The environmental culprit, according to the study published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE, may be bisphenol-a, a chemical commonly found in plastic and cans.
Li and colleagues studied 1,326 school-age children in Shanghai, China, and measured BPA levels in their urine. In girls ages 9 to 12, higher BPA urine levels were associated with a doubled risk of obesity. And as BPA urine levels increased, so did the girls’ obesity risk - measured using their weight in reference to weight distribution in the population. FULL POST
June 10th, 2013
05:21 PM ET
Chalk it up to a win for ingenuity: Doctors are crediting surgical superglue for saving the life of a 20-day-old girl in Kansas.
Ashlyn Julian was born healthy and happy on May 16. Shortly after returning home from the hospital, however, her parents noticed something was wrong with their newest addition.
“She was probably around 10 days old, and she was sleeping a lot, and I understand that babies sleep a lot, but to the point that you couldn't wake her up to feed her,” said Ashlyn’s mother, Gina Julian.
Then abruptly, her behavior changed. “We (went) from a baby that was very quiet to a baby that was screaming all the time and throwing up, and at that point we knew something was very wrong," Julian said.
June 3rd, 2013
05:47 PM ET
More than a third of infants who were taken to the doctor for an acute ear infection, and who were also due for a scheduled immunization, were not immunized during their sick visit and didn't go back to the doctor for a subsequent well visit, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
That put the infants significantly behind in their vaccines, compared to other infants who were immunized while sick.
"I think a lot of providers are thinking, 'We can put this off and they'll come back,'" says the study's author, Steve G. Robison, an epidemiologist with the Oregon Health Authority.
"But if you don't use this chance to give an immunization, over a third of (those patients) you're not going to see again."
May 28th, 2013
02:21 PM ET
The state of Colorado is seeing an increase in the number of children accidentally exposed to medical marijuana, according to a new study in Pediatric JAMA.
Doctors in Colorado evaluated about 1,400 patients aged 8 months to 12 years who came to the Children's Hospital Colorado emergency room from January 1, 2005 to December 31, 2011.
May 27th, 2013
02:44 PM ET
More than 2 million children have been affected by the military deployment of at least one parent within the past decade, and thousands have had to cope with a parent's death or traumatic injury, experts say.
Therefore, it's imperative that pediatricians and other health care providers address the mental health and well-being of children from U.S. military families, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
"This is guidance (for the providers), but it is the first of its kind," said co-author Dr. Beth Ellen Davis, a pediatrician and retired U.S. Army colonel. "I could think of no better way to honor our service members than to help providers take care of their children."
May 6th, 2013
01:15 PM ET
As a parent, there are undoubtedly a few things you do now that before you had children you thought were gross: Changing diapers, wiping up vomit and using your own spit to clean off a child's pacifier, just to name a few.
Though it's hard to admit, most parents have done the latter. You're out at the mall when your kid drops his pacifier and there's not a place to clean it nearby. So you pick it up, suck on it a bit and hand it back to your baby.
What's the harm?
Turns out cleaning a recently dropped pacifier with your saliva - meaning you put it in your mouth before inserting it back into your baby's - may actually help strengthen your child's immune system and keep him from developing certain allergies, according to a new study in the journal Pediatrics. When parents cleaned pacifiers in this way their children were significantly less likely to develop eczema, a skin condition considered to be the most common early form of allergies.
May 2nd, 2013
02:39 PM ET
Food and skin allergies are becoming more common in American children, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Both have been steadily increasing for more than a decade.
Food allergy prevalence increased from 3.4% to 5.1% between 1997 and 2011, while skin allergy prevalence more than doubled in the same time period. That means 1 in every 20 children will develop a food allergy and 1 in every 8 children will have a skin allergy. According to the CDC, respiratory allergies are still the most common for children younger than 18.
The new report, which looked at data from the National Health Interview Survey, found that skin allergies decreased with age, while respiratory allergies increased as children got older.
May 1st, 2013
02:40 PM ET
From carousels to roller coasters, part of summer fun for many kids is a trip to the local carnival or a nearby amusement park. But experts are warning parents their children need to be supervised on rides because of the risk of injuries.
Researchers from Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, looked at Consumer Product Safety Commission information on youngsters who were taken to emergency rooms for amusement ride injuries during a 20-year period. Their study, published in the May issue of the journal Clinical Pediatrics, looked at fixed-site rides, such as those at major amusement parks, as well as mobile rides, which included rides at local carnivals, state fairs and mall rides like those found in shopping mall arcades.
The rides "included anything from coin-operated rides to Ferris wheels, carousels, bumper cars, roller coasters, and any type of ride like that," said Tracy Mehan, lead researcher of the study.
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.