PEDIATRICS recent issues

Tobacco and Marijuana Use Among US College and Noncollege Young Adults, 2002-2016

OBJECTIVES:

To assess trends and behavioral patterns of marijuana and cigarette and/or cigar (ie, smoked tobacco) use among 18- to 22-year-old US young adults who were in or not in college.

METHODS:

Data were from the 2002–2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Past-30-day and past-12-month use of marijuana and smoked tobacco were assessed by college enrollment status. 2 tests were used to examine within- and between-group differences. Trends were assessed by using logistic regression and relative percentage change (RPC).

RESULTS:

Among both college and noncollege individuals during 2002 to 2016, exclusive marijuana use increased (faster increase among college students; RPC = 166.6 vs 133.7), whereas exclusive smoked tobacco use decreased (faster decrease among college students; RPC = –47.4 vs –43.2). In 2016, 51.6% of noncollege and 46.8% of college individuals reported past-12-month usage of marijuana and/or smoked tobacco products (P < .05). Exclusive marijuana use was higher among college than noncollege individuals, both for past-30-day (11.5% vs 8.6%) and past-12-month use (14.6% vs 10.8%). Exclusive smoked tobacco use was higher among noncollege than college individuals, both for past-30-day (17.7% vs 10.4%) and past-12-month (17.4% vs 12.2%) use (P < .05).

CONCLUSIONS:

Exclusive marijuana use is increasing among young adults overall, whereas exclusive smoked tobacco use is decreasing: faster rates are seen among college students. Exclusive marijuana use is higher among college students, whereas exclusive smoked tobacco use is higher among noncollege individuals. Surveillance of tobacco and marijuana use among young people is important as the policy landscape for these products evolves.

Musculoskeletal Pain, Physical Function, and Quality of Life After Bariatric Surgery

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate the longitudinal effects of metabolic and bariatric surgery (MBS) on the prevalence of musculoskeletal and lower extremity (LE) pain, physical function, and health-related quality of life.

METHODS:

The Teen Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery study (NCT00474318) prospectively collected data on 242 adolescents undergoing MBS at 5 centers over a 3-year follow-up. Joint pain and physical function outcomes were assessed by using the Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index, Impact of Weight on Quality of Life – Kids, and the Short Form 36 Health Survey. Adolescents with Blount disease (n = 9) were excluded.

RESULTS:

Prevalent musculoskeletal and LE pain were reduced by 40% within 12 months and persisted over 3 years. Adjusted models revealed a 6% lower odds of having musculoskeletal pain (odds ratio = 0.94, 95% confidence interval: 0.92–0.99) and a 10% lower odds of having LE pain (odds ratio = 0.90, 95% confidence interval: 0.86–0.95) per 10% reduction of BMI. The prevalence of poor physical function (Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index score >0) declined from 49% to <20% at 6 months (P < .05), Physical comfort and the physical component scores, measured by the Impact of Weight on Quality of Life – Kids and the Short Form 36 Health Survey, improved at 6 months postsurgery and beyond (P < .01). Poor physical function predicted persistent joint pain after MBS.

CONCLUSIONS:

Joint pain, impaired physical function, and impaired health-related quality of life significantly improve after MBS. These benefits in patient-reported outcomes support the use of MBS in adolescents with severe obesity and musculoskeletal pain and suggest that MBS in adolescence may reverse and reduce multiple risk factors for future joint disease.

Establishing New Norms for Developmental Milestones

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:

Pediatric surveillance of young children depends on providers’ assessment of developmental milestones, yet normative data are sparse. Our objectives were to develop new norms for common milestones to aid in clinical interpretation of milestone attainment.

METHODS:

We analyzed responses to the developmental screening form of the Survey of Well-being of Young Children from 41 465 screens across 3 states. Associations between developmental status and a range of child characteristics were analyzed, and norms for individual questions were compared to guidelines regarding attainment of critical milestones from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

RESULTS:

A contemporary resource of normative data for developmental milestone attainment was established. Lower developmental status was associated with child age in the presence of positive behavioral screening scores (P < .01), social determinants of health (P < .01), Medicaid (P < .01), male sex (P < .01), and child race (P < .01). Comparisons between Survey of Well-being of Young Children developmental questions and CDC guidelines reveal that a high percentage of children are reported to pass milestones by the age at which the CDC states that "most children pass" and that an even higher percentage of children are reported to pass milestones by the age at which the CDC states that parents should "act early." An interactive data visualization tool that can assist clinicians in real-time developmental screening and surveillance interpretation is also provided.

CONCLUSIONS:

Detailed normative data on individual developmental milestones can help clinicians guide caregivers’ expectations for milestone attainment, thereby offering greater specificity to CDC guidelines.

The Rights of Children for Optimal Development and Nurturing Care

Millions of children are subjected to abuse, neglect, and displacement, and millions more are at risk for not achieving their developmental potential. Although there is a global movement to change this, driven by children’s rights, progress is slow and impeded by political considerations. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, a global comprehensive commitment to children’s rights ratified by all countries in the world except the United States (because of concerns about impingement on sovereignty and parental authority), has a special General Comment on "Implementing Child Rights in Early Childhood." More recently, the World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund have launched the Nurturing Care Framework for Early Childhood Development (ECD), which calls for public policies that promote nurturing care interventions and addresses 5 interrelated components that are necessary for optimal ECD. This move is also complemented by the Human Capital Project of the World Bank, providing a focus on the need for investments in child health and nutrition and their long-term benefits. In this article, we outline children’s rights under international law, the underlying scientific evidence supporting attention to ECD, and the philosophy of nurturing care that ensures that children’s rights are respected, protected, and fulfilled. We also provide pediatricians anywhere with the policy and rights-based frameworks that are essential for them to care for and advocate for children and families to ensure optimal developmental, health, and socioemotional outcomes. These recommendations do not necessarily reflect American Academy of Pediatrics policy.

Unscheduled Referrals and Unattended Appointments After Pediatric Subspecialty Referral

OBJECTIVES:

Incomplete subspecialty referrals, whether unscheduled or unattended, represent unmet patient needs and an opportunity to improve patient safety and experiences. Our objectives were to describe the rates of appointment scheduling and visit attendance after pediatric subspecialty referral and to examine patient and systems factors associated with scheduled referrals and attended appointments.

METHODS:

We conducted a retrospective review of referrals within a network of 52 primary and urgent care sites from November 2016 to October 2017. We included referrals for children ≤17 years old referred to medical or surgical subspecialists. We examined patient and health systems factors associated with (1) appointment scheduling and (2) visit attendance.

RESULTS:

Of 20 466 referrals, 13 261 (65%) resulted in an appointment scheduled within 90 days and 10 514 (51%) resulted in a visit attended within 90 days. In adjusted analyses, referral to surgical subspecialists was associated with an increased likelihood of appointment scheduling but a decreased likelihood of visit attendance. Compared with appointments scheduled within 7 days, appointments with intervals from referral to scheduled appointment exceeding 7 days were associated with decreasing likelihood of visit attendance (adjusted odds ratio 8–14 days 0.48; 95% confidence interval 0.37–0.61). Patient factors associated with decreased likelihood of both appointment scheduling and visit attendance included African American race, public insurance, and lower zip code median income.

CONCLUSIONS:

Patient and system factors were associated with variation in appointment scheduling and visit attendance. Decreased interval to appointment was significantly associated with visit attendance. These factors represent targets for interventions to improve referral completion.

A Collaborative Multicenter QI Initiative to Improve Antibiotic Stewardship in Newborns

OBJECTIVES:

To determine if NICU teams participating in a multicenter quality improvement (QI) collaborative achieve increased compliance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) core elements for antibiotic stewardship and demonstrate reductions in antibiotic use (AU) among newborns.

METHODS:

From January 2016 to December 2017, multidisciplinary teams from 146 NICUs participated in Choosing Antibiotics Wisely, an Internet-based national QI collaborative conducted by the Vermont Oxford Network consisting of interactive Web sessions, a series of 4 point-prevalence audits, and expert coaching designed to help teams test and implement the CDC core elements of antibiotic stewardship. The audits assessed unit-level adherence to the CDC core elements and collected patient-level data about AU. The AU rate was defined as the percentage of infants in the NICU receiving 1 or more antibiotics on the day of the audit.

RESULTS:

The percentage of NICUs implementing the CDC core elements increased in each of the 7 domains (leadership: 15.4%–68.8%; accountability: 54.5%–95%; drug expertise: 61.5%–85.1%; actions: 21.7%–72.3%; tracking: 14.7%–78%; reporting: 6.3%–17.7%; education: 32.9%–87.2%; P < .005 for all measures). The median AU rate decreased from 16.7% to 12.1% (P for trend < .0013), a 34% relative risk reduction.

CONCLUSIONS:

NICU teams participating in this QI collaborative increased adherence to the CDC core elements of antibiotic stewardship and achieved significant reductions in AU.

Measles Antibody Levels in Young Infants

BACKGROUND:

Infants are often assumed to be immune to measles through maternal antibodies transferred during pregnancy and, in many countries, receive their first measles-containing vaccine at 12 to 15 months. Immunity may wane before this time in measles-eliminated settings, placing infants at risk for measles and complications. We investigated humoral immunity to measles in infants <12 months of age in Ontario, Canada.

METHODS:

We selected sera collected at a tertiary pediatric hospital from infants <12 months who were born at ≥37 weeks’ gestational age. We excluded infants with conditions that affect antibody levels. We selected ≤25 sera from 8 predetermined age bands and tested them for measles-neutralizing antibody using the plaque-reduction neutralization test. We calculated the proportion immune at each age band, and predictors of infant susceptibility were assessed by using multivariable logistic regression and Poisson regression.

RESULTS:

Of 196 infant sera, 56% (110 of 196) were from boys, and 35% (69 of 196) were from infants with underlying medical conditions. In the first month, 20% (5 of 25) of infants had antibodies below the protective threshold, which increased to 92% (22 of 24) by 3 months. By 6 months, all infants had titers below the protective threshold. In a multivariable analysis, infant age was the strongest predictor of susceptibility (odds ratio = 2.13 for each additional month increase; 95% confidence interval: 1.52–2.97).

CONCLUSIONS:

Most infants were susceptible to measles by 3 months of age in this elimination setting. Our findings inform important policy discussions relating to the timing of the first dose of measles-containing vaccine and infant postexposure prophylaxis recommendations.

Multidisciplinary Engagement Increases Medications in-Hand for Patients Hospitalized With Asthma

BACKGROUND:

Asthma exacerbations in children are a leading cause of missed school days and health care use. Patients discharged from the hospital often do not fill discharge prescriptions and are at risk for future exacerbations.

METHODS:

A multidisciplinary team aimed to increase the percentage of patients discharged from the hospital after an asthma exacerbation with their medications in-hand from 15% to 80%. Tools from the model of improvement were used to establish a process map, key driver diagram, and iterative plan-do-study-act cycles. Statistical process control charts were used to track the proportion of patients discharged with their medications in-hand as the primary outcome. Initiating multidisciplinary daily discharge huddles on the unit was the key intervention that facilitated change in the system.

RESULTS:

During the study period, the percentage of patients with asthma who received their medications in-hand increased from 15% to >80% for all eligible children and >90% for children with public insurance. Children had a median age of 6.7 years, 47% were female, and 83.8% identified as non-Hispanic African American. Through iterative meetings and mapping with the multidisciplinary team, a process map for bedside delivery and a key driver diagram were created. Balancing measures, specifically length of stay and discharge medications forgotten at the hospital, remained constant.

CONCLUSIONS:

Improvements in increasing medication possession at the time of discharge for children hospitalized with asthma were facilitated by multidisciplinary engagement. Standardizing discharge initiatives may play a key role in improving discharge transitions for children with asthma.

Neighborhood Poverty and Pediatric Intensive Care Use

BACKGROUND:

Disparities in health service use have been described across a range of sociodemographic factors. Patterns of PICU use have not been thoroughly assessed.

METHODS:

This was a population-level, retrospective analysis of admissions to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center PICU between 2011 and 2016. Residential addresses of patients were geocoded and spatially joined to census tracts. Pediatric patients were eligible for inclusion if they resided within Hamilton County, Ohio. PICU admission and bed-day rates were calculated by using numerators of admissions and bed days, respectively, over a denominator of tract child population. Relationships between tract-level PICU use and child poverty were assessed by using Spearman’s and analysis of variance. Analyses were event based; children admitted multiple times were counted as discrete admissions.

RESULTS:

There were 4071 included admissions involving 3129 unique children contributing a total of 12 297 PICU bed days. Child poverty was positively associated with PICU admission rates (r = 0.59; P < .001) and bed-day rates (r = 0.47; P < .001). When tracts were grouped into quintiles based on child poverty rates, the PICU bed-day rate ranged from 23.4 days per 1000 children in the lowest poverty quintile to 81.9 days in the highest poverty quintile (P < .001).

CONCLUSIONS:

The association between poverty and poor health outcomes includes pediatric intensive care use. This association exists for children who grow up in poverty and around poverty. Future efforts should characterize the interplay between patient- and neighborhood-level risk factors and explore neighborhood-level interventions to improve child health.

CYP2C19 Phenotype and Risk of Proton Pump Inhibitor-Associated Infections

OBJECTIVES:

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are often used in pediatrics to treat common gastrointestinal disorders, and there are growing concerns for infectious adverse events. Because CYP2C19 inactivates PPIs, genetic variants that increase CYP2C19 function may decrease PPI exposure and infections. We tested the hypothesis that CYP2C19 metabolizer phenotypes are associated with infection event rates in children exposed to PPIs.

METHODS:

This retrospective biorepository cohort study included individuals aged 0 to 36 months at the time of PPI exposure. Respiratory tract and gastrointestinal tract infection events were identified by using International Classification of Diseases codes in the year after the first PPI mention. Variants defining CYP2C19 *2, *3, *4, *8, *9, and *17 were genotyped, and all individuals were classified as CYP2C19 poor or intermediate, normal metabolizers (NMs), or rapid or ultrarapid metabolizers (RM/UMs). Infection rates were compared by using univariate and multivariate analyses.

RESULTS:

In all, 670 individuals were included (median age 7 months; 44% girls). CYP2C19 NMs (n = 267; 40%) had a higher infection rate than RM/UMs (n = 220; 33%; median 2 vs 1 infections per person per year; P = .03). There was no difference between poor or intermediate (n = 183; 27%) and NMs. In multivariable analysis of NMs and RM/UMs adjusting for age, sex, PPI dose, and comorbidities, CYP2C19 metabolizer status remained a significant risk factor for infection events (odds ratio 0.70 [95% confidence interval 0.50–0.97] for RM/UMs versus NMs).

CONCLUSIONS:

PPI therapy is associated with higher infection rates in children with normal CYP2C19 function than in those with increased CYP2C19 function, highlighting this adverse effect of PPI therapy and the relevance of CYP2C19 genotypes to PPI therapeutic decision-making.

Early-Life Predictors of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) comprise the continuum of disabilities associated with prenatal alcohol exposure. Although infancy remains the most effective time for initiation of intervention services, current diagnostic schemes demonstrate the greatest confidence, accuracy, and reliability in school-aged children. Our aims for the current study were to identify growth, dysmorphology, and neurodevelopmental features in infants that were most predictive of FASD at age 5, thereby improving the timeliness of diagnoses.

METHODS:

A cohort of pregnant South African women attending primary health care clinics or giving birth in provincial hospitals was enrolled in the project. Children were followed longitudinally from birth to 60 months to determine their physical and developmental trajectories (N = 155). Standardized protocols were used to assess growth, dysmorphology, and development at 6 weeks and at 9, 18, 42, and 60 months. A structured maternal interview, including estimation of prenatal alcohol intake, was administered at 42 or 60 months.

RESULTS:

Growth restriction and total dysmorphology scores differentiated among children with and without FASD as early as 9 months (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve = 0.777; P < .001; 95% confidence interval: 0.705–0.849), although children who were severely affected could be identified earlier. Assessment of developmental milestones revealed significant developmental differences emerging among children with and without FASD between 18 and 42 months. Mothers of children with FASD were significantly smaller, with lower BMIs and higher alcohol intake during pregnancy, than mothers of children without FASD.

CONCLUSIONS:

Assessment of a combination of growth, dysmorphology, and neurobehavioral characteristics allows for accurate identification of most children with FASD as early as 9 to 18 months.

Interventions for Occluded Central Venous Catheters: A Meta-analysis

CONTEXT:

Thrombotic occlusion is 1 of the most frequent complications in catheters implanted in children.

OBJECTIVE:

To identify the interventions used to treat thrombotic events in long-term central venous catheters in pediatric patients with cancer.

DATA SOURCES:

Electronic searches were performed in the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences Literature, LIVIVO, PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Google Scholar, OpenGrey, and ProQuest databases. There were no restrictions on language or publication period.

STUDY SELECTION:

This systematic review was performed in 2 phases and included clinical trials and observational studies on drugs used to treat thrombotic catheter events in pediatric patients with cancer. The review was reported according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis checklist, and the protocol was registered at PROSPERO (identifier CRD42018083555).

DATA EXTRACTION:

The authors evaluated the quality of included studies using the Methodological Index for Nonrandomized Studies and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation methods. The meta-analysis was performed by using Stata software.

RESULTS:

Ten studies were included. The drugs used to restore catheter function were alteplase, urokinase, and streptokinase. A meta-analysis of 6 studies revealed an overall restoration rate of 88% for alteplase.

LIMITATIONS:

Reference studies were excluded when it was not possible to reliably extract data that met the inclusion criteria of this review. Sampling issues (absence of randomization, blinding, or a control group) were the main methodologic concerns for the included articles.

CONCLUSIONS:

On the basis of the evidence obtained, thrombolysis is effective and potentially safe in this population.

Prenatal and Infancy Nurse Home Visiting and 18-Year Outcomes of a Randomized Trial

OBJECTIVES:

Given earlier effects found in randomized clinical trials of the Nurse-Family Partnership, we examined whether this program would improve 18-year-old first-born youths' cognition, academic achievement, and behavior and whether effects on cognitive-related outcomes would be greater for youth born to mothers with limited psychological resources (LPR) and on arrests and convictions among females.

METHODS:

We enrolled 742 pregnant, low-income women with no previous live births and randomly assigned them to receive either free transportation for prenatal care plus child development screening and referral (control; n = 514) or prenatal and infant home nurse visit (NV) plus transportation and screening (n = 228). Assessments were completed on 629 18-year-old first-born offspring to evaluate these primary outcomes: (1) cognitive-related abilities (nonverbal intelligence, receptive language, and math achievement) and (2) behavioral health (internalizing behavioral problems, substance use and abuse, sexually transmitted infections, HIV risk, arrests, convictions, and gang membership).

RESULTS:

Compared with control-group counterparts, NV youth born to mothers with LPR had better receptive language (effect size = 0.24; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.00 to 0.47; P = .05), math achievement (effect size = 0.38; 95% CI: 0.14 to 0.61; P = .002), and a number of secondary cognitive-related outcomes. NV females, as a trend, had fewer convictions (incidence ratio = 0.47; 95% CI: 0.20 to 1.11; P = .08). There were no intervention effects on other behaviors.

CONCLUSIONS:

The program improved the cognitive-related skills of 18-year-olds born to mothers with LPR and, as a trend, reduced female convictions but produced no other effects on youth behavioral health.

Prenatal and Infancy Nurse Home Visiting Effects on Mothers: 18-Year Follow-up of a Randomized Trial

BACKGROUND:

Prenatal and infancy home-visiting by nurses is promoted as a means of improving maternal life-course, but evidence of long-term effects is limited. We hypothesized that nurse-visitation would lead to long-term reductions in public-benefit costs, maternal substance abuse and depression, and that cost-savings would be greater for mothers with initially higher psychological resources.

METHODS:

We conducted an 18-year follow-up of 618 out of 742 low-income, primarily African-American mothers with no previous live births enrolled in an randomized clinical trial of prenatal and infancy home visiting by nurses. We compared nurse-visited and control-group women for public-benefit costs, rates of substance abuse and depression, and examined possible mediators of intervention effects.

RESULTS:

Nurse-visited women, compared with controls, incurred $17 310 less in public benefit costs (P = .03), an effect more pronounced for women with higher psychological resources ($28 847, P = .01). These savings compare with program costs of $12 578. There were no program effects on substance abuseor depression. Nurse-visited women were more likely to be married from child age 2 through 18 (19.2% vs 14.8%, P = .04), and those with higher psychological resources had 4.64 fewer cumulative years rearing subsequent children after the birth of the first child (P = .03). Pregnancy planning was a significant mediator of program effects on public benefit costs.

CONCLUSIONS:

Through child age 18, the program reduced public-benefit costs, an effect more pronounced for mothers with higher psychological resources and mediated by subsequent pregnancy planning. There were no effects on maternal substance abuse and depression.

The Use of Nonnutritive Sweeteners in Children

The prevalence of nonnutritive sweeteners (NNSs) in the food supply has increased over time. Not only are more children and adolescents consuming NNSs, but they are also consuming a larger quantity of NNSs in the absence of strong scientific evidence to refute or support the safety of these agents. This policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics is intended to provide the pediatric provider with a review of (1) previous steps taken for approved use of NNSs, (2) existing data regarding the safety of NNS use in the general pediatric population, (3) what is known regarding the potential benefits and/or adverse effects of NNS use in children and adolescents, (4) identified gaps in existing knowledge and potential areas of future research, and (5) suggested talking points that pediatricians may use when discussing NNS use with families

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