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This Month in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
November 2006

This Month in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2006 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2006

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006;160(11):1100. doi:10.1001/archpedi.160.11.1100
Parental Reactions to Information About Increased Genetic Risk for Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus in Infants

Although genetic screening for type 1 diabetes mellitus cannot be done, testing whether infants have an increased risk for type 1 diabetes is feasible. Such screening has a sensitivity of approximately 70% for identifying those at risk of developing type 1 diabetes before age 15 years but a positive predictive value of only 3% to 7%. In this study from Finland in which parents were told of their newborns' risk for diabetes, families of 523 high-risk babies were compared with 506 families of low-risk babies 1 to 2 weeks after learning the risk status. The amount of anxiety in the 2 sets of families was similar, and more than 90% were grateful to know the risk status. Increased anxiety was related to other life stress.

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Autism: A Review of the State of the Science for Pediatric Primary Health Care Clinicians

Autism and related conditions in the “autism spectrum” have become the focus of intense interest, fueled by concerns about the apparent increase in the number of children affected by these developmental disorders. Pediatricians have an important role in the identification and ongoing management of children with autism. Barbaresi and colleagues in this comprehensive review article examine the epidemiology of autism, examine the approaches to identifying and diagnosing children suspected of having the disorder, and discuss treatment strategies for the child and family.

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Public Opinion on Sex Education in US Schools

Sex education for adolescents is necessary to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections. Although the federal government's current policy is to promote abstinence-only education, there are limited data to support its effectiveness. This study used a random-digit dialing household survey to examine the type of school-based sex education preferred by the public. Approximately 82% of respondents indicated support for programs that teach students about both abstinence and other methods of preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Abstinence-only education programs received the lowest level of support and the highest level of opposition. Regardless of political ideology, adults in the United States preferred a balanced approach to sex education.

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Percentage of support for sex education programs by political ideology.

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Double Burden of Iron Deficiency in Infancy and Low Socioeconomic Status: A Longitudinal Analysis of Cognitive Test Scores to Age 19 Years

Prior studies from around the world have consistently shown that infants with iron deficiency have lower cognitive test scores than infants with good iron stores. The present study assessed change in cognitive test performance from the second year of life to age 19 years among 185 individuals from Costa Rica. In individuals with chronic iron deficiency in infancy from families of middle socioeconomic status, their cognitive test scores at age 19 years averaged 9 points lower than those of comparable individuals without a history of iron deficiency. Among individuals from low socioeconomic status backgrounds, this cognitive difference at age 19 years was 25 points. The chronic iron deficiency group did not exhibit a catch-up in their cognitive scores over time. The gap for individuals from low socioeconomic status backgrounds widened. These results underscore the need for prevention and treatment of iron deficiency.

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Cognitive composite scores over time comparing infant iron status groups within middle- and low-socioeconomic status (SES) families. Iron status group and SES level each affected initial scores (P = .01 for chronic iron deficiency difference within middle-SES families and P = .003 for chronic iron deficiency difference within low-SES families). Change over time differed only for the chronic iron deficiency group in low-SES families (P = .02 for change from infancy to age 5 years and P = .04 for change from ages 5 to 19 years). Each participant is represented once: good iron status (n = 67) compared with chronic iron deficiency (n = 20) in middle-SES families and good iron status (n = 65) compared with chronic iron deficiency (n = 33) in low-SES families. Symbols are placed at the average age for each assessment.

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