While influenza infections are common on college campuses, the impact of such infections on health care use and school performance is unknown. In this study of 18 000 students at a large university and a smaller liberal arts college, one-fourth of students experienced an influenzalike illness during the flu season. Influenza vaccination significantly lowered the odds of experiencing an influenzalike illness, needing to visit a health care provider or using antibiotics, and doing poorly in class or on an assignment because of illness. The total number of work and school days lost was significantly lower in those who were vaccinated.
In this study, Hawkins and colleagues examined the effects of school-based interventions during elementary school years on functioning at ages 24 and 27 years, 12 to 15 years after the intervention ended. Individuals who received the full intervention were more likely than controls to have continued their education beyond high school and had higher incomes at age 27 years. The intervention was associated with fewer symptoms of mental health disorders at ages 24 and 27 years, but there was no effect on substance abuse or dependence or crime. The lifetime prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases was also lower in this group. This study indicates that interventions during elementary school to improve the performance of teachers, strengthen parenting practices, and ensure that children have the skills to participate in the social and academic life of their school can have positive effects on the children's functioning many years later.
The development of effective interventions for childhood obesity represents a critical public health objective, especially in underserved settings. In this randomized controlled trial, the authors used the Cooperative Extension Service network to deliver an intervention to overweight 8- to 14-year-old children in rural areas. Sessions were held weekly for 8 weeks and then biweekly for an additional 8 weeks. The intervention was successful in decreasing body mass index z scores both at the end of the trial and 10-month follow-up. The parent-only intervention was as effective as the family-based treatment. This study has important implications for practical, feasible interventions for overweight children, including those in underserved areas.
Change in child body mass index (BMI) z score from pretreatment to follow-up (month 10). Body mass index is calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. FB indicates family based; PO, parent only; and WLC, wait-list control. Error bars indicate SD.
Change in age at diagnosis may confound the observed increase in the prevalence of autism if there is insufficient follow-up to estimate final prevalence. This study sought to determine if there were changes in the age at diagnosis of autism in Denmark and to estimate the bias that might result, using a cohort of more than 400 000 children born from 1994 through 1999. The data indicate that age at the time of diagnosis of autism or autism spectrum disorders has shifted downward between the 1994-1995 and 1998-1999 birth cohorts. The apparent increase in autism in recent years is in part attributable to a decrease over time in the age at diagnosis.
Age-specific prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (A) and childhood autism (B) for each 2-year birth cohort (1 minus the Kaplan-Meier curve).
This Month in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2008;162(12):1112. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2008.501