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This Month in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
February 2007

This Month in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007;161(2):122. doi:10.1001/archpedi.161.2.122

Physical and Emotional Health of Mothers of Youth With Functional Abdominal Pain

Recurrent abdominal pain is a common pediatric problem encountered in the office setting. The great majority of these children have functional abdominal pain and have higher rates of anxiety and depressive and other somatic symptoms than unaffected youth. This study compared mothers of youth aged 8 to 15 years with functional abdominal pain with mothers of pain-free controls. Mothers of children with functional abdominal pain had a 6-fold increased odds of having a history of both anxiety and depression compared with controls. However, maternal irritable bowel syndrome and migraine were not associated with functional abdominal pain in their children after controlling for maternal anxiety and depression. The study indicates that functional abdominal pain may be better conceptualized as a disorder of emotion rather than of gastrointestinal function, and that family health and illness attitudes deserve further study and attention.

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A Randomized Trial of a Multicomponent Intervention for Adolescent Sun Protection Behaviors

One quarter of a person's lifetime UV radiation exposure occurs during childhood and adolescence. Sunburns in childhood and adolescence have been associated with an increased risk of later developing melanoma and basal cell carcinomas. This study evaluated a multicomponent primary care–based intervention to increase sun protective behaviors. Eight hundred nineteen adolescents aged 11 to 15 years were randomized to receive an assessment of sun protection behaviors and office-based counseling or to receive a physical activity and nutrition component. At 12 and 24 months, the intervention group had more sun protection behaviors than did the control group. There was a dose-response effect, with participants who received more intervention having a greater change in behavior. Office-based interventions to reduce sun exposure can be effective and have the potential for reducing skin cancer in the future.

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Internet Prevention Messages: Targeting the Right Online Behaviors

An estimated 9% of youth online are targets of harassment and 13% are targets of unwanted sexual solicitation per year. This study sought to examine the behaviors associated with the greatest risk of online interpersonal victimization. This national random-digit dialing study surveyed 1500 Internet users aged 10 to 17 years. Unwanted sexual solicitation or harassment was associated with aggressive behavior in the form of making rude or nasty comments or frequently embarrassing others online, meeting people online, and talking about sex online with unknown people. Youth who engaged in 4 or more types of risky online behaviors were at an 11-fold increased risk of interpersonal victimization. Sharing personal information does not appear to be associated with an increased risk of victimization.

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Results of a General Hepatitis C Lookback Program for Persons Who Received Blood Transfusions in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Between January 1975 and July 1992

There are an estimated 3.9 million people in the United States infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Persons transfused as neonates before July 1992 represent an unknown, but potentially significant, proportion of those estimated to be infected with HCV. This study examined individuals transfused as neonates in Anchorage, Alaska, between 1975 and 1992. Among those screened, 3% were hepatitis C antibody positive and a small number were HCV ribonucleic acid positive. Half of the individuals who responded to the survey were not aware that they had received a transfusion. This study indicates that it may be prudent to screen all neonatal intensive care unit patients for HCV who had been transfused before July 1992.

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