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To determine the prevalence of alternative causes of liver disease in a cohort of youth with overweight and obesity undergoing evaluation for suspected nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).METHODS:
Multicenter, retrospective cohort study of patients aged ≤18 years with overweight and obesity and evidence of elevated serum aminotransferases and/or hepatic steatosis on imaging, referred for suspected NAFLD to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (2009–2017) or Yale New Haven Children's Hospital (2012–2017). Testing was performed to exclude the following: autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), Wilson disease, viral hepatitis (B and C), thyroid dysfunction, celiac disease, α-1 antitrypsin deficiency, and hemochromatosis.RESULTS:
A total of 900 children with overweight and obesity (63% boys, 26% Hispanic ethnicity) were referred, with a median age of 13 years (range: 2–18). Most had severe obesity (n = 666; 76%) with a median BMI z score of 2.45 (interquartile range [IQR]: 2.2–2.7). Median alanine aminotransferase level at presentation was 64 U/L (IQR: 42–95). A clinically indicated liver biopsy was performed in 358 children (40%) at a median of 6 months (IQR: 1–14) post initial visit; of those, 46% had confirmed nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Positive autoantibodies were observed in 13% of the cohort, but none met criteria for AIH. Only 19 (2%) were found to have other causes of liver disease, with no cases of viral hepatitis or Wilson disease detected.CONCLUSIONS:
In a large, multicenter cohort, the vast majority of children with overweight and obesity with presumed or confirmed NAFLD tested negative for other causes of liver disease. In contrast to a previous pediatric report, no patient was diagnosed with AIH.
Amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, uncertainty exists about the potential for vertical transmission from mothers infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to the fetus in utero. In this case report, we aim to demonstrate the occurrence of a fetal inflammatory response syndrome associated with maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection resulting in neonatal morbidity. In this report we describe an infant of a SARS-CoV-2–positive mother born prematurely with late-onset fever, thrombocytopenia, and elevated levels of inflammatory markers, all of which are consistent with a systemic inflammatory response. The neonate was tested for SARS-CoV-2 by using 2 nasopharyngeal swabs 24 hours apart, and results of both were negative. The result of a full workup for additional infectious pathogens was also negative. Although initially in critical condition in the perinatal period, the infant recovered completely before discharge. We hypothesize that this systemic inflammation occurred in response to maternal viral infection in the absence of vertical transmission of the virus. During the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, it will be important to consider the virus as a nidus for a fetal inflammatory response syndrome and resulting morbidity, even in the setting of a negative SARS-CoV-2 testing result in the infant.
To examine characteristics and health service use patterns of suicide decedents with a history of child welfare system involvement to inform prevention strategies and reduce suicide in this vulnerable population.METHODS:
A retrospective matched case-control design (120 suicide decedents and 1200 matched controls) was implemented. Suicide decedents included youth aged 5 to 21 who died by suicide and had an open case in Ohio’s Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System between 2010 and 2017. Controls were matched to suicide decedents on sex, race, and ethnicity. Comparisons were analyzed by using conditional logistic regressions to control for matching between the suicide and control groups.RESULTS:
Youth in the child welfare system who died by suicide were significantly more likely to experience out-of-home placements and be diagnosed with mental and physical health conditions compared with controls. Suicide decedents were twice as likely to access mental health services in the 1 and 6 months before death, regardless of the health care setting. A significantly higher percentage of suicide decedents used physical health services 6 months before their death or index date. Emergency department visits for both physical and mental health conditions were significantly more likely to occur among suicide decedents.CONCLUSIONS:
Suicide decedents involved in the child welfare system were more likely to use both mental and physical health care services in the months before their death or index date. Findings suggest that youth involved in the child welfare system may benefit from suicide prevention strategies in health care settings.
The Community Asthma Initiative (CAI) was included in the New England Asthma Innovations Collaborative, which received a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation grant. Under this grant, CAI transitioned from a mixed community health worker and nurse model to a nurse-supervised community health worker model. CMS limited enrollment to patients with Medicaid and encouraged 3 home visits per family.METHODS:
A total of 389 patients enrolled under the CMS grant at Boston Children’s Hospital from 2013 to 2015 (CMS group) were compared with 733 CAI patients with Medicaid enrolled from 2005 to 2012 (comparison group). Changes in 5 asthma-related measures (emergency department visits, hospitalizations, physical activity limitations, missed school days, and parent and/or guardian missed workdays) were compared between baseline and 6 and 12 months postenrollment. Measures were analyzed as dichotomous variables using logistic regression. Numbers of occurrences were analyzed as continuous variables. Changes in quality of life (QoL) among the CMS group were examined through a 13-question survey with activity and emotional health subscales.RESULTS:
Although patients in both groups exhibited improvement in all measures, the CMS group had greater odds of decreased hospitalizations (odds ratio 3.13 [95% confidence interval 1.49–6.59]), missed school days (1.91 [1.09–3.36]), and parent and/or guardian missed workdays (2.72 [1.15–6.41]) compared to the comparison group. Twelve months postenrollment, the CMS group experienced improvement in all QoL questions and subscales (all P values <.01).CONCLUSIONS:
The CMS group showed improved outcomes for hospitalizations and missed school and workdays compared to the comparison group. The CMS group also exhibited significant improvement in QoL.
Firearm injuries are a leading and preventable cause of morbidity and mortality among youth. We sought to explore differences in sociodemographic factors and youth firearm injury outcomes by injury intent (unintentional, assault, and self-harm).METHODS:
We conducted a repeated cross-sectional analysis of emergency department (ED) visits among youth aged 21 and younger presenting to an ED with a firearm injury between 2009 and 2016 using the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample. We performed multivariable logistic regression to measure the strength of association between (1) patient-level factors, (2) visit-level characteristics, and (3) clinical outcomes and intent of firearm injury.RESULTS:
We identified 178 299 weighted visits for firearm injuries. The mean age was 17.9 (95% confidence interval 17.8–18.0) years; 89.0% of patients were male, 43.0% were publicly insured, 28.8% were admitted, and 6.0% died. Approximately one-third of the injuries were categorized as unintentional (39.4%), another third as assault (37.7%), and a small proportion as self-harm (1.7%). Unintentional firearm injuries were associated with younger age, rural hospital location, Southern region, ED discharge, and extremity injury. Self-harm firearm injuries were associated with older age, higher socioeconomic status, rural hospital location, transfer or death, and brain, back, or spinal cord injury. Firearm injuries by assault were associated with lower socioeconomic status, urban hospital location, and requiring admission.CONCLUSIONS:
We identified distinct risk profiles for youth with unintentional, self-harm-, and assault-related firearm injuries. Sociodemographic factors related to intent may be useful in guiding policy and informing tailored interventions for the prevention of firearm injuries in at-risk youth.
The New Jersey Pediatric Residency Advocacy Collaborative (NJPRAC) is a statewide collaborative with faculty leads from each of the 10 New Jersey pediatric residency programs. The 2 major goals of the collaborative were to build community partnerships between pediatric residency programs and local organizations and develop a core advocacy curriculum. In this article, we focus on how the NJPRAC built community partnerships with Family Success Centers (FSCs) across the state over the course of a 2-year period. FSCs are located within every county in the state and fall under the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, providing resources and supports for families in crisis, with a focus on child abuse prevention services. Amid this growing partnership, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic forced the NJPRAC to swiftly pivot its partnership and develop innovative programs to support families during the COVID-19 pandemic. As FSC leadership communicated families’ concerns to the collaborative, we initiated the Virtual House Call webinar, which incorporated pediatricians, community leaders, and allied health professionals to answer COVID-19 questions. These webinars quickly expanded into weekly interprofessional series, with experts in mental health, law, nutrition, and dentistry partnering with pediatricians from various subspecialties. Key to the webinars’ success was responding in real time to audience questions, collaborating with the FSC leadership on content, and garnering the support from the local New Jersey Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics and the national American Academy of Pediatrics. A key challenge remains to meaningfully incorporate pediatric trainees into community partnerships. The NJPRAC plans to continue the Virtual House Call series with continuous input from the FSCs and participating families.
High costs associated with hospitalization have encouraged reductions in unnecessary encounters. A subset of observation status patients receive minimal interventions and incur low use costs. These patients may contain a cohort that could safely be treated outside of the hospital. Thus, we sought to describe characteristics of low resource use (LRU) observation status hospitalizations and variation in LRU stays across hospitals.METHODS:
We conducted a retrospective cohort study of pediatric observation encounters at 42 hospitals contributing to the Pediatric Health Information System database from January 1, 2019, to December 31, 2019. For each hospitalization, we calculated the use ratio (nonroom costs to total hospitalization cost). We grouped stays into use quartiles with the lowest labeled LRU. We described associations with LRU stays and performed classification and regression tree analyses to identify the combination of characteristics most associated with LRU. Finally, we described the proportion of LRU hospitalizations across hospitals.RESULTS:
We identified 174 315 observation encounters (44 422 LRU). Children <1 year (odds ratio [OR] 3.3; 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.1–3.4), without complex chronic conditions (OR 3.6; 95% CI 3.2–4.0), and those directly admitted (OR 4.2; 95% CI 4.1–4.4) had the greatest odds of experiencing an LRU encounter. Those children with the combination of direct admission, no medical complexity, and a respiratory diagnosis experienced an LRU stay 69.5% of the time. We observed variation in LRU encounters (1%–57% of observation encounters) across hospitals.CONCLUSIONS:
LRU observation encounters are variable across children’s hospitals. These stays may include a cohort of patients who could be treated outside of the hospital.
Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is characterized by a monophasic, ascending, and symmetrical paralysis with areflexia that progresses over days to weeks. It is typically a postinfectious autoimmune process that leads to destruction of myelin. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), originated in Wuhan, China, in late 2019 and rapidly spread around the world, causing a pandemic of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). There have been scattered reports of adults with possible GBS and concurrent evidence of COVID-19, but no previous reports in children. The patient is an 8-year-old boy who presented to the emergency department with progressive, ascending weakness with areflexia. He was intubated for airway protection because of poor secretion control. MRI of the spine revealed abnormal enhancement of posterior nerve roots. A lumbar puncture revealed albuminocytologic dissociation with 1 nucleated cell per mm3 and a protein level of 620 mg/dL. Electrodiagnostic findings were compatible with sensorimotor demyelinating polyneuropathy. The lumbar puncture, MRI, and electrodiagnostics were all consistent with GBS. Results of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid amplification and SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G antibody tests were positive. Treatment was initiated with intravenous immunoglobulin; he received a total of 2 g/kg. His neurologic examination revealed improvement in the subsequent days. He was extubated after 4 days of intubation. This case is the first reported case of a child with GBS in the setting of an acute COVID-19 infection. This case reveals the wide scope of presentations of COVID-19 and postinfectious processes. Clinicians should constantly have a high level of suspicion for COVID-19.
Access to firearms among youth can increase the risk of suicide or other injury. In this study, we sought to estimate the population prevalence of adolescent perception of firearm access by demographic, geographic, and other individual health characteristics.METHODS:
The 2019 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey was an anonymous survey administered to a representative sample of high school students in Colorado. The survey was used to assess health behaviors and risk and protective factors. Analysis was conducted with weights to the state population of public high school students.RESULTS:
In total, 46 537 high school students responded (71% student response rate; 83% school response rate). One in 5 students said it was "sort of easy" (11.1%) or "very easy" (8.8%) to access a handgun, with higher prevalence among male and older-aged youth and differences in racial and/or ethnicity groups. There were geographic differences such that students in schools in more rural areas were more likely to report perceived easy access. Students who had felt sad or hopeless, attempted suicide, or been in a fight were more likely to say they had access to a handgun.CONCLUSIONS:
A relatively high proportion of youth have easy access to a firearm, with differences across age, sex, race and/or ethnicity, and geography. This highlights the need for efforts to address ways to reduce firearm access for youth, including secure storage at home, for the prevention of youth firearm suicide and other firearm injuries.
In this study, we aim to assess the associations over time between poverty and child weight status, asthma, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL).METHODS:
We analyzed data for 3968 children from the Generation R Study, a population-based cohort study in the Netherlands. Net household income and the number of adults and children living from this income were measured at 4 time-points (during pregnancy and at ages 2, 3, and 6). Poverty was defined on the basis of the equivalized household income being <60% of the median national income. Child health outcomes were measured at age 6 years. The association was explored by using logistic and linear regression models.RESULTS:
In this cohort, 9.8% of children were born into poverty and 6.0% had experienced 3 to 4 episodes of poverty. Independent of current poverty status, children born into poverty had an odds ratio (OR) of 1.68 for having overweight/obesity and a lower physical HRQoL (OR = –1.32) than those not born into poverty. Children having experienced 3 to 4 episodes of poverty had an OR of 1.94 for having asthma and a lower physical HRQoL (OR = –3.32) compared with children from never-poor families. Transition out of poverty before age 2 was associated with lower risk of asthma and a higher physical HRQoL compared with children who remained in poverty.CONCLUSIONS:
Being born into poverty or experiencing multiple episodes of poverty is associated with negative child health outcomes, such as having overweight, asthma, or a lower HRQoL. Support for children and families with a low household income is warranted.
Risky behaviors are the main threats to adolescents’ health; consequently, evidence-based guidelines recommend annual comprehensive risk behavior screening.OBJECTIVE:
To review studies of adolescent risk behavior screening and interventions in urgent care, emergency department (ED), and hospital settings.DATA SOURCES:
Our data sources included PubMed (1965–2019) and Embase (1947–2019).STUDY SELECTION:
Studies were included on the basis of population (adolescents aged 10–25 years), topic (risk behavior screening or intervention), and setting (urgent care, ED, or hospital). Studies were excluded if they involved younger children or adults or only included previously identified high-risk adolescents.DATA EXTRACTION:
Data extracted were risk behavior screening rates, screening and intervention tools, and attitudes toward screening and intervention.RESULTS:
Forty-six studies were included; most (38 of 46) took place in the ED, and a single risk behavior domain was examined (sexual health [19 of 46], mood and suicidal ideation [12 of 46], substance use [7 of 46], and violence [2 of 46]). In 6 studies, authors examined comprehensive risk behavior screening, demonstrating low rates at baseline (~10%) but significant increases with clinician reminder implementation. Adolescents and clinicians were highly accepting of risk behavior screening in all settings and preferred electronic screening over a face-to-face interview. Reported barriers were time constraints and limited resources.LIMITATIONS:
Only 1 included study was a randomized controlled trial, and there was large heterogeneity of included studies, potentially limiting generalizability.CONCLUSIONS:
Rates of adolescent risk behavior screening are low in urgent care, ED, and hospital settings. Our findings outline promising tools for improving screening and intervention, highlighting the critical need for continued development and testing of interventions in these settings to improve adolescent care.
Many transgender youth experience gender dysphoria, a risk factor for suicide. Gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT) ameliorates this risk but may increase the risk for thrombosis, as seen from studies in adults. The aim with this study was to examine thrombosis and thrombosis risk factors among an exclusively adolescent and young adult transgender population.METHODS:
This retrospective chart review was conducted at a pediatric hospital-associated transgender health clinic. The primary outcome was incidence of arterial or venous thrombosis during GAHT. Secondary measures included the prevalence of thrombosis risk factors.RESULTS:
Among 611 participants, 28.8% were transgender women and 68.1% were transgender men. Median age was 17 years at GAHT initiation. Median follow-up time was 554 and 577 days for estrogen and testosterone users, respectively. Individuals starting GAHT had estradiol and testosterone levels titrated to physiologic normal. Multiple thrombotic risk factors were noted among the cohort, including obesity, tobacco use, and personal and family history of thrombosis. Seventeen youth with risk factors for thrombosis were referred for hematologic evaluation. Five individuals were treated with anticoagulation during GAHT: 2 with a previous thrombosis and 3 for thromboprophylaxis. No participant developed thrombosis while on GAHT.CONCLUSIONS:
In this study, we examined thrombosis and thrombosis risk factors in an exclusively adolescent and young adult population of transgender people receiving GAHT. These data suggest that GAHT in youth, titrated within physiologic range, does not carry a significant risk of thrombosis in the short-term, even with the presence of preexisting thrombosis risk factors.
Understanding equivalence of time-use trade-offs may inform tailored lifestyle choices. We explored which time reallocations were associated with equivalent changes in children’s health outcomes.METHODS:
Participants were from the cross-sectional Child Health CheckPoint Study (N = 1179; 11–12 years; 50% boys) nested within the population-based Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Outcomes were adiposity (bioelectrical impedance analysis, BMI and waist girth), self-reported health-related quality of life (HRQoL; Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory), and academic achievement (standardized national tests). Participants’ 24-hour time use (sleep, sedentary behavior, light physical activity, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity [MVPA]) from 8-day 24-hour accelerometry was regressed against outcomes by using compositional log-ratio linear regression models.RESULTS:
Children with lower adiposity and higher HRQoL had more MVPA (both P ≤ .001) and sleep (P = .001; P < .02), and less sedentary time (both P < .001) and light physical activity (adiposity only; P = .03), each relative to remaining activities. Children with better academic achievement had less light physical activity, relative to remaining activities (P = .003). A 0.1 standardized decrease in adiposity was associated with either 52 minutes more sleep, 56 minutes less sedentary time, 65 minutes less light physical activity, or 17 minutes more MVPA. A 0.1 standardized increase in HRQoL was associated with either 68 minutes more sleep, 54 minutes less sedentary time, or 35 minutes more MVPA.CONCLUSIONS:
Equivalent differences in outcomes were associated with several time reallocations. On a minute-for-minute basis, MVPA was 2 to 6 times as potent as sleep or sedentary time.
Gender-incongruent youth may present to gender-affirming medical care (GAMC) later in adolescence and puberty when hormone blockers provide less benefit. Factors influencing age of presentation to GAMC have not been described.METHODS:
A sequential mixed methods study. Participants were categorized on the basis of age at presentation to GAMC. Youth presenting at ≥15 years comprised the older-presenting youth, whereas those presenting at <15 years comprised the younger-presenting youth. Caregivers were categorized on the basis of the youth’s age of presentation. Twenty-four individuals were interviewed, 6 youth and 6 caregivers from each age category. Thematic analysis identified themes related to timing of presentation to GAMC. Themes differentially endorsed between older and younger youth or between caregivers of older and younger youth were used to design a questionnaire distributed to 193 youths and 187 caregivers. Responses were compared between age groups for youths and caregivers.RESULTS:
Five themes differed between age groups: validity of gender identity, gender journey barriers, influential networks, perceptions of medical therapy, and health care system interactions. Questionnaires were completed by 121 youths and 121 caregivers. Compared with younger-presenting youth, older-presenting youth recognized gender incongruence at older ages, were less likely to have caregivers who helped them access care or LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) family members, more often endorsed familial religious affiliations, and experienced greater youth-caregiver disagreement around importance of GAMC.CONCLUSIONS:
Family environment appears to be a key determinant of when youth present to GAMC. Whether this association occurs through affecting transgender identity formation and recognition requires further study.
Between December 31, 2018, and April 26, 2019, 72 confirmed cases of measles were identified in Clark County. Our objective was to estimate the economic burden of the measles outbreak from a societal perspective, including public health response costs as well as direct medical costs and productivity losses of affected individuals.METHODS:
To estimate costs related to this outbreak from the societal perspective, 3 types of costs were collected or estimated: public health response (labor, material, and contractor costs used to contain the outbreak), direct medical (third party or patient out-of-pocket treatment costs of infected individuals), and productivity losses (costs of lost productivity due to illness, home isolation, quarantine, or informal caregiving).RESULTS:
The overall societal cost of the 2019 Clark County measles outbreak was ~$3.4 million ($47 479 per case or $814 per contact). The majority of the costs (~$2.3 million) were incurred by the public health response to the outbreak, followed by productivity losses (~$1.0 million) and direct medical costs (~$76 000).CONCLUSIONS:
Recent increases in incident measles cases in the United States and across the globe underscore the need to more fully understand the societal cost of measles cases and outbreaks and economic consequences of undervaccination. Our estimates can provide valuable inputs for policy makers and public health stakeholders as they consider budget determinations and the substantial value associated with increasing vaccine coverage and outbreak preparedness as well as the protection of society against vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles, which are readily preventable with high vaccination coverage.
Exposure to airborne fine particles with diameters ≤2.5 μm (PM2.5) pollution is a well-established cause of respiratory diseases in children; whether wildfire-specific PM2.5 causes more damage, however, remains uncertain. We examine the associations between wildfire-specific PM2.5 and pediatric respiratory health during the period 2011–2017 in San Diego County, California, and compare these results with other sources of PM2.5.METHODS:
Visits to emergency and urgent care facilities of Rady’s Children Hospital network in San Diego County, California, by individuals (aged ≤19 years) with ≥1 of the following respiratory conditions: difficulty breathing, respiratory distress, wheezing, asthma, or cough were regressed on daily, community-level exposure to wildfire-specific PM2.5 and PM2.5 from ambient sources (eg, traffic emissions).RESULTS:
A 10-unit increase in PM2.5 (from nonsmoke sources) was estimated to increase the number of admissions by 3.7% (95% confidence interval: 1.2% to 6.1%). In contrast, the effect of PM2.5 attributable to wildfire was estimated to be a 30.0% (95% confidence interval: 26.6% to 33.4%) increase in visits.CONCLUSIONS:
Wildfire-specific PM2.5 was found to be ~10 times more harmful on children’s respiratory health than PM2.5 from other sources, particularly for children aged 0 to 5 years. Even relatively modest wildfires and associated PM2.5 resolved on our record produced major health impacts, particularly for younger children, in comparison with ambient PM2.5.