The mainstay treatment of non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) based on weight loss and/or lifestyle changes is most often unsuccessful at all ages, thus requiring the implementation of pharmacological strategies. Targeting insulin resistance and oxidative stress has recently proven unsatisfactory. Among a number of proposed innovative approaches targeting novel pathomechanisms, probiotics appear an interesting and reasonable option acting on gut-liver axis malfunction through the modulation of diet-driven, obesogenic, and inflammatory intestinal microbiota.
A combined multiple pharmacological therapy directed simultaneously towards novel and old pathomechanisms (including, e.g., insulin resistance, oxidative stress, gut-liver axis, apoptosis) along with lifestyle interventions however might be necessary both in adult and pediatric NAFLD therapy.
Non alcoholic fatty liver disease; Children; Gut-liver axis; Microbiota; Probiotics; Therapy
Idiopathic infantile arterial calcification (IIAC) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder, characterized by wide spread calcifications in arterial walls, leading to vaso-occlusive ischaemia of multiple organs. Mortality is high, and there is no definitive treatment.
A male neonate, 36+5 weeks gestation, 2.81 kg, was admitted to NICU for respiratory distress. At one hour of age, he was noted to be pale, hypoperfused, with weak pulses, a hyperdynamic precordium and a grade IV/VI pansystolic murmur. The rest of his examination was normal. A chest X-ray showed massive cardiomegaly and pulmonary oedema. An echocardiogram (ECHO) indicated moderate persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN) of unclear etiology. A diagnosis of Idiopathic infantile arterial calcification was made and a trial of Editronate therapy was given without success.
IIAC is a rare disorder, it should be considered whenever a neonate presents with unexplainable cardiac failure, PPHN, echogenic vessels on X-ray/ultrasound and, or concentric hypertrophic ventricles on ECHO. Serial antenatal ultrasound findings of echogenic cardiac foci should raise the suspicion of IIAC. Further studies to determine the long term effects of Editronate on vascular calcifications, disease outcome, and other treatment options are needed.
Neonate; Infantile arterial calcification; Pulmonary hypertension; Biphosphonate
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality in Type 1 diabetes (T1D). Vascular dysfunction is an early and critical event in the development of cardiovascular disease. Children with T1D have vascular dysfunction therefore early interventions to improve vascular health are essential to reduce cardiovascular mortality in T1D. Metformin is an insulin sensitising agent which is known to improve vascular health outcomes in type 2 diabetes (T2D) and other individuals with insulin resistance. It has been used safely in children and adolescents with T2D for over 10 years. This study aims to assess the effect of metformin on vascular health in children with T1D.
This study is a 12 month, double blind, randomised, placebo controlled trial to determine the effect of metformin on vascular health in children (age 8–18) with T1D. The sample size is 76 with 38 children in the metformin group and 38 children in the placebo group. Vascular health and biochemical markers will be measured at baseline, 3, 6 and 12 months. Vascular function will be measured using flow mediated dilatation and glyceryl trinitrate mediated dilatation of the brachial artery and vascular structure will be measured with carotid and aortic intima media thickness, using standardised protocols.
This study will be the first to investigate the effect of metformin on vascular health in children with T1D. It will provide important information on a potential intervention to improve cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in this population at high risk from cardiovascular disease.
Australia New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12611000148976
Endothelial function; Metformin; Type 1 diabetes; Child
Obesity impairs health related quality of life (HRQL) in adolescents, but most evidence in this area has mostly come from western societies. We wanted to test the hypothesis that obesity impairs HRQL in Kuwaiti adolescents, and to test for differences in HRQL assessed by self-report and parent-proxy report.
In 500 Kuwaiti 10–14 year olds HRQL was assessed using the Peds QLTM with both adolescent self-reports (n = 500) and parent-proxy reports (n = 374).
Obesity was not significantly associated with HRQL in regression analysis. In a paired comparison of 98 pairs of obese adolescents vs. 98 healthy weight peers, impairment of HRQL reached significance only for physical score (95% CI = −1.5, -9.4), not for psychosocial score or total score. In a paired comparison of parent-proxy vs. self-reports for the obese adolescents, total score (95% CI = −4.9, -10.9), physical score (95% CI = −3.2, -11.0), and psychosocial score (95% CI = −4.2, -10.8) were all significantly lower in the parent reports.
Obesity is not associated with marked impairment of HRQL in adolescents in Kuwait, in contrast to studies in western societies. This may reflect cultural differences in attitudes towards obesity.
Obesity; Adolescent; Health-related quality of life
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (Part C) authorizes states to establish systems to provide early intervention services (e.g., therapy) for children at risk, with the incentive of federal financial support. This study examines family and neighborhood characteristics associated with currently utilizing physical, occupational, or speech therapy among very low birthweight (VLBW) 2-year-old children who meet Wisconsin eligibility requirements for early intervention services (EI) due to developmental delay.
This cross-sectional analysis used data from the Newborn Lung Project, a regional cohort study of VLBW infants hospitalized in Wisconsin’s newborn intensive care units during 2003–2004. We included the 176 children who were age two at follow-up, and met Wisconsin state eligibility requirements for EI based on developmental delay. Exact logistic regression was used to describe child and neighborhood socio-demographic correlates of parent-reported receipt of therapy.
Among VLBW children with developmental delay, currently utilizing therapy was higher among children with Medicaid (aOR = 5.3, 95% CI: 1.3, 28.3) and concomitant developmental disability (aOR = 5.2, 95% CI: 2.1, 13.3) and lower for those living in a socially more disadvantaged neighborhood (aOR=0.48, 95% CI: 0.21, 0.98, per tertile).
Among a sample of VLBW 2-year olds with developmental delays who are EI-eligible in WI, 4 out of 5 were currently receiving therapy, per parent report. Participation in Medicaid positively influences therapy utilization. Children with developmental difficulties who live in socially disadvantaged neighborhoods are at highest risk for not receiving therapy.
Very low birth weight; Early intervention; Physical therapy; Neighborhood disadvantage
Benign hyperplastic thymus is a rare but important differential diagnosis of anterior mediastinal lesions. Histological and radiological criteria are used to distinguish this benign condition from other malignant diseases but have their limitations, and biopsy of mediastinal masses can be risky. We report for the first time the diagnostic value of fluorodeoxyglucose 18 F positron emission tomography for patients with incidentally identified anterior mediastinal masses to avoid biopsy in some cases.
A 2 year old girl presented with new onset of emesis and constipation leading to the incidental discovery of an anterior mediastinal mass on radiograph. Chest computed tomography revealed cystic components within the mass concerning for a malignancy. Biopsy of the lesion and bone marrow aspiration and biopsy were negative but there was concern that the mediastinal biopsy may have missed the malignant component of the lesion. Hence, a positron emission tomography scan was obtained that showed mild homogeneous fluorodeoxyglucose 18 F avidity within the mass similar to that of normal thymus. The diagnosis of benign hyperplastic thymus was made.
The differential diagnosis of an incidentally found anterior mediastinal mass includes malignancy, but benign lesions such as benign hyperplastic thymus must also be considered, particularly when the complete blood count and biochemical profile are normal. Fluorodeoxyglucose 18 F positron emission tomography can help guide a clinician’s decision for further interventions and treatment.
Mediastinal disease; Mediastinum; Positron-emission tomography; Thymus hyperplasia
Studies on adverse childhood health and development outcomes associated with parental smoking have shown inconsistent results. Using a cohort of Belarusian children, we examined differences in cognition, behaviors, growth, adiposity, and blood pressure at 6.5 years according to prenatal and postnatal exposure to parental smoking.
Using cluster-adjusted multivariable regression, effects of exposure to prenatal smoking were examined by comparing (1) children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy with those of mothers who smoked neither during nor after pregnancy and (2) children whose mothers smoked during and after pregnancy with those whose mothers smoked after pregnancy only; effects of postnatal smoking were examined by comparing (1) children whose mothers smoked after pregnancy only with those of mothers who smoked neither during nor after pregnancy and (2) children whose fathers smoked with those whose fathers did not smoke among children of non-smoking mothers after adjusting for a wide range of socioeconomic and family characteristics.
After adjusting for confounders, children exposed vs unexposed to prenatal maternal smoking had no differences in mean IQ, teacher-rated behavioral problems, adiposity, or blood pressure. Children exposed to maternal postnatal smoking had slightly increased behavioral problems [0.9, 95% CI: 0.6, 1.2 for total difficulties], higher body mass index [0.2, 95% CI: 0.1, 0.3], greater total skinfold thickness [0.4, 95% CI: 0.04, 0.71], and higher odds of overweight or obesity [1.4, 95% CI; 1.1, 1.7]. Similar magnitudes of association were observed with postnatal paternal smoking.
No adverse cognitive, behavioral and developmental outcomes were associated with exposure to maternal prenatal smoking. Observed associations with postnatal smoking of both parents may reflect residual confounding by genetic and family environmental factors.
Low birth weight and accelerated infant growth have been identified as independent risk factors for childhood and adult obesity and cardiovascular disease. This led to the ‘Developmental Origins of Health and Disease’ (DOHaD) hypothesis, stating that environmental factors during pregnancy and early postnatal life affect disease risk in later life. There is growing evidence that perinatal factors may influence adult health through the programming of energy balance regulation, including sedentary behavior and physical activity. The present study focuses on the influence of birth weight and infant growth on physical fitness, physical activity and sedentary behavior in 8-9 year old children, as this might partly explain the higher obesity and cardiovascular risk associated with low birth weight and accelerated infant growth. In addition, this study provides the opportunity for a validation study of a linguistic and cross-cultural translated physical activity questionnaire compared to accelerometer data. This article describes the study protocol for this study.
This is a study embedded in the Amsterdam Born Children and their Development (ABCD) birth cohort. In 200 children of Dutch ethnicity, physical fitness, physical activity and sedentary behavior were assessed at age 8-9. We measured aerobic fitness using the 20 meter multistage shuttle run test, and neuromuscular fitness using the standing broad jump and handgrip strength test. Sedentary behavior and physical activity levels were measured using accelerometry. All children also completed a translated physical activity questionnaire, the scores of which will be compared to accelerometry data to assess the construct validity of the questionnaire in Dutch school-aged children.
This study will be the first population-based prospective cohort study to address the association of both prenatal and postnatal growth with physical fitness and objectively-assessed physical activity and sedentary behavior. This will contribute to a better understanding of the way perinatal growth relate to lifestyle and obesity in later life. The results may guide both future studies in the field of DOHaD, and public health strategies in the prevention of childhood obesity.
Developmental origins of health and disease; Birth weight; Child growth; Physical fitness; Muscle strength; Aerobic fitness; Physical activity; Sedentary behavior; Physical activity questionnaire
The aetiology of disabling chronic conditions in childhood in high income countries is not fully understood, particularly the association with socio-economic status (SES). Very few studies have used longitudinal datasets to examine whether exposure to social disadvantage in early childhood increases the risk of developing chronic conditions in later childhood. Here we examine this association, and its temporal ordering, with onset of all-cause disabling chronic later childhood in children reported as free from disability in early childhood.
The study comprised a prospective cohort study, using data from the Office for National Statistics Longitudinal Study (ONSLS) for England and Wales. The study sample included 52,839 children with complete data born between 1981–1991 with no disabling chronic condition/s in 1991. Index cases were children with disability recorded in 2001. Comparison cases were children with no recorded disability in 1991. A socio-economic disadvantage index (SDI) was constructed from data on social class, housing tenure and car/van access. Associations were explored with logistic regression modelling controlling sequentially for potentially confounding factors; age, gender, ethnicity and lone parenthood.
By 2001, 2049 (4%) had at least one disability. Socio-economic disadvantage, age, gender and lone parenthood but not ethnicity were significantly associated with onset of disabling chronic conditions. The SDI showed a finely graded association with onset of disabling chronic conditions in the index group (most disadvantaged OR 2·11 [CI 1·76 to 2·53]; disadvantaged in two domains OR 1·45 [CI 1·20 to 1·75]; disadvantaged in one domain OR 1·14 [CI 0·93 to 1·39] that was unaffected by age, gender and ethnicity and slightly attenuated by lone parenthood.
To our knowledge, this is the first study to identify socio-economic disadvantage in earlier childhood as a predisposing factor for onset of all-cause disabling chronic conditions in later childhood. Temporal ordering and gradation of the response indicate socio-economic disadvantage may play a causal role. This suggests that targeting preventative efforts to reduce socio-economic disadvantage in early childhood is likely to be an important public health strategy to decease health inequalities in later childhood and early adulthood.
Children; Chronic Conditions; Disabilities; Disadvantage; Limiting Long-term Illness; Socio-economic Factors
Mortality rate of patients admitted to Intensive Care Units is a widely adopted outcome indicator. Because of large case-mix variability, comparisons of mortality rates must be adjusted for the severity of patient illness at admission. The Pediatric Index of Mortality 2 (PIM-2) has been widely adopted as a tool for adjusting mortality rate by patients’ case mix. The objective of this study was to assess the performance of PIM-2 in children admitted to intensive care units after cardiac surgery, other surgery, or for other reasons.
This was a prospective cohort study, conducted in a 607 inpatient-bed tertiary-care pediatric hospital in Italy, with three pediatric intensive care Units (PICUs) and one cardiac Unit (CICU). In 2009–11, all consecutive admissions to PICUs/CICU of children aged 0–16 years were included in the study. Discrimination and calibration measures were computed to assess PIM-2 performance. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to assess the association of patients’ main reason for intensive care admission (cardiac-surgical, other-surgical, medical), age, Unit and year with observed mortality, adjusting for PIM-2 score.
PIM-2 data collection was completed for 91.2% of total PICUs/CICU patient admissions (2912), and for 94.8% of patients who died in PICUs/CICU (129). Overall observed mortality was 4.4% (95% CI, 3.7-5.2), compared to 6.4% (95% CI, 5.5-7.3) expected mortality. Standardised mortality ratio was 0.7 (95% CI: 0.6-0.8). PIM-2 discrimination was fair (area under the curve, 0.79; 95% CI: 0.75-0.83). Calibration was less satisfactory, mainly because of the over two-fold overprediction of deaths in the highest risk group (114.7 vs 53; p < 0.001), and particularly in cardiac-surgical patients. Multivariable logistic analysis showed that risk of death was significantly reduced in cardiac-surgical patients and in those aged 1 month to 12 years, independently from PIM-2.
The children age distribution and the proportion of cardiac-surgical patients should be taken into account when interpreting SMRs estimated using the PIM-2 prediction model in different Units. A new calibration study of PIM-2 score might be needed, and more appropriate cardiac-focused risk-adjustment models should be developed. The role of age on risk of death needs to be further explored.
Critical care; Risk adjustment; Mortality pediatric index of mortality; Cardiac surgery, Pediatrics; Quality indicators
Given that it is not feasible to use dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) or other reference methods to measure adiposity in all pediatric clinical and research settings, it is important to identify reasonable alternatives. Therefore, we sought to determine the extent to which other adiposity measures were correlated with DXA fat mass in school-aged children.
In 1110 children aged 6.5-10.9 years in the pre-birth cohort Project Viva, we calculated Spearman correlation coefficients between DXA (n=875) and other adiposity measures including body mass index (BMI), skinfold thickness, circumferences, and bioimpedance. We also computed correlations between lean body mass measures.
50.0% of the children were female and 36.5% were non-white. Mean (SD) BMI was 17.2 (3.1) and total fat mass by DXA was 7.5 (3.9) kg. DXA total fat mass was highly correlated with BMI (rs=0.83), bioimpedance total fat (rs=0.87), and sum of skinfolds (rs=0.90), and DXA trunk fat was highly correlated with waist circumference (rs=0.79). Correlations of BMI with other adiposity indices were high, e.g., with waist circumference (rs=0.86) and sum of subscapular plus triceps skinfolds (rs=0.79). DXA fat-free mass and bioimpedance fat-free mass were highly correlated (rs=0.94).
In school-aged children, BMI, sum of skinfolds, and other adiposity measures were strongly correlated with DXA fat mass. Although these measurement methods have limitations, BMI and skinfolds are adequate surrogate measures of relative adiposity in children when DXA is not practical.
Adiposity; Obesity; DXA; BMI
In two clinical trials, low-grade fever was observed more frequently after coadministration than after separate administration of two recommended routine pediatric vaccines. Since fever is an important issue with vaccine tolerability, we performed this open-label study on the efficacy and safety of prophylactic use of paracetamol (acetaminophen, Benuron®) in children administered routine 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV-7) coadministered with hexavalent vaccine (diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis-hepatitis B, poliovirus, Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine [DTPa-HBV-IPV/Hib]) in Germany.
Healthy infants (N = 301) who received a 3-dose infant series of PCV-7 and DTPa-HBV-IPV/Hib plus a toddler dose were randomly assigned 1:1 to prophylactic paracetamol (125 mg or 250 mg suppositories, based on body weight) at vaccination, and at 6–8 hour intervals thereafter, or a control group that received no paracetamol. Rectal temperature and local and other systemic reactions were measured for 4 days post vaccination; adverse events were collected throughout the study.
In the intent-to-treat population, paracetamol reduced the incidence of fever ≥38°C, but this reduction was only significant for the infant series, with computed efficacy of 43.0% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 17.4, 61.2), and not significant after the toddler dose (efficacy 15.9%; 95% CI: −19.9, 41.3); results were similar in the per protocol (PP) population. Fever >39°C was rare during the infant series, such that there were too few cases for assessment. After the toddler dose, paracetamol effectively reduced fever >39°C, reaching statistical significance in the PP population only (efficacy 79%; 95% CI: 3.9, 97.7). Paracetamol also reduced reactogenicity, but there were few significant differences between groups after any dose. No vaccine-related serious adverse events were reported.
Paracetamol effectively prevented fever and other reactions, mainly during the infant series. However, as events were generally mild and of no concern in either group our data support current recommendations to administer paracetamol to treat symptoms only and not for routine prophylaxis.
Fever; Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; Hexavalent vaccine; Paracetamol; Prophylaxis
The objective of this study was to determine body fat percentiles of adolescents in the city of São Paulo, Brazil, according to gender, age, and sexual maturation.
This study involved 4,690 adolescents aged 10–15 years across 31 schools in the city of São Paulo. Sexual maturation was assessed in terms of Tanner stage. The body fat percentage was calculated using skinfold thickness. Percentile curves were calculated using the LMS (curve, mean, and coefficient of variation) method.
The mean body fat percentages were lower in boys aged 10–12 and 13–15 years than in girls. Body fat percentages decreased progressively with sexual maturation in boys, but increased in girls. The 85th, 95th, and 97th percentiles represent the cutoff points for moderately elevated, elevated, and very elevated body fat percentages, respectively, in pre-pubescent boys (85th, 95th, and 97th percentiles: 32.54, 95 41.04, and 97, respectively) and pubescent boys (31.09, 36.30, and 44.33, respectively). These cutoff points were lower in pre-pubescent girls (29.52, 35.01, and 41.82, respectively) and in the 97th percentile in pubescent girls (31.55, 36.20, and 41.86, respectively).
To our knowledge, these are the first body fat percentages cutoff points according to sexual maturation for adolescents aged 10–15 years in Brazil. Our results provide a significant contribution to the assessment of body composition in this population.
Body fat percentiles; Adolescents; Adiposity; Sexual maturation; Skinfold thickness
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection in infancy is associated with subsequent recurrent wheezing.
A retrospective cohort study examined children born at ≥32 weeks gestation between 1996–2004. All children were enrolled in an integrated health care delivery system in Northern California and were followed through the fifth year of life. The primary endpoint was recurrent wheezing in the fifth year of life and its association with laboratory-confirmed, medically-attended RSV infection during the first year, prematurity, and supplemental oxygen during birth hospitalization. Other outcomes measured were recurrent wheezing quantified through outpatient visits, inpatient hospital stays, and asthma prescriptions.
The study sample included 72,602 children. The rate of recurrent wheezing in the second year was 5.6% and fell to 4.7% by the fifth year. Recurrent wheezing rates varied by risk status: the rate was 12.5% among infants with RSV hospitalization, 8% among infants 32–33 weeks gestation, and 18% in infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia. In multivariate analyses, increasing severity of respiratory syncytial virus infection was significantly associated with recurrent wheezing in year 5; compared with children without RSV infection in infancy, children who only had an outpatient RSV encounter had an adjusted odds ratio of 1.38 (95% CI,1.03–1.85), while children with a prolonged RSV hospitalization had an adjusted odds ratio of 2.59 (95% CI, 1.49–4.50).
Laboratory-confirmed, medically attended RSV infection, prematurity, and neonatal exposure to supplemental oxygen have independent associations with development of recurrent wheezing in the fifth year of life.
Respiratory syncytial virus; Recurrent wheezing; Prematurity
Adherence to antiretroviral drugs in the treatment of paediatric HIV infection is complicated because of many factors including stigma and drug intake logistics. It is therefore important to identify children with non-adherence in order to intervene before they become at risk of developing treatment failure or drug resistance. The aim of this study was to determine the level of adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART), measured by caretaker report, medication return and nevirapine plasma concentration. In addition, the association between level of adherence and patient’s immune status was compared across the three methods of measuring adherence.
This was a descriptive cross-sectional study involving HIV infected children aged 2–14 years, on nevirapine- based antiretroviral treatment for at least six months, attending care and treatment clinic in three municipal hospitals in Dar- Es- Salaam City. Eligible patients and their accompanying caretakers were consecutively enrolled after obtaining written informed consent. Structured questionnaires were administered to caretakers to assess patient’s adherence by caretaker report and medication return whereas a single blood sample for CD4 cell count/percent and determination of nevirapine plasma concentration was taken from patients on the day of assessment.
A total of 300 patients and accompanying caretakers were enrolled and the mean patient age (SD) was 8 (3) years. Caretakers’ report and medication return showed good adherence (98% and 97%) respectively. However, the level of adherence assessed by nevirapine plasma concentration (85%) was significantly lower than caretaker report and medication return (p < 0.001). The agreement between nevirapine plasma concentration and medication return and between nevirapine plasma concentration and caretaker report was weak (k = 0. 131) (k = 0. 09) respectively. Nevirapine plasma concentration below 3 μg/ml was associated with immunosuppression (p = 0. 021) whereas medication return (>5% of prescribed doses) and caretaker reported missing more than one dose within 72 hours prior to interview were not associated with immunosuppression (p = 0. 474), (p = 0. 569) respectively.
Lower adherence level observed using nevirapine plasma concentration and its association with immunological response supports the validity of the method and indicates that adherence data obtained from caretaker report and medication return may overestimate the true adherence in paediatric antiretroviral therapy.
The diagnosis of childhood asthma covers a broad spectrum of pathological mechanisms that can lead to similarly presenting clinical symptoms, but may nonetheless require different treatment approaches. Distinct underlying inflammatory patterns are thought to influence responsiveness to standard asthma medication.
The purpose of the PACMAN2 study is to identify inflammatory phenotypes that can discriminate uncontrolled childhood asthma from controlled childhood asthma by measures in peripheral blood and exhaled air. PACMAN2 is a nested, case–control follow-up study to the ongoing pharmacy-based “Pharmacogenetics of Asthma medication in Children: Medication with Anti-inflammatory effects” (PACMAN) study. The original PACMAN cohort consists of children aged 4–12 years with reported use of asthma medication. The PACMAN2 study will be conducted within the larger PACMAN cohort, and will focus on detailed phenotyping of a subset of the PACMAN children. The selected participants will be invited to a follow-up visit in a clinical setting at least six months after their baseline visit based on their adherence to usage of inhaled corticosteroids, their asthma symptoms in the past year, and their age (≥ 8 years). During the follow-up visit, current and long-term asthma symptoms, medication use, environmental factors, medication adherence and levels of exhaled nitric oxide will be reassessed. The following measures will also be examined: pulmonary function, exhaled volatile organic compounds, as well as inflammatory markers in peripheral blood and blood plasma. Comparative analysis and cluster-analyses will be used to identify markers that differentiate children with uncontrolled asthma despite their use of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) (cases) from children whose asthma is controlled by the use of ICS (controls).
Asthmatic children with distinct inflammatory phenotypes may respond differently to anti-inflammatory therapy. Therefore, by identifying inflammatory phenotypes in children with the PACMAN2 study, we may greatly impact future personalised treatment strategies, uncover new leads for therapeutic targets and improve the design of future clinical studies in the assessment of the efficacy of novel therapeutics.
Asthma; Child; Phenotypes; Inflammation; Proteomics; Volatile organic compounds; Corticosteroids
Identifying unwell neonates, particularly in the first week of life, is often subjective. If normal values are known, calculating the weight lost or gained from birth weight can be a useful adjunct in the evaluation of the health of a neonate.
Serial body weights of well, term, breast fed infants who were attending for routine follow up, were recorded at the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit clinic in Maela Camp for displaced persons on the Thailand Myanmar border. Newborn examination was routine. Weight loss, expressed as percent weight lost from birth weight, and weight gain, expressed as a velocity (g/kg/day), was calculated for the first seven days of life. The results from normal birth weight infants, low birth weight infants (<2.5 kg) and small for gestational age infants (SGA) were examined.
In the first week of life there were no significant differences in weight gained or lost across the three study groups. The maximum weight lost was 4.4% (95% CI 4.1 – 4.6%), which occurred on day three. Weight gain ranged from 13 g/kg/day [95% CI 10 – 16] on day four to 18 g/kg/day [95% CI 15 – 20] on days six and seven.
Use of these normal values for weight gain and loss, allows infants falling outside of the expected range (95% CI) to be easily identified and subsequently highlighted as needing further medical review.
Neonate; Weight loss; Weight gain; Weight velocity
Childhood obesity is a public health problem worldwide. Visceral obesity, particularly associated with cardio-metabolic risk, has been assessed by body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference, but both methods use sex-and age-specific percentile tables and are influenced by sexual maturity. Waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) is easier to obtain, does not involve tables and can be used to diagnose visceral obesity, even in normal-weight individuals. This study aims to compare the WHtR to the 2007 World Health Organization (WHO) reference for BMI in screening for the presence of cardio-metabolic and inflammatory risk factors in 6–10-year-old children.
A cross-sectional study was undertaken with 175 subjects selected from the Reference Center for the Treatment of Children and Adolescents in Campos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The subjects were classified according to the 2007 WHO standard as normal-weight (BMI z score > −1 and < 1) or overweight/obese (BMI z score ≥ 1). Systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), fasting glycemia, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), triglyceride (TG), Homeostatic Model Assessment – Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR), leukocyte count and ultrasensitive C-reactive protein (CRP) were also analyzed.
There were significant correlations between WHtR and BMI z score (r = 0.88, p < 0.0001), SBP (r = 0.51, p < 0.0001), DBP (r = 0.49, p < 0.0001), LDL (r = 0.25, p < 0.0008, HDL (r = −0.28, p < 0.0002), TG (r = 0.26, p < 0.0006), HOMA-IR (r = 0.83, p < 0.0001) and CRP (r = 0.51, p < 0.0001). WHtR and BMI areas under the curve were similar for all the cardio-metabolic parameters. A WHtR cut-off value of > 0.47 was sensitive for screening insulin resistance and any one of the cardio-metabolic parameters.
The WHtR was as sensitive as the 2007 WHO BMI in screening for metabolic risk factors in 6-10-year-old children. The public health message “keep your waist to less than half your height” can be effective in reducing cardio-metabolic risk because most of these risk factors are already present at a cut point of WHtR ≥ 0.5. However, as this is the first study to correlate the WHtR with inflammatory markers, we recommend further exploration of the use of WHtR in this age group and other population-based samples.
Waist-to-height ratio; Obesity; Insulin resistance; Cardiovascular disease; Body mass index
Current fetal-infant growth references have an obvious growth disjuncture around 40 week gestation overlapping where the fetal and infant growth references are combined. Graphical smoothening of the disjuncture to connect the matching percentile curves has never been validated. This study was designed to compare weight gain patterns of contemporary preterm infants with a fetal-infant growth reference (derived from a meta-analysis) to validate the previous smoothening assumptions and inform the revision of the Fenton chart.
Growth and descriptive data of preterm infants (23 to 31 weeks) from birth through 10 weeks post term age were collected in three cities in Canada and the USA between 2001 and 2010 (n = 977). Preterm infants were grouped by gestational age into 23–25, 26–28, and 29–31 weeks. Comparisons were made between the weight data of the preterm cohort and the fetal-infant growth reference.
Median weight gain curves of the three preterm gestational age groups were almost identical and remained between the 3rd and the 50th percentiles of the fetal-infant-growth-reference from birth through 10 weeks post term. The growth velocity of the preterm infants decreased in a pattern similar to the decreased velocity of the fetus and term infant estimates, from a high of 17–18 g/kg/day between 31–34 weeks to rates of 4–5 g/kg/day by 50 weeks in each gestational age group. The greatest discrepancy in weight gain velocity between the preterm infants and the fetal estimate was between 37 and 40 weeks; preterm infants grew more rapidly than the fetus. The infants in this study regained their birthweight earlier compared to those in the 1999 National Institute of Child Health and Human Development report.
The weight gain velocity of preterm infants through the period of growth data disjuncture between 37 and 50 weeks gestation is consistent with and thus validates the smoothening assumptions made between preterm and post-term growth references.
Rates of laboratory testing and diagnostic practices for congenital CMV in the United States are unknown. We determined rates of CMV testing and diagnostic coding for CMV among insured infants in the United States using a national healthcare claims database.
We analyzed medical claims from 2011 Truven Health MarketScan® Commercial databases for infants who were ≤30 days of age. We used ICD-9-CM codes to identify infants with CMV and CMV-associated conditions. We computed frequencies of infants with CPT codes for CMV testing.
A total of 368,266 infants met the study criteria. We identified 61 (0.02%) infants with a diagnostic code for CMV. Among the 368,266 infants, 229 (0.1%) infants had a code for CMV-specific testing, of which 43% had codes for CMV polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and/or CMV direct florescent antibody (DFA) testing, 44% for CMV serologic testing alone, and 13% for CMV serology and non-specific PCR and/or culture. Over 80% (187/229) with CMV testing had a code for ≥1 CMV-associated conditions. Although infrequently coded for, CMV testing was more common among infants with a code for a condition possibly associated with CMV than infants without these conditions (0.14% (187/ 136,857) vs. 0.02% (42/231,409)).
The low rates of CMV testing among infants with symptoms suggestive of congenital CMV infection and the substantial proportion of infants tested with only serologic assays instead of PCR or viral culture suggests gaps in awareness and knowledge of congenital CMV and its diagnosis among healthcare providers. Although claims databases presumably do not capture all diagnosed CMV cases or CMV-specific testing, healthcare claims are a potential source for surveillance and monitoring practices of CMV-specific testing and diagnostic coding for CMV among infants.
Cytomegalovirus; CMV; Laboratory testing; Screening; Infants; Newborns; Administrative data; Medical claims; MarketScan®
It is estimated that 22,800 children were living with an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) (0.6% of children aged under 15 years) in Australia during 2003. Many children after a traumatic brain injury will experience difficulties with attention and concentration; a condition termed secondary Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder. There is conflicting evidence on whether treatment with stimulant therapy with medications such as methylphenidate or dexamphetamine will improve the attention and behavior of children with this condition.
Single patient trials (n-of-1s or SPTs) evaluate the effect of titrated doses of psychostimulants methylphenidate or dexamphetamine compared to placebo on attention and behavior, in children with TBI and secondary ADHD. The aggregation of multiple SPTs will produce a population estimate of the benefit. Forty-two children will be registered into the trial through rehabilitation services at three large children’s hospitals in Australia. Patients will complete up to 3 cycles of treatment. Each cycle is 2 weeks long comprising seven days each of treatment and placebo, with the first two days of each cycle considered a washout period and the data not analysed. The order of treatment and placebo is randomly allocated for each cycle. The Conners’ Parent Rating Scales long forms will be employed to measure change in attention-deficit/hyperactivity and related problems of the child, and the primary outcome measure is the Conners’ Global Index Parent Version. Secondary outcomes include the teacher and child (if aged > 12 years) Conners’ Rating Scales, the Behaviour Rating Inventory of Executive Function among other measures. This study will provide high-level evidence using a novel methodological approach to inform clinicians about the most appropriate treatment for individual children. Through aggregation of individual trials, a population estimate of treatment effect will be provided to guide clinical practice in the treatment of children with secondary ADHD after a traumatic brain injury.
This study employs an innovative methodological approach on the effectiveness of CNS stimulants for secondary ADHD from a brain injury. The findings will both guide clinicians on treatment recommendations, and inform the concept and acceptance of SPTs in paediatric research.
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry. ACTRN12609000873224
Traumatic brain injury; TBI; Children; Methylphenidate hydrochloride; MPH; Dexamphetamine; n-of-1 trial
Unintentional poisoning in young children is an important public health issue. Age pattern studies have demonstrated that children aged 1–3 years have the highest levels of poisoning risk among children aged 0–4 years, yet little research has been conducted regarding risk factors specific to this three-year age group and the methodologies employed varied greatly. The purpose of the current study is to investigate a broad range of potential risk factors for unintentional poisoning in children aged 1–3 years using appropriate methodologies.
Four groups of children, one case group (children who had experienced a poisoning event) and three control groups (children who had been ‘injured’, ‘sick’ or who were ‘healthy’), and their mothers (mother-child dyads) were enrolled into a case–control study. All mother-child dyads participated in a 1.5-hour child developmental screening and observation, with mothers responding to a series of questionnaires at home. Data were analysed as three case–control pairs with multivariate analyses used to control for age and sex differences between child cases and controls.
Five risk factors were included in the final multivariate models for one or more case–control pairs. All three models found that children whose mothers used more positive control in their interactions during a structured task had higher odds of poisoning. Two models showed that maternal psychiatric distress increased poisoning risk (poisoning-injury and poisoning-healthy). Individual models identified the following variables as risk factors: less proximal maternal supervision during risk taking activities (poisoning-injury), medicinal substances stored in more accessible locations in bathrooms (poisoning-sick) and lower total parenting stress (poisoning-healthy).
The findings of this study indicate that the nature of the caregiver-child relationship and caregiver attributes play an important role in influencing poisoning risk. Further research is warranted to explore the link between caregiver-child relationships and unintentional poisoning risk. Caregiver education should focus on the benefits of close interaction with their child as a prevention measure.
Child; Poisoning; Risk factors; Odds ratios
Calcium (Ca2+) and vitamin D (VitD) play an important role in child health. We evaluated the daily intake of Ca2+ and VitD in healthy children. Moreover, we demonstrate the efficacy of Ca2+ and VitD supplementation.
Daily Ca2 + and VitD intake was evaluated in consecutive healthy children through a validated questionnaire. Subjects with <70% of dietary reference intakes (DRIs) of Ca2+ and VitD were invited to participate in a prospective randomized trial with 2 groups of nutritional intervention: Group 1, dietary counseling aiming to optimize daily Ca2+ and VitD intake plus administration of a commercially available Ca2 + and VitD supplementation product; Group 2, dietary counseling alone. At the enrollment (T0) and after 4 months (T1) serum 25(OH) Vitamin D levels were assessed.
We evaluated 150 healthy children (male 50%, mean age 10 years); at baseline a low VitD intake was observed in all subjects (median 0.79 μg/die, IQR 1.78; range 0.01-5.02); this condition was associated with Ca2+ intake <70% of the DRIs in 82 subjects (55%). At baseline serum 25(OH)D levels were low (<30 ng/ml) in all study subjects and after 4 months of nutritional intervention, a normalization of serum 25(OH)D levels (≥30 ng/ml) was observed in all children in Group 1 and in only one subject in Group 2 [Group 1: T1 33.8 ng/ml (IQR 2.5) vs Group 2: T1 24.5 ng/ml (IQR 5.2), p <0.001].
Adequate Ca2+ and VitD intakes are difficult to obtain through dietary counseling alone in pediatric subjects. Oral supplementation with of Ca2+ and VitD is a reliable strategy to prevent this condition.
The study was registered in Clinical Trials Protocol Registration System (ID number: NCT01638494).
25-hydroxyvitamin D; Dietary counseling; Pediatrics; Ca2+ intake; VitD intake; Bone metabolism; Nutritional intervention; Vitamin D supplement; Vitamin D deficiency
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a liver manifestation of metabolic syndrome since obesity and insulin resistance are the main pathogenic contributors for both conditions. NAFLD carries increased risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases. There is an urgent need to find effective and safe therapy for children and adults with NAFLD. Data from research and clinical studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial in metabolic syndrome-related conditions and can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
We are conducting a randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of treatment with omega-3 fatty acids in children with NAFLD. Patients are randomized to receive either omega-3 fatty acids containing docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) or placebo for 24 weeks. The dose of omega-3 (DHA+ EPA) ranges from 450 to 1300 mg daily. Low calorie diet and increased physical activity are advised and monitored using validated questionnaires. The primary outcome of the trial is the number of patients who decreased ALT activity by ≥ 0,3 of upper limit of normal. The main secondary outcomes are improvement in the laboratory liver tests, liver steatosis on ultrasound, markers of insulin resistance and difference in fat/lean body mass composition after 6 months of intervention.
Potential efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids in the treatment of NAFLD will provide needed rationale for use of this safe diet supplement together with weight reduction therapy in the growing population of children with NAFLD.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; Omega-3 fatty acids; Polyunsaturated fatty acids; Randomized controlled trial; Children
Vitamin A supplementation (VAS) may amplify the effect of vaccines. We therefore investigated if neonatal VAS given with and without Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine to low-birth-weight (LBW) neonates had an effect on growth in the first year of life. We hypothesised that VAS would be particularly beneficial when provided with BCG.
We conducted a randomised two-by-two factorial trial in Guinea-Bissau; 1,717 LBW neonates were randomly allocated to VAS or placebo at birth as well as early or the usual postponed BCG vaccination. Anthropometric measurements were obtained at 2, 6, and 12 months after inclusion.
Overall there was no effect of neonatal VAS on growth in the first year of life. By 2 months, VAS tended to have a beneficial effect on weight and head circumference when given with BCG but not when given without BCG (interaction: weight-for-age p = 0.07 and head circumference-for-age: p = 0.06). By 6 months, there was a beneficial effect of VAS on head circumference and weight among children who had not received DTP vaccine 2 months after inclusion (weight: 0.18 (0.00; 0.36) and head circumference 0.27 (0.06; 0.48)), but no beneficial effect among those who had received DTP.
The results support other trials indicating that neonatal VAS does not have consistent effects on childhood growth and if anything the effects seem to be temporary. They also show that the effect may differ by vaccination status, being beneficial when given with BCG at birth and when DTP is delayed.
http://www.ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT00168610) (nct00168610)
Neonatal vitamin A supplementation; Low-birth-weight; Growth; Non-specific effects; DTP; BCG