BMC Pediatrics

Published by Springer Nature

Online ISSN: 1471-2431


Study planning in days (D-11 to D+21).
Effect of the consumption of a fermented dairy product containing Bifidobacterium lactis DN-173 010 on constipation in childhood: A multicentre randomised controlled trial (NTRTC: 1571)
  • Article
  • Full-text available

March 2009


216 Reads


Ania Chmielewska





Marc A Benninga
Abstract Background Constipation is a frustrating symptom affecting 3% of children worldwide. Randomised controlled trials show that both polyethylene glycol and lactulose are effective in increasing defecation frequency in children with constipation. However, in 30–50%, these children reported abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence, diarrhoea, nausea and bad taste of the medication. Two recent studies have shown that the fermented dairy product containing Bifidobacterium lactis strain DN-173 010 is effective in increasing stool frequency in constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome patients with a defecation frequency < 3/week and in constipated women with a defecation frequency < 3/week. Goal of this study is to determine whether this fermented dairy product is effective in the treatment of constipated children with a defecation frequency < 3/week. Methods/design It is a two nation (The Netherlands and Poland) double-blind, placebo-controlled randomised multicentre trial in which 160 constipated children (age 3–16 years) with a defecation frequency

Selected hematologic and biochemical measurements in African HIV-infected and uninfected pregnant women and their infants: the HIV Prevention Trials Network 024 protocol

September 2009


298 Reads

Reference values for hematological and biochemical assays in pregnant women and in newborn infants are based primarily on Caucasian populations. Normative data are limited for populations in sub-Saharan Africa, especially comparing women with and without HIV infection, and comparing infants with and without HIV infection or HIV exposure. We determined HIV status and selected hematological and biochemical measurements in women at 20-24 weeks and at 36 weeks gestation, and in infants at birth and 4-6 weeks of age. All were recruited within a randomized clinical trial of antibiotics to prevent chorioamnionitis-associated mother-to-child transmission of HIV (HPTN024). We report nearly complete laboratory data on 2,292 HIV-infected and 367 HIV-uninfected pregnant African women who were representative of the public clinics from which the women were recruited. Nearly all the HIV-infected mothers received nevirapine prophylaxis at the time of labor, as did their infants after birth (always within 72 hours of birth, but typically within just a few hours at the four study sites in Malawi (2 sites), Tanzania, and Zambia. HIV-infected pregnant women had lower red blood cell counts, hemoglobin, hematocrit, and white blood cell counts than HIV-uninfected women. Platelet and monocyte counts were higher among HIV-infected women at both time points. At the 4-6-week visit, HIV-infected infants had lower hemoglobin, hematocrit and white blood cell counts than uninfected infants. Platelet counts were lower in HIV-infected infants than HIV-uninfected infants, both at birth and at 4-6 weeks of age. At 4-6 weeks, HIV-infected infants had higher alanine aminotransferase measures than uninfected infants. Normative data in pregnant African women and their newborn infants are needed to guide the large-scale HIV care and treatment programs being scaled up throughout the continent. These laboratory measures will help interpret clinical data and assist in patient monitoring in a sub-Saharan Africa context.

Child undernutrition in Kenya: Trend analyses from 1993 to 2008-09

January 2014


219 Reads

Research on trends in child undernutrition in Kenya has been hindered by the challenges of changing criteria for classifying undernutrition, and an emphasis in the literature on international comparisons of countries' situations. There has been little attention to within-country trend analyses. This paper presents child undernutrition trend analyses from 1993 to 2008-09, using the 2006 WHO criteria for undernutrition. The analyses are decomposed by child's sex and age, and by maternal education level, household Wealth Index, and province, to reveal any departures from the overall national trends. The study uses the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey data collected from women aged 15-49 years and children aged 0-35 months in 1993, 1998, 2003 and 2008-09. Logistic regression was used to test trends. The prevalence of wasting for boys and girls combined remained stable at the national level but declined significantly among girls aged 0-35 months (p < 0.05). While stunting prevalence remained stagnant generally, the trend for boys aged 0-35 months significantly decreased and that for girls aged 12-23 months significantly increased (p < 0.05). The pattern for underweight in most socio-demographic groups showed a decline. The national trends in childhood undernutrition in Kenya showed significant declines in underweight while trends in wasting and stunting were stagnant. Analyses disaggregated by demographic and socio-economic segments revealed some significant departures from these overall trends, some improving and some worsening. These findings support the importance of conducting trend analyses at detailed levels within countries, to inform the development of better-targeted childcare and feeding interventions.

Table 2 Baseline maternal characteristics
Table 6 Predictors of successful extubation
Flow diagram of study participants.
Comparison of the effectiveness of NIPPV vs. NCPAP to prevent extubation failure.
Infant flow biphasic nasal continuous positive airway pressure (BP- NCPAP) vs. infant flow NCPAP for the facilitation of extubation in infants’ =1,250 grams: A randomized controlled trial

April 2012


522 Reads

Background: The use of mechanical ventilation is associated with lung injury in preterm infants and therefore the goal is to avoid or minimize its use. To date there is very little consensus on what is considered the "best non-invasive ventilation mode" to be used post-extubation. The objective of this study was to compare the effectiveness of biphasic nasal continuous positive airway pressure (BP-NCPAP) vs. NCPAP in facilitating sustained extubation in infants ≤ 1,250 grams. Methods: We performed a randomized controlled trial of BP-NCPAP vs. NCPAP in infants ≤ 1,250 grams extubated for the first time following mechanical ventilation since birth. Infants were extubated using preset criteria or at the discretion of the attending neonatologist. The primary outcome was the incidence of sustained extubation for 7 days. Secondary outcomes included incidence of adverse events and short-term neonatal outcomes. Results: Sixty-seven infants received BP-NCPAP and 69 NCPAP. Baseline characteristics were similar between groups. The trial was stopped early due to increased use of non-invasive ventilation from birth, falling short of our calculated sample size of 141 infants per group. The incidence of sustained extubation was not statistically different between the BP-NCPAP vs. NCPAP group (67% vs. 58%, P = 0.27). The incidence of adverse events and short-term neonatal outcomes were similar between the two groups (P > 0.05) except for retinopathy of prematurity which was noted to be higher (P = 0.02) in the BP-NCPAP group. Conclusions: Biphasic NCPAP may be used to assist in weaning from mechanical ventilation. The effectiveness and safety of BP-NCPAP compared to NCPAP needs to be confirmed in a large multi-center trial as our study conclusions are limited by inadequate sample size. CLINICAL TRIALS REGISTRATION #: NCT00308789 SOURCE OF SUPPORT: Grant # 06-06, Physicians Services Incorporated Foundation, Toronto, Canada. Summit technologies Inc. provided additional NCPAP systems and an unrestricted educational grant.Abstract presented at The Society for Pediatric Research Meeting, Baltimore, USA, May 2nd-5th, 2009 and Canadian Paediatric Society Meeting, June 23rd-29th, Ottawa, 2009.

Oken E, Kleinman KP, Rich-Edwards J, Gillman MWA nearly continuous measure of birth weight for gestational age using a United States national reference. BMC Pediatrics 3: 6. doi: 10.1186/1471-2431-3-6

August 2003


190 Reads

Fully understanding the determinants and sequelae of fetal growth requires a continuous measure of birth weight adjusted for gestational age. Published United States reference data, however, provide estimates only of the median and lowest and highest 5th and 10th percentiles for birth weight at each gestational age. The purpose of our analysis was to create more continuous reference measures of birth weight for gestational age for use in epidemiologic analyses. We used data from the most recent nationwide United States Natality datasets to generate multiple reference percentiles of birth weight at each completed week of gestation from 22 through 44 weeks. Gestational age was determined from last menstrual period. We analyzed data from 6,690,717 singleton infants with recorded birth weight and sex born to United States resident mothers in 1999 and 2000. Birth weight rose with greater gestational age, with increasing slopes during the third trimester and a leveling off beyond 40 weeks. Boys had higher birth weights than girls, later born children higher weights than firstborns, and infants born to non-Hispanic white mothers higher birth weights than those born to non-Hispanic black mothers. These results correspond well with previously published estimates reporting limited percentiles. Our method provides comprehensive reference values of birth weight at 22 through 44 completed weeks of gestation, derived from broadly based nationwide data. Other approaches require assumptions of normality or of a functional relationship between gestational age and birth weight, which may not be appropriate. These data should prove useful for researchers investigating the predictors and outcomes of altered fetal growth.

Table 1 Characteristics of the ELBW infants in this study
Table 2 Morbidity and mortality in ELBW infants
Table 3 Differences between survivors without significant BPD and deceased or surviving infants with significant BPD
Trends in survival among extremely-low-birth-weight infants (less than 1000 g) without significant bronchopulmonary dysplasia

June 2012


109 Reads

Objective The aim of this study was to analyze the evolution from 1997 to 2009 of survival without significant (moderate and severe) bronchopulmonary dysplasia (SWsBPD) in extremely-low-birth-weight (ELBW) infants and to determine the influence of changes in resuscitation, nutrition and mechanical ventilation on the survival rate. Study design In this study, 415 premature infants with birth weights below 1000 g (ELBW) were divided into three chronological subgroups: 1997 to 2000 (n = 65), 2001 to 2005 (n = 178) and 2006 to 2009 (n = 172). Between 1997 and 2000, respiratory resuscitation in the delivery room was performed via a bag and mask (Ambu®, Ballerup, Sweden) with 40-50% oxygen. If this procedure was not effective, oral endotracheal intubation was always performed. Pulse oximetry was never used. Starting on January 1, 2001, a change in the delivery room respiratory policy was established for ELBW infants. Oxygenation and heart rate were monitored using a pulse oximeter (Nellcor®) attached to the newborn’s right hand. If resuscitation was required, ventilation was performed using a face mask, and intermittent positive pressure was controlled via a ventilator (Babylog2, Drägger). In 2001, a policy of aggressive nutrition was also initiated with the early provision of parenteral amino acids. We used standardized parenteral nutrition to feed ELBW infants during the first 12–24 hours of life. Lipids were given on the first day. The glucose concentration administered was increased by 1 mg/kg/minute each day until levels reached 8 mg/kg/minute. Enteral nutrition was started with trophic feeding of milk. In 2006, volume guarantee treatment was instituted and administered together with synchronized intermittent mandatory ventilation (SIMV + VG). The complications of prematurity were treated similarly throughout the study period. Patent ductus arteriosus was only treated when hemodynamically significant. Surgical closure of the patent ductus arteriosus was performed when two courses of indomethacin or ibuprofen were not sufficient to close it. Mild BPD were defined by a supplemental oxygen requirement at 28 days of life and moderate BPD if breathing room air or a need for <30% oxygen at 36 weeks postmenstrual age or discharge from the NICU, whichever came first. Severe BPD was defined by a supplemental oxygen requirement at 28 days of life and a need for greater than or equal to 30% oxygen use and/or positive pressure support (IPPV or nCPAP) at 36 weeks postmenstrual age or discharge, whichever came first. Moderate and severe BPD have been considered together as “significant BPD”. The goal of pulse oximetry was to maintain a hemoglobin saturation of between 88% and 93%. Patients were considered to not need oxygen supplementation when it could be permanently withdrawn. The distribution of the variables was not normal based on a Kolmogorov-Smirnov test (p < 0.05 in all cases). Therefore, quantitative variables were expressed as the median and interquartile range (IQR; 25th-75th percentile). Statistical analysis of the data was performed using nonparametric techniques (Kruskal-Wallis test and Mann–Whitney U test). A chi-square analysis was used to analyze qualitative variables. Potential confounding variables were those possibly related to BPD in survivors (p between 0.05 and 0.3 in univariate analysis). Logistic regression analysis was performed with variables related to BPD in survivors (p < 0.05) and potential confounding variables. The forward stepwise method adjusted for confounding factors was used to select the variables, and the enter method using selected variables was used to obtain the odds ratios. Results and conclusion There was an increase in the rate of SWsBPD (1997 to 2000: 58.5%; 2001 to 2005: 74.2%; and 2006 to 2009: 75.0%; p = 0.032). In survivors, the occurrence of significant BPD decreased after 2001 (9.5% vs. 2.3%; p = 0.013). The factors associated with improved SWsBPD were delivery by caesarean section, a reduced endotracheal intubation rate and a reduced duration of mechanical ventilation.While the mortality of ELBW infants has not changed since 2001, the frequency of SWsBPD has significantly increased (75.0%) in association with increased caesarean sections and reductions in the endotracheal intubation rate, as well as the duration of mechanical ventilation.

Table 1 Patient characteristics
Table 2 Incidence of NEC and late-onset gram-negative or fungal positive cultures in ELBW infants from 2004 to 2011
Effect of routine probiotic, Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938, use on rates of necrotizing enterocolitis in neonates with birthweight < 1000 grams: A sequential analysis

September 2012


363 Reads

Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a disease in neonates, often resulting in death or serious medical or neurodevelopmental complications. The rate of NEC is highest in the smallest babies and many efforts have been tried to reduce the rate of NEC. In neonates born below 1500 grams, the rate of NEC has been significantly reduced with the use of various probiotics. This study examines the impact of routine use of a probiotic, Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 (BioGaia®), on the rate of NEC in neonates at highest risk for developing NEC, those with birth weight ≤1000 grams. This is a retrospective cohort study comparing the rates of NEC in neonates with birth weight ≤ 1000 grams. The groups are separated into those neonates born from January 2004 to June 30, 2009, before introduction of L. reuteri , and neonates born July 2009 through April 2011 who received routine L. reuteri prophylaxis. The chart review study was approved by our institutional review board and exempted from informed consent.Neonates were excluded if they died or were transferred within the first week of life. The remainder were categorized as having no NEC, medical NEC, surgical NEC, or NEC associated death. Since no major changes occurred in our NICU practice in recent years, and the introduction of L. reuteri as routine prophylaxis was abrupt, we attributed the post-probiotic changes to the introduction of this new therapy. Rates of NEC were compared using Chi square analysis with Fisher exact t-test. Medical records for 311 neonates were reviewed, 232 before- and 79 after-introduction of L. reuteri prophylaxis. The incidence of NEC was significantly lower in the neonates who received L. reuteri (2 of 79 neonates [2.5%] versus 35 of 232 untreated neonates [15.1%]). Rates of late-onset gram-negative or fungal infections (22.8 versus 31%) were not statistically different between treated and untreated groups. No adverse events related to use of L reuteri were noted. Prophylactic initiation of L. reuteri as a probiotic for prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis resulted in a statistically significant benefit, with avoidance of 1 NEC case for every 8 patients given prophylaxis.

Advertisement and knowledge of tobacco products among Ellisras rural children aged 11 to 18 years: Ellisras Longitudinal study

August 2013


69 Reads

Tobacco products use is the leading cause of chronic diseases morbidity and mortality. This study explores an exposure to tobacco advertisements factors and knowledge, an association with snuff/pipe usage and cigarette smoking among Ellisras rural children aged between 11 to 18 years. A total of 1654 subjects (854 boys and 800 girls) who were part of the Ellisras Longitudinal Study completed the questionnaire. A significant (p < 0.05) number of boys (11.7%) compared to girls (8.8%) received free cigarettes from the members of the community. Bill boards were successful in advertising tobacco products among the Ellisras rural boys (17% boys and 12.8% for girls, p < 0.022). Multivariate analyses found significant association between cigarette smoking (OR = 1.7 95%CI 1.1-2.7 and Model 2 OR 1.6 95%CI 1.0-2.6 adjusted for age and gender) and advertisements of tobacco products on the TV screens, videos or movies. Exposure to tobacco products advertisements was high among Ellisras rural children. Though tobacco products legislation exists in South Africa, efforts should be taken by the health professionals to emphasize the danger of using tobacco products even among the illiterate. Teachers and parents should refrain from advertising tobacco products at schools and at homes.

Table 1 Body composition, quantitative ultrasonography parameters, and physical fitness regarding the sex and pubertal stage of 300 students
Correlation between percent body fat and the horizontal jump test with AD-SoS in both sexes.
Cross-sectional study of the association of body composition and physical fitness with bone status in children and adolescents from 11 to 16 years old

August 2013


182 Reads

The aim of the study was to verify the association between body composition and physical fitness with bone status in children and adolescents. A cross-sectional study was conducted with 300 healthy students (148 boys, 152 girls). Weight, height, fat and fat-free mass, and percentage of body fat (%BF) were evaluated, as were physical fitness (abdominal exercise, flexibility, and horizontal jump tests) and maximum oxygen consumption. Bone parameters (amplitude-dependent speed of sound; AD-SoS) and the Ultrasound Bone Profile Index (UBPI) were evaluated using DBM Sonic BP ultrasonography. In the study group, girls had higher bone parameter values than boys. A univariate analysis assessed in a stepwise multiple regression model was conducted. It showed that for boys, the %BF and height were significant independent variables for AD-SoS and UBPI, but the horizontal jump test only for AD-SoS (adjusted r2 = 0.274; p < 0.001), and pubertal maturation only for UBPI (adjusted r2 = 0.295; p < 0.001). For girls, age and %BF were identified as significant independent variables for AD-SoS and UBPI (adjusted r2 = 0.093; p < 0.001) but height only for AD-SoS (adjusted r2 = 0.408; p < 0.001). Variables related to growth (age, height, and pubertal maturation) are independent positive predictors for the bone parameters in both boys and girls. %BF is an independent negative predictor. For boys, the horizontal jump test was an independent positive predictor for AD-SoS, indicating that physical fitness related to the neuromotor system can influence the amount of bone present.

Table 4 Children's food security and demographic correlates of children's nutrient intakes from multiple regression models1
Children's very low food security is associated with increased dietary intakes in energy, fat, and added sugar among Mexican-origin children (6-11 y) in Texas border Colonias

February 2012


121 Reads

Food insecurity among Mexican-origin and Hispanic households is a critical nutritional health issue of national importance. At the same time, nutrition-related health conditions, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, are increasing in Mexican-origin youth. Risk factors for obesity and type 2 diabetes are more common in Mexican-origin children and include increased intakes of energy-dense and nutrient-poor foods. This study assessed the relationship between children's experience of food insecurity and nutrient intake from food and beverages among Mexican-origin children (age 6-11 y) who resided in Texas border colonias. Baseline data from 50 Mexican-origin children were collected in the home by trained promotora-researchers. All survey (demographics and nine-item child food security measure) and 24-hour dietary recall data were collected in Spanish. Dietary data were collected in person on three occasions using a multiple-pass approach; nutrient intakes were calculated with NDS-R software. Separate multiple regression models were individually fitted for total energy, protein, dietary fiber, calcium, vitamin D, potassium, sodium, Vitamin C, and percentage of calories from fat and added sugars. Thirty-two children (64%) reported low or very low food security. Few children met the recommendations for calcium, dietary fiber, and sodium; and none for potassium or vitamin D. Weekend intake was lower than weekday for calcium, vitamin D, potassium, and vitamin C; and higher for percent of calories from fat. Three-day average dietary intakes of total calories, protein, and percent of calories from added sugars increased with declining food security status. Very low food security was associated with greater intakes of total energy, calcium, and percentage of calories from fat and added sugar. This paper not only emphasizes the alarming rates of food insecurity for this Hispanic subgroup, but describes the associations for food insecurity and diet among this sample of Mexican-origin children. Child-reported food insecurity situations could serve as a screen for nutrition problems in children. Further, the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, which play a major beneficial role in children's weekday intakes, may not be enough to keep pace with the nutritional needs of low and very low food secure Mexican-origin children.

Figure 1: CP subtypes according to gender and place of birth
Table 1 : Prevalence of cerebral palsy
Table 3 : GMFCS-levels in relation to CP subtypes
Cerebral Palsy in a total population of 4-11 year olds in southern Sweden. Prevalence and distribution according to different CP classification systems

February 2007


605 Reads

The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of cerebral palsy (CP) as well as to characterize the CP population, its participation in a secondary prevention programme (CPUP) and to validate the CPUP database. The study population was born 1990-1997 and resident in Skåne/Blekinge on Jan 1st 2002. Multiple sources were used. Irrespective of earlier diagnoses, neuropaediatrician and other professional medical records were evaluated for all children at the child habilitation units. The CPUP database and diagnosis registers at hospital departments were searched for children with CP or psychomotor retardation, whose records were then evaluated. To enhance early prevention, CP/probable CP was searched for also in children below four years of age born 1998-2001. The prevalence of CP was 2.4/1,000 (95% CI 2.1-2.6) in children 4-11 years of age born in Sweden, excluding post-neonatally acquired CP. Children born abroad had a higher prevalence of CP with more severe functional limitations. In the total population, the prevalence of CP was 2.7/1,000 (95% CI 2.4-3.0) and 48% were GMFCS-level I (the mildest limitation of gross motor function). One third of the children with CP, who were born or had moved into the area after a previous study in 1998, were not in the CPUP database. The subtype classification in the CPUP database was adjusted in the case of every fifth child aged 4-7 years not previously reviewed. The prevalence of CP and the subtype distribution did not differ from that reported in other studies, although the proportion of mild CP tended to be higher. The availability of a second opinion about the classification of CP/CP subtypes is necessary in order to keep a CP register valid, as well as an active search for undiagnosed CP among children with other impairments.

Figure 1: Percentage of time spent awake and in the recess period categorized by intensity (average accelerometer counts per minute). Mexico City, 2010.
Table 1 Descriptive characteristics of adolescent participants, Mexico City, 2010 (N = 72)
Figure 2: Percent of recess period spent in different activities according to the physical activity recall. Mexico City, 2010.
Table 2 Average minutes of recess activity at various intensities using three different instruments, Mexico City, 2010
Physical activity during recess among 13–14 year old Mexican girls

December 2015


267 Reads

Physical activity patterns during recess have been poorly described among adolescents. Physical activity levels could be captured the most accurately using a combination of instruments. The purposes of this study were to describe the physical activity patterns during school recess in a sample of 13-14 year old Mexican girls, to examine differences in these patters as assessed using three physical activity measurement instruments and to understand the influence of body weight status on the observed associations. The study population included seventy-two female adolescents from a private school in Mexico City. Three different instruments were used to monitor physical activity patterns during the recess break including an accelerometer, direct observation (SOFIT instrument), and a physical activity recall. Descriptive analyses were used to characterize physical activity patterns, and one-way ANOVA was used to examine differences across physical activity instruments. Based on the accelerometer data, more than 90% of the recess period was spent at a light or sedentary intensity. Based on SOFIT and recall, the two most frequent activities were standing and walking. There was a significant difference (p < 0.05) between the three instruments for time spent in all physical activity intensities. The large amount of time spent in light and sedentary intensity activities during recess indicates the necessity to intervene upon this opportunity for adolescents to engage in more vigorous forms of physical activity.

Figure 1: Cumulative survival of patients with and without ADAMTS-13 Deficiency.
Table 1 Characteristics of patients in ADAMTS-13 deficient and non-deficient group
Deficiency of ADAMTS-13 in pediatric patients with severe sepsis and impact on in-hospital mortality

March 2013


56 Reads

Background The enzyme involved in regulating the size of vWF (von Willebrand factor) in plasma is ADAMTS-13 (A disintegrin and metalloprotease with thrombospondin type-1 motives). Deficient proteolysis of ULvWF (ultra large von Willebrand factor) due to reduced ADAMTS-13 activity results in disseminated platelet-rich thrombi in the microcirculation characteristic of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Reduced ADAMTS-13 has also been observed in severe sepsis and is associated with poor survival. We conducted this study to detect ADAMTS-13 deficiency and its impact on in-hospital mortality in pediatric patients with severe sepsis. Methods Pediatric patients diagnosed with severe sepsis were recruited for the study. Baseline clinical characteristics were noted. ADAMTS-13 antigen levels were assayed by ELISA. According to ADAMTS-13 levels, patients were grouped as deficient and non-deficient. Comparison was done with regard to some clinical and biological characteristics and in-hospital mortality between the two groups. Results A total of 80 patients were enrolled in the study. The median age of the patients was 3.1 years (Range: 0.1-15 years). ADAMTS-13 deficiency with levels less than 350 ng/dl was found in 65% patients. In patients with ADAMTS-13 deficiency, 75.6% had low platelets of less than 150 × 109/L. In-hospital mortality was 42.3% and 35.7% in ADAMTS-13 deficient and non-deficient group, respectively. Conclusion Majority of the pediatric patients admitted to hospital with severe sepsis exhibit ADAMTS-13 deficiency. ADAMTS-13 deficiency might play a role in sepsis-induced thrombocytopenia. More studies are needed to evaluate the role of ADAMTS-13 deficiency on in-hospital mortality.

Table 1 Baseline values for key variables by school type and gender
Table 2 Crude means/prevalence and adjusted effect size by school type
Flowchart of Participants of the DXA, anthropometry and pubertal assessment.
Effect of four additional physical education lessons on body composition in children aged 8–13 years – a prospective study during two school years

October 2013


198 Reads

Strategies for combating increasing childhood obesity is called for. School settings have been pointed out as potentially effective settings for prevention. The objective of this paper was to evaluate the effect of four additional Physical Education (PE) lessons/week in primary schools on body composition and weight status in children aged 8--13. Children attending 2nd to 4th grade (n = 632) in 10 public schools, 6 intervention and 4 control schools, participated in this longitudinal study during 2 school years. Outcome measures: Primary: Body Mass Index (BMI) and Total Body Fat percentage (TBF%) derived from Dual Energy X ray Absorptiometry (DXA). Secondary: the moderating effect of overweight/obesity (OW/OB) and adiposity based on TBF% cut offs for gender. Intervention effect on BMI and TBF% (BMI: beta -0.14, 95% CI: -0.33; 0.04, TBF%: beta -0.08, 95% CI:-0.65;0.49) was shown insignificant. However, we found significant beneficial intervention effect on prevalence of OW/OB based on BMI (OR 0.29, 95% CI: 0.11;0.72). The intervention effect on adiposity based on TBF% cut offs was borderline significant (OR 0.64, 95% CI:0. 39; 1.05). Four additional PE lessons/week at school can significantly improve the prevalence of OW/OB in primary schoolchildren. Mean BMI and TBF% improved in intervention schools, but the difference with controls was not significant. The intervention had a larger effect in children who were OW/OB or adipose at baseline.

Table 1 : Clinical characteristics of Study Subjects
A. Tracheal aspirate concentrations of IL-4 normalized to secretory component in mechanically ventilated very low birth weight infants during the first 21 days of life. Number in parenthesis represents the number of TA samples assayed at each time point. B. Tracheal aspirate concentrations of IL-4 normalized to secretory component in infants who developed BPD (grey bars) and those who did not (black bars) during the first 21 days of life. Concentrations are expressed as pg of cytokine per μg secretory component ± SEM. Number in parenthesis represents the number of TA samples assayed at each time point.
Interleukin-4 and 13 concentrations in infants at risk to develop Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia

August 2003


56 Reads

An exaggerated inflammatory response occurs in the first few days of life in infants who subsequently develop bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). The increase of inflammatory cytokines in many disease processes is generally balanced by a rise in anti-inflammatory cytokines. Interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-13 (IL-13) have been shown to inhibit production of several inflammatory cytokines important in the development of BPD. We sought to determine if a correlation exists between the presence or absence of IL-4 and IL-13 in tracheal aspirates (TA) during the first 3 weeks of life and the development of BPD in premature infants. Serial TAs were prospectively obtained from 36 very low birth weight infants and IL-4 and IL-13 concentrations were determined by ELISA. Infants who developed BPD (n = 19) were less mature (25.3 +/- 0.02 wks vs. 27.8 +/- 0.05 wks; p < 0.001), and had lower birth weights (739 +/- 27 g vs.1052 +/- 41 g; p < 0.001). IL-4 and IL-13 were detectable in only 27 of 132 and 9 of 132 samples assayed respectively. Furthermore, the levels detected for IL-4 and IL-13 were very low and did not correlate with the development of BPD. TA concentrations of IL-4 and IL-13 do not increase significantly during acute lung injury in premature infants.

Table 1 : The most common causes of death per age-group, children aged 0-14 years, Scotland, 2002-06.
Table 2 : Injury deaths and mortality rates per 100,000, by age-group.
Pattern of injury mortality by age-group in children aged 0–14 years in Scotland, 2002–2006, and its implications for prevention

April 2009


440 Reads

Abstract Background Knowledge of the epidemiology of injuries in children is essential for the planning, implementation and evaluation of preventive measures but recent epidemiological information on injuries in children both in general and by age-group in Scotland is scarce. This study examines the recent pattern of childhood mortality from injury by age-group in Scotland and considers its implications for prevention. Methods Routine mortality data for the period 2002–2006 were obtained from the General Register Office for Scotland and were analysed in terms of number of deaths, mean annual mortality rates per 100,000 population, leading causes of death, and causes of injury death. Mid-year population estimates were used as the denominator. Chi-square tests were used to determine statistical significance. Results 186 children aged 0–14 died from an injury in Scotland during 2002–06 (MR 4.3 per 100,000). Injuries were the leading cause of death in 1–14, 5–9 and 10–14 year-olds (causing 25%, 29% and 32% of all deaths respectively). The leading individual causes of injury death (0–14 years) were pedestrian and non-pedestrian road-traffic injuries and assault/homicide but there was variation by age-group. Assault/homicide, fire and suffocation caused most injury deaths in young children; road-traffic injuries in older ones. Collectively, intentional injuries were a bigger threat to the lives of under-15s than any single cause of unintentional injury. The mortality rate from assault/homicide was highest in infants (

Figure 1: CT-angiograph of 14-year old boy with absence of inferior vena cava. Scan shows lack of contrast filling at the site of vena cava inferior. Numerous veins of collateral circulation within pelvis are varicosely dilated. Because of their atypical anatomy drainage of the renal veins could not be identified.1. Renal confluence, 2. Dilated portal vein, 3. Inferior mesenteric vein, 4. Lack of contrast filling at the site of inferior vena cava.
Absence of inferior vena cava in 14-year old boy associated with deep venous thrombosis and positive Mycoplasma pneumoniae serum antibodies- A case report

April 2015


224 Reads

Absence of the inferior vena cava is a rare vascular anomaly, which usually remains asymptomatic in childhood. It is recognized as the risk factor for deep venous thrombosis, since the collateral circulation does not provide adequate drainage of the lower limbs. Mycoplasma pneumoniae is a common cause of community-acquired pneumonia in school-aged children and adolescents. Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection might be associated with deep venous thrombosis but its pathophysiology remains unknown. According to previous reports, deep venous thrombosis due to Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection is associated with positive serum anticardiolipin antibodies. To our knowledge, we describe the first case of deep venous thrombosis associated with Mycoplasma pneumoniae serum antibodies indicating early stage of infection with negative anticardiolipin serum antibodies in adolescent with absence of inferior vena cava. 14-year old boy was admitted to the pediatric unit few days after the appendectomy complaining with pain of the left hip that caused him unable to walk. The pain was accompanied with subfebrile temperature. After clinical examination and additional tests, the boy was diagnosed with a deep venous thrombosis. Computed tomography revealed absence of the vena cava inferior distally to the hepatic veins and varices of the collateral circulation in the pelvis. Anticardiolipin IgM and IgG antibodies and antinuclear antibodies were not detected. Additionally, the Mycoplasma pneumoniae antibodies in classes IgM, IgA and IgG were detected in serum as another risk factor of thrombosis. After the initial treatment with low-molecular-weight heparin in combination with clarithromycin the clinical condition of the patient improved. The patient became a candidate for life-long anticoagulation therapy. In this case Mycoplasma pneumoniae antibodies were associated with deep venous thrombosis in child with congenital absence of inferior vena cava. Uncommonly for deep venous thrombosis due to Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection, anticardiolipin antibodies were not detected in serum. It is important to remember in clinical practice that Mycoplasma pneumoniae affects coagulability and may trigger thrombosis, especially in the presence of other risk factors. The pathophysiology of this process remains unknown.

Table 1 Time schedule of the Active Lifestyle and Sports Participation intervention
ICF model with the outcome measures that will be assessed in this study. Primary outcome measures are underlined.
VitaMove recorder.
LEARN 2 MOVE 16-24: Effectiveness of an intervention to stimulate physical activity and improve physical fitness of adolescents and young adults with spastic cerebral palsy; a randomized controlled trial

November 2010


1,392 Reads

Persons with cerebral palsy (CP) are at risk for developing an inactive lifestyle and often have poor fitness levels, which may lead to secondary health complications and diminished participation and quality of life. However, persons with CP also tend not to receive structural treatment to improve physical activity and fitness in adolescence, which is precisely the period when adult physical activity patterns are established. We aim to include 60 adolescents and young adults (16-24 years) with spastic CP. Participants will be randomly assigned to an intervention group or a control group (no treatment; current policy). The intervention will last 6 months and consist of three parts; 1) counselling on daily physical activity; 2) physical fitness training; and 3) sports advice. To evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention, all participants will be measured before, during, directly after, and at 6 months following the intervention period. Primary outcome measures will be: 1) physical activity level, which will be measured objectively with an accelerometry-based activity monitor during 72 h and subjectively with the Physical Activity Scale for Individuals with Physical Disabilities; 2) aerobic fitness, which will be measured with a maximal ramp test on a bicycle or armcrank ergometer and a 6-minute walking or wheelchair test; 3) neuromuscular fitness, which will be measured with handheld dynamometry; and 4 body composition, which will be determined by measuring body mass, height, waist circumference, fat mass and lipid profile. This paper outlines the design, methodology and intervention of a multicenter randomized controlled trial (LEARN 2 MOVE 16-24) aimed at examining the effectiveness of an intervention that is intended to permanently increase physical activity levels and improve fitness levels of adolescents and young adults with CP by achieving a behavioral change toward a more active lifestyle. Dutch Trial Register; NTR1785.

Table 1 : Asset quintiles and quartiles generated from scores of the first principal component
Table 2 : The 16 Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) studied; with country, year of study, age groups and total number of children included in this analysis.
Prevalence of stunting in each of the asset index groupings (vertical bars) and in each of three groups of mothers' education (open circles) in the 16 studies.
Forest plot of 16 studies indicating the excess of stunting prevalence in male compared to female children. The broken vertical line represents the odds ratio of the pooled results adjusted for child-age and individual study, with the confidence interval corresponding to the width of the diamond. The unbroken vertical line is at the null value (1) of the odds ratios (equivalent to no stunting difference between boys and girls).
Four examples of studies with male stunting being more pronounced in the poorest socio-economic group whereas among the least poor stunting is more or less equal in the 2 sexes.
Wamani H, Astrom AN, Peterson S, Tumwine J, Tylleskar T. Boys are more stunted than girls in sub-Saharan Africa: a meta-analysis of 16 demographic and health surveys. BMC Pediatr 7, 1-10
Many studies in sub-Saharan Africa have occasionally reported a higher prevalence of stunting in male children compared to female children. This study examined whether there are systematic sex differences in stunting rates in children under-five years of age, and how the sex differences in stunting rates vary with household socio-economic status. Data from the most recent 16 demographic and health surveys (DHS) in 10 sub-Saharan countries were analysed. Two separate variables for household socio-economic status (SES) were created for each country based on asset ownership and mothers' education. Quintiles of SES were constructed using principal component analysis. Sex differentials with stunting were assessed using Student's t-test, chi square test and binary logistic regressions. The prevalence and the mean z-scores of stunting were consistently lower amongst females than amongst males in all studies, with differences statistically significant in 11 and 12, respectively, out of the 16 studies. The pooled estimates for mean z-scores were -1.59 for boys and -1.46 for girls with the difference statistically significant (p < 0.001). The stunting prevalence was also higher in boys (40%) than in girls (36%) in pooled data analysis; crude odds ratio 1.16 (95% CI 1.12-1.20); child age and individual survey adjusted odds ratio 1.18 (95% CI 1.14-1.22). Male children in households of the poorest 40% were more likely to be stunted compared to females in the same group, but the pattern was not consistent in all studies, and evaluation of the SES/sex interaction term in relation to stunting was not significant for the surveys. In sub-Saharan Africa, male children under five years of age are more likely to become stunted than females, which might suggest that boys are more vulnerable to health inequalities than their female counterparts in the same age groups. In several of the surveys, sex differences in stunting were more pronounced in the lowest SES groups.

Table 4 : Microbiological results of Broad Range 16 S rDNA and conventional Bactec blood culture
Comparison of broad range 16S rDNA PCR and conventional blood culture for diagnosis of sepsis in the newborn: A case control study

February 2009


145 Reads

Early onset bacterial sepsis is a feared complication of the newborn. A large proportion of infants admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for suspected sepsis receive treatment with potent systemic antibiotics while a diagnostic workup is in progress. The gold standard for detecting bacterial sepsis is blood culture. However, as pathogens in blood cultures are only detected in approximately 25% of patients, the sensitivity of blood culture is suspected to be low. Therefore, the diagnosis of sepsis is often based on the development of clinical signs, in combination with laboratory tests such as a rise in C-reactive protein (CRP). Molecular assays for the detection of bacterial DNA in the blood represent possible new diagnostic tools for early identification of a bacterial cause. A broad range 16S rDNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) without preincubation was compared to conventional diagnostic work up for clinical sepsis, including BACTEC blood culture, for early determination of bacterial sepsis in the newborn. In addition, the relationship between known risk factors, clinical signs, and laboratory parameters considered in clinical sepsis in the newborn were explored. Forty-eight infants with suspected sepsis were included in this study. Thirty-one patients were diagnosed with sepsis, only 6 of these had a positive blood culture. 16S rDNA PCR analysis of blinded blood samples from the 48 infants revealed 10 samples positive for the presence of bacterial DNA. PCR failed to be positive in 2 samples from blood culture positive infants, and was positive in 1 sample where a diagnosis of a non-septic condition was established. Compared to blood culture the diagnosis of bacterial proven sepsis by PCR revealed a 66.7% sensitivity, 87.5% specificity, 95.4% positive and 75% negative predictive value. PCR combined with blood culture revealed bacteria in 35.1% of the patients diagnosed with sepsis. Irritability and feeding difficulties were the clinical signs most often observed in sepsis. CRP increased in the presence of bacterial infection. There is a need for PCR as a method to quickly point out the infants with sepsis. However, uncertainty about a bacterial cause of sepsis was not reduced by the PCR result, reflecting that methodological improvements are required in order for DNA detection to replace or supplement traditional blood culture in diagnosis of bacterial sepsis.

Table 1 : Baseline characteristics of the patients enrolled in the trial
Comparison of FEV1 z-scores in treated and untreatedpatients over time. Continuous lines represent the average z-score ofFEV1 by month. Dotted lines represent the interpolation of the z-scores by linear regression. Comparison of the two groups through general linear model repeated-measures. ANOVA yielded a P value = 0.04.
Lucidi, V, Tozzi, AE, Bella, S and Turchetta, A. A pilot trial on safety and efficacy of erythrocyte-mediated steroid treatment in CF patients. BMC Pediatr 6: 17

May 2006


131 Reads

Background: Chronic neutrophil inflammation of the respiratory tract tissues plays a key role in the pathogenesis and in prognosis of cystic fibrosis (CF). It is evident that an anti-inflammatory therapy represents an important step in the treatment of CF patients. Corticosteroids and ibuprofen have been proven to slow down the impairment of the pulmonary function in CF patients but their use is limited by the frequency of adverse events. A novel strategy for delivering low doses of steroids for long periods through the infusion of autologous erythrocytes loaded with dexamethasone has been recently set up. A recent study suggested the feasibility of therapy with low doses of corticosteroids delivered through engineered erythrocytes in CF patients. This study presents a further analysis of safety and efficacy of this therapy. Methods: The treatment group was not randomised and the assignment was based on the patient's consent. Patients entered the study if they had a forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) <70%, puberty development completed, pancreatic insufficiency, and chronic pulmonary infection requiring frequent cycles of intravenous antibiotic therapy. Patients were excluded if they underwent systemic corticosteriod therapy in the three months preceding the experimental treatment or were on therapy with non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NASDs), or if they had liver CF disease, allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis, or positive tuberculin test. Controls were patients who followed a standard treatment, who fulfilled the enrollment criteria, and who were matched to the experimental group by gender, age, and severity of the disease. Results: Nine patients in the experimental group received the treatment once a month for a period of 24 month. Patients did not develop diabetes, cataract, or hypertension, or other typical side effects of steroid treatment during the follow up period. There was a constant improvement of FEV1 in patients undergoing the experimental treatment compared to a gradual decrease of the same parameter in the standard therapy group (P = 0.04). The average of clinic and radiological indexes did not vary. The number of infective relapses that have required antibiotic intravenous therapy was not different in the two groups, although the average of these episodes was slightly higher in the experimental therapy group. Conclusion: Intraerythrocyte corticosteroid treatment may stabilize the respiratory function in CF patients but is often considered too invasive by patients. The results obtained by our study may help planning an experimental, controlled, randomised study. A sample size of 150 patients per group would be sufficient for demonstrating such a difference with a 95% confidence interval and a power of 90%.

Table 1 Number of dose calculation errors observed
Significant errors by type of calculation and category of doctor or medical student.
Mean time taken to perform the calculation and category of doctor or medical student.
Scatter plot of time taken with and without a calculator to calculate 18 mg/kg and 20 mg/kg.
Time taken to perform the calculation by seniority.
What is the easier and more reliable dose calculation for iv Phenytoin in children at risk of developing convulsive status epilepticus, 18 mg/kg or 20 mg/kg?

April 2013


820 Reads

Background With the Convulsive Status Guidelines due for renewal, we wondered if a phenytoin dose of ‘20 mg/kg’ would be easier to calculate correctly and therefore safer than the current ‘18 mg/kg’. An educational exercise in dose calculation was therefore undertaken to assess ease of calculation. Method A standard question paper was prepared, comprising five clinical scenarios with children of varying ages and estimated body weights. Medical students, trainee doctors at registrar and senior house officer level, and consultant paediatricians were asked to complete the exercise, in private, by one of two medical students (SD, PS). Calculations were done with and without a calculator, for 18 mg/kg and for 20 mg/kg in randomised order. Speed and errors (greater than 10%) were determined. The data analysis was performed using SPSS version 18. Results All answered all 20 scenarios, giving a total of 300 answers per doctor/student group, and 300 answers per type of calculation. When comparing the 2 doses, the numbers of errors more than 10% were significantly less in 20 mg/kg dose (0.33%) as compared to the 18 mg/kg dose (9.3%) (p<0.0001). Speed off calculation was significantly decreased in 20 mg/kg dose when compared with 18 mg/kg dose, with (p<0.001) or without (p<0.0001) the calculator. Speed was more than halved and errors were much less frequent by using a calculator, for the 18 mg/kg dose but no difference with or without the calculator for 20 mg/kg dose. Conclusion We recommend that the future guidelines should suggest iv Phenytoin at 20 mg/kg rather than 18 mg/kg. This will make the calculation easier and reduce the risk of significant errors.

Table 2 Data collection tools and time points for each
Table 3 Demographic characteristics of the study participants
Sleep questionnaire data (mean ± SD) plotted by time point in relation to intervention. Intervention occurred at time 0 weeks. Shaded areas represent pre-intervention time points.
Sleep hygiene intervention for youth aged 10 to 18 years with problematic sleep: a before-after pilot study

December 2012


728 Reads

Abstract Background The current study aimed to examine the changes following a sleep hygiene intervention on sleep hygiene practices, sleep quality, and daytime symptoms in youth. Methods Participants aged 10–18 years with self-identified sleep problems completed our age-appropriate F.E.R.R.E.T (an acronym for the categories of Food, Emotions, Routine, Restrict, Environment and Timing) sleep hygiene programme; each category has three simple rules to encourage good sleep. Participants (and parents as appropriate) completed the Adolescent Sleep Hygiene Scale (ASHS), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Sleep Disturbance Scale for Children (SDSC), Pediatric Daytime Sleepiness Scale (PDSS), and wore Actical® monitors twice before (1 and 2 weeks) and three times after (6, 12 and 20 weeks) the intervention. Anthropometric data were collected two weeks before and 20 weeks post-intervention. Results Thirty-three youths (mean age 12.9 years; M/F = 0.8) enrolled, and retention was 100%. ASHS scores significantly improved (p = 0.005) from a baseline mean (SD) of 4.70 (0.41) to 4.95 (0.31) post-intervention, as did PSQI scores [7.47 (2.43) to 4.47 (2.37); p

PLBW cross-lagged model with covariates for language ability and attention problems at 18 and 36 months: Edu = mother's education, Sex = child's gender, AC = age corrected for prematurity (calculated by subtracting number of days premature from chronological age), and RD = respiratory distress syndrome at birth. Non-significant paths are omitted for simplicity.
Control group cross-lagged model with covariates for language ability and attention problems at 18 and 36 months: Edu = mother's education, Sex = child's gender.
of responses to the latent variables language ability and attention problems
Attention problems and language development in preterm low-birth-weight children: Cross-lagged relations from 18 to 36 months

June 2011


927 Reads

Research has highlighted a series of persistent deficits in cognitive ability in preterm low-birth-weight children. Language and attention problems are among these deficits, although the nature of the relation between attention and language in early development is not well known. This study represents a preliminary attempt to shed light on the relations between attention problems and language development in preterm low-birth-weight children. The aim of this study was to analyse reciprocal influences between language and attention problems from 18 to 36 months. We used maternal reports on attention problems and language ability referring to a sample of 1288 premature low-birth-weight infants, collected as part of the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa). A sample of children born full-term was used as the control group (N = 37010). Cross-lagged panel analyses were carried out to study reciprocal influences between attention problems and language. Language ability at 18 months did not significantly predict attention problems at 36 months, adjusting for attention problems at 18 months. Attention problems at 18 months significantly predicted changes in language ability from 18 to 36 months, pointing to a precursor role of attention in relation to language in children born preterm. Gender, age corrected for prematurity, and mother's education emerged as important covariates. Preliminary evidence was found for a precursor role of early attention problems in relation to language in prematurity. This finding can contribute to a better understanding of the developmental pathways of attention and language and lead to better management of unfavourable outcomes associated with co-morbid attention and language difficulties.

Study participants.
The subject-specific association of allergy at the ages of 9 and 18 months, 3 and 5 years with self-reported allergy, and allergy (a) and asthma (b) at the ages of 12, 15 and 18 years. In the subject-specific model, analysis takes into account the correlation structure of the repeated measurements, that is, whether a same child who has allergy at 9 months, 18 months, 3 and 5 years, has allergy (a) or asthma (b) at the ages 12,15, and 18 years. The predictive variable was divided into two categories, diagnosed allergy or no allergy at ages of 9 and 18 months, 3 and 5 years. The analysis is based on logistic regression with random intercept, and the results are presented as Odds Ratios (OR) with 95% Confidence Intervals.
Allergy from infancy to adolescence. A population-based 18-year follow-up cohort

August 2009


57 Reads

Anxious parents have many concerns about the future health of their atopic infants. Paediatricians and primary care practitioners need to seek knowledge on long-term outcomes in order to cope with the increasing caseload of suspected allergy and the concerns of parents. The aim of the study was to assess suspected and diagnosed allergy in infancy as predictors of allergy and asthma in adolescence. Families expecting their first baby and making their first visit to a maternity health care clinic in 1986 were selected as the study population in a random sample. There were 1278 eligible study families. The data were provided of the children at the ages of 9 and 18 months and 3, 5, 12, 15 and 18 years by health care professionals, parents, and adolescents (themselves). At the age of 9 months, the prevalence of allergy suspicions was distinctly higher than that of allergy diagnoses. At the age of five years suspected allergy approaches were nil, and the prevalence of diagnosed allergy was about 9%. During the adolescence, the prevalence of self-reported allergy increases steadily up to the age of 18 years, and that of asthma remains at approximately 5%. Suspected allergy at the age of 9 or 18 months and at the 5 years of age does not predict allergy at adolescence. Compared with non-allergic children, children with definite allergy at the age of 5 were over 8 times more likely to have allergy and nearly 7 times more likely to have asthma in adolescence. An early ascertained diagnosis of allergy, but not suspicions of allergy, predicts prevailing allergy in adolescence. Efforts need to be focused on accurate diagnosis of early childhood allergies.

Top-cited authors