Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health

Published by Wiley
Online ISSN: 1440-1754
Publications
Article
The study aims to investigate environmental, socio-demographic and other antecedent risk factors associated with low-speed vehicle run over (LSVRO) mortality in Australian children aged 0–5 years. This is a population-based retrospective case series study of Australian LSVRO mortality, July 2000–December 2010. Mortality and corresponding population data were stratified by sex and period to examine trends in incidence rates over the study period. Proportional mortality was also investigated by sex, age, period, area, location of injury, mechanism and other antecedent factors identified from textual coronial information. There were 82 fatal LSVRO cases over the 11-year study period. The annual incidence was low (less than 1 per 100 000) and declined over the study period. More than three-quarters of incidents occurred in non-traffic settings, in particular residential driveways. The most common vehicle involved was a four-wheel drive or utility with vehicles most likely to be reversing or leaving at the time of the incident. More than three-quarters of cases were aged 36 months or less. A higher proportion of LSVRO fatalities occurred in lower socio-economic status areas compared with higher socio-economic status areas. Where the vehicle was actively being driven (77 cases), the driver was known to the child in three-quarters of cases, most commonly the father (32%). The study provides a detailed analysis of mortality due to LSVRO incidents in Australia and highlights a number of modifiable antecedent factors. Precedents for the identification and reporting of LSVRO incidents as well as prevention strategies are discussed.
 
Article
Aims: To document risk factors, clinical features and outcomes in infants <6 months old admitted with laboratory-confirmed influenza to The Children's Hospital at Westmead during the H1N1-09 pandemic. Methods: Prospective, hospital-based case series of infants admitted June-September 2009, identified by the Paediatric Active Enhanced Disease Surveillance system and supplemented by telephone interview post-discharge. Results: Thirty-two infants <6 months old had influenza A: 18 H1N1-09, 11 H3N2 and three unknown subtypes. After discharge, 28 (88%) families were telephoned and provided additional information. Documented risk factors included close contact with young children (46%), living with a smoker (36%), intensive or special care at birth (25%), pre-existing illness (16%) and preterm birth (14%). The number of persons per household was double the state average. Only 14% of mothers were vaccinated against seasonal influenza. Infants commonly presented with cough (69%), coryza (69%), lethargy (38%), fever (31%), dyspnoea (31%) and vomiting (28%). Complications included pneumonia (22%), and bacterial (9%) and viral (6%) co-infection. Five infants (15%) required admission to intensive care, and one was mechanically ventilated. Sixteen (57%) had ongoing respiratory problems, and six (21%) presented to the Emergency Department within 6 months of discharge. Conclusions: These novel data are clinically important. Rates of influenza in infants may be reduced by vaccinating close contacts and minimising exposure to infected contacts and cigarette smoke.
 
Article
To investigate parents' perceptions of the eating behaviour of toddlers born preterm. A mailed, self-administered questionnaire was sent to parents of infants born between July 1994 and July 1996 with gestational ages less than 32 weeks who had been admitted to the Neonatal Unit at Flinders Medical Centre. Responses were received for 95 subjects (response rate 70%) with a mean +/- SD gestational age of 29.2 +/- 2.1 weeks, birthweight of 1243 +/- 296 g and median corrected age of 134 weeks (range 84-185 weeks) at the time of study. Seventy-eight per cent of parents were concerned about the quality of food intake and 45% wished to change their child's eating behaviour. Although only 20% of parents identified their toddlers as being fussy eaters, food refusal was reported by 58% of respondents, and 51% and 69% used food rewards or coaxing, respectively, to encourage intake. Parents of toddlers who had received home gavage feeding (n = 5) or had a respiratory or neurological disability (n = 16), reported poorer feeding indicators. Programmes providing information on normal toddler eating behaviour and strategies to promote positive feeding practices may reassure parents and promote development of food preferences and eating behaviours consistent with long-term healthy eating habits. Special emphasis should be placed on children with a disability or children who have received home gavage feeding.
 
Article
To review the incidence and severity of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in infants with birthweights 1000-1249 g and 1250-1499 g, to establish whether the upper weight limit for routine ophthalmological examination might safely be lowered. Prospective cohort study of infants born between 1 January 1977 and 31 December 1992 cared for in the neonatal nurseries at the Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne. Data were retrieved on 1373 infants who survived their initial hospitalization. They comprised 657 with birthweights 1000-1249 g (group 1) and 716 with birthweights 1250-1499 g (group 2). There were 76 outborn infants in group 1 and 97 in group 2; the remaining infants were all born at the Royal Women's Hospital. Ocular examinations commenced at 2 weeks of age, when possible, and at 2-weekly intervals after that. In group 1, ROP was detected in 14.6% (96/657) and severe ROP (bilateral stage 3-5) in 5.0% (33/657). Five (0.8%) children required surgical intervention (reaching threshold disease); following surgery, one was legally blind, one had severely impaired vision, and the other three had near-normal vision. Another child was blind; he was born at 28 weeks gestational age with a birthweight of 1170 g, and was transferred to a Level II hospital at 9 weeks chronological age with no detectable retinopathy. He returned 1 year later totally blind with detached retinae (grade 5 ROP). The prevalence of bilateral blindness in this group was 0.3% (2/657). In group 2, ROP was detected in 6.4% (46/716) and severe ROP in 0.8% (6/716). No children required surgery; three were found to be myopic at follow-up but the corrected visual acuity was normal. No children in group 2 were blind. No significant difference was found between the rates of ROP in inborn and outborn infants. In neonatal units with similar rates of ROP and visual outcome, routine ophthalmological examination in the neonatal nursery of infants weighing more than 1249 g at birth is probably unnecessary.
 
Article
This study reported the prevalence and severity of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in less than or equal to 28 weeks gestation or less than or equal to 1000 g birthweight infants over a 12-year period. Among 328 survivors of less than or equal to 28 weeks gestation, 30% had ROP, 12% had severe ROP of Stage 3 or worse, 5% had at least one blind eye and 3% were bilaterally blind. Among 201 survivors of less than or equal to 1000 g birthweight, the above abnormalities were found in 40, 16, 6 and 4% respectively. In both cohorts there was a significant increase in the prevalence of ROP and severe ROP between the period 1977-80 and 1981-84, but the lesser increase observed between the periods 1981-84 and 1985-88 was not statistically significant. The rates of ROP-induced blindness were not significantly different between the three 4-year periods. An inverse relationship was noted between the prevalence of ROP and gestational age. The results suggest a resurgence of ROP in less than or equal to 28 weeks or less than or equal to 1000 g infants, the cause of which is uncertain. In view of this trend, continued surveillance of ROP is warranted.
 
Article
To compare outcomes for infants weighing less than 1000 g treated with a predominantly nasal continuous positive airways pressure (CPAP) approach (modelled on that of Columbia University, New York) with outcomes audited by the Australian and New Zealand Neonatal Network (ANZNN). Data on all infants weighing less than 1000 g admitted for intensive care were collected prospectively for the 29 neonatal units contributing to the ANZNN database. Outcomes for infants treated at Middlemore Hospital over a 3-year period (1998-2001) were compared with the ANZNN data for 1999. Sixty-four infants were admitted to Middlemore Hospital and 954 to the other 28 neonatal units. The two groups were similar with respect to birthweight, Apgar scores, sex and delivery method. Gestational age was lower in the Middlemore infants and outcome variables were adjusted for this difference. Fewer babies at Middlemore were born to mothers who had completed antenatal corticosteroids. The Middlemore Hospital group spent longer on CPAP (P < 0.001) but had less time in oxygen (median 4 days compared to 54 days; P < 0.001). Fewer of the Middlemore cohort were in oxygen at both 28 days (odds ratio 0.17 with 95% CI 0.09-0.30) and 36 weeks corrected gestation (odds ratio 0.15 95% CI 0.07-0.32) and fewer infants were discharged home on oxygen (odds ratio risk 0.38 95% CI 0.16-0.90). Other outcomes were a reduction in the number of infants with culture proven sepsis at Middlemore Hospital but a higher rate of necrotizing enterocolitis. Length of hospital stay and survival rates were not significantly different. Improved respiratory outcomes for infants weighing less than 1000 g were evident at Middlemore Hospital. This was attributed to the use of a nasal CPAP-based respiratory support system.
 
Article
Children account for approximately half of the humanitarian refugees currently resettled in Australia. A multidisciplinary refugee health clinic (RHC) was established at the tertiary paediatric hospital in Western Australia to address burgeoning referrals of refugee children following voluntary post-resettlement health assessment. The aim of this study is to describe the epidemiology of common conditions in resettled paediatric refugees attending a tertiary multidisciplinary RHC. Standardised clinical and demographic data were routinely collected during first visit clinical assessment at the RHC. Descriptive analyses of the first 1026 children are presented. One thousand twenty-six refugee children from 475 families and over 30 different ethnicities were described. Nine hundred twenty-seven (90.4%) children were referred following post-resettlement health assessment. Median age was 7.8 years. Common reasons for referral were: vitamin D deficiency (400, 39%), iron deficiency (226, 22%), positive Helicobacter pylori serology (206, 21%), poor appetite (175, 17.1%), and schistosomiasis (170, 16.6%). Comorbidities identified by the RHC included tinea capitis and corporis (297, 28.9%), and dental disease (228, 22.2%). Two-thirds of children (680, 66.3%) had at least one abnormal finding on clinical examination that identified pathologies that were not evident from the history. Three hundred eighty children (37%) were referred to sub-specialty services. A multidisciplinary paediatric RHC facilitated and strengthened the management of refugee children with multiple and complex health needs. Evidenced-based culturally appropriate methods to identify developmental delay, psychological morbidity and quantify social needs of this vulnerable population remain uncertain. These findings are relevant to the continuing evolution of paediatric refugee health care in Australia and other high income countries.
 
Article
A male neonate with partial monosomy 10q and partial trisomy 11q, due to paternal balanced translocation, and who had cerebellar and olfactory lobe hypoplasia, cardiovascular defects, duodenal atresia and imperforate anus, is presented. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on this combination of chromosomal abnormalities.
 
Article
To determine the relationship between lung function at 11 years of age and bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in very low birthweight (VLBW) children. This study comprised 154 consecutive surviving VLBW children, divided into three groups with respect to their neonatal respiratory morbidity: group I developed BPD; group II required assisted ventilation but did not develop BPD; and group III required no assisted ventilation. Lung function tests were measured on 120/154 (77.9%) children at 11 years of age. The relationship between various lung function variables and neonatal lung disease was analysed by multiple linear regression. Several lung function variables reflecting airflow were significantly diminished in the BPD group (n = 15), and residual volume was significantly higher. Despite poorer lung function overall, few children in the BPD group had lung function abnormalities in the clinically significant range (n = 2[13.3%] with a forced expired volume in 1 $ < 75% predicted; n = 2[13.3%] with a forced vital capacity < 75% predicted; n = 1 [6.7%] with a residual volume/total lung capacity > 35%). There were no significant differences in lung function variables between group II (n = 41) and group III (n = 64). Changes in lung function tests between 8 and 11 years did not very significantly between the three groups. VLBW children with BPD in the newborn period have period have poorer lung function at 11 years of age than other surviving VLBW children without BPD, although few have lung function abnormalities in the clinically significant range.
 
Article
An 11-year-old Caucasian male with history of abdominal pain, diarrhoea, fatigue, emesis and fever on the previous days presented with dehydratation, shock and acute mesenteric ischaemia. Final diagnosis of Addison's disease was made.
 
Article
To determine the prevalence of recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) among Malaysian school children aged from 11 to 16 years. A preliminary cross-sectional survey in which three urban schools and three rural schools were selected randomly. Two classes were selected randomly from each year. A questionnaire was given to each child asking him or her about whether they had experienced abdominal pain occurring at least three times over a period of at least 3 months, interfering with normal daily activity. 1 Interfering with normal daily activity was defined as missing school and/or having to stop doing a routine daily activity on account of the pain. Girls whose pains were related to periods were excluded. After the forms had been completed, each child was again interviewed to ensure that Apley's criteria1 was fulfilled in cases of RAP. The overall prevalence of RAP among 1549 schoolchildren (764 boys; 785 girls) was 10.2% (95% confidence interval (CI), 8.8-11.8). There appeared to be a higher prevalence in rural schoolchildren (P = 0.008; odds ratio (OR) 1.58), in those with a lower family income (P < 0.001; OR 2.02) and in children whose fathers have a lower educational attainment (P = 0.002; OR 1. 92). There were no significant differences in the prevalence of RAP among children of different sex, age, ethnic group and family size. : In spite of differences in time and culture, the overall prevalence of 10.2% found in this study is similar to that determined by Apley.1 There are significant differences in the prevalence of RAP between children from rural and urban schools, among children with different family incomes and among children whose parents have different educational backgrounds.
 
Article
To review experience of CYP11 beta 1 deficiency (previously known as 11 beta-hydroxylase) at the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria. A retrospective case review was conducted from 1974 to 1995 with five cases identified. Age of presentation ranged from 1 day to 7 years. Presentation was with ambiguous genitalia at birth (two females), simple virilization (two males) and suspected early puberty in mid childhood (one female). Associated clinical features were hypertension (three cases) and tail stature with markedly advanced bone age (four cases). Biochemical abnormalities consistent with CYP11 beta 1-deficiency were elevated urinary tetrahydro-11-deoxycortisol (n = 5) and elevated serum 11-deoxycortisol (n = 3). Additional abnormalities were elevated 17-hydroxyprogesterone (n = 3), elevated androstenedione (n = 4) and elevated dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (n = 4). The clinical features and investigations suggested CYP11 beta 1-classical deficiency in four patients and CYP11 beta 1-non-classical deficiency in one patient. The five cases of CYP11 beta 1-deficiency demonstrate a spectrum of clinical abnormalities, with diagnostic difficulties in two cases and delayed presentation in three cases. Prompt diagnosis of CYP11 beta 1-deficiency is facilitated greatly by the availability of a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry instrument and is essential to avoid the long-term effects of hypertension and hyperandrogenism.
 
Article
To describe and compare the body mass index (BMI; weight/height2) profile of 11-12-year-old children in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand in 1989 and 2000. To subsequently determine the prevalence of overweight and obesity at the two time points using international definitions. As part of asthma prevalence studies in Hawkes Bay data on height, weight and ethnicity were collected from 871 school children in 1989, and 894 children in 2000 who reached 12 years of age during the year of testing. In the total study population the geometric mean BMI increased from 18.1 kg/m2 (95% CI 17.9; 18.3) in 1989 to 19.8 kg/m2 (95% CI 19.6; 20.0) in 2000, a relative increase of 9.2% (95% CI 7.6; 10.9), P < 0.001. Significant relative increases were found for males (9.0%: 95% CI 6.8; 11.3), females (9.3%: 95% CI 6.8; 11.8), Maori (7.6%: 95% CI 4.3; 11.1), European (9.1%: 95% CI 7.3; 11.0) and Pacific Island children (11.0%: 95% CI 2.2; 20.5). In 2000 20.9% of Hawkes Bay children were classified as overweight and 9.1% as obese. The risk of being overweight in 2000 was 2.2 times greater than the risk in 1989, and the risk of being obese was 3.8 times greater, with these problems more pronounced among Maori (overweight 24.7%, obese 15.3%) and Pacific Island (overweight 35.0%, obese 15.0%) than European (overweight: 18.2%, obese 5.7%) children. However, the risk of being overweight (RR = 3.0, 95% CI 2.2-4.0) or obese (RR = 8.3, 95% CI 3.0-23.3) in 2000 compared to 1989 was greater among European children. Higher percentages of Maori and Pacific Island children are overweight or obese compared to European, but in all ethnic groups there has been a statistically significant increase in mean BMI over an 11-year period. This increase reflects the trend observed in other developed countries and underlines childhood obesity as a major health problem in New Zealand.
 
Article
We report a case of an 11-year-old girl with virginal breast hypertrophy; a rare condition characterised by rapid breast enlargement in the peripubertal period. In this paper we highlight complexities of management in this age group.
 
Article
A 3.5-year-old Vietnamese boy presented with precocious pseudopuberty, hypertension and a skin rash that was treated with Vietnamese medications for 6 weeks, with resolution. Serum androgen levels were prepubertal, adrenal ultrasound was normal but a large unknown abnormal peak was detected in the urine steroid profile. Cessation of medications disclosed elevation of plasma androgen and 11-deoxycortisol levels. The unidentified urine steroid profile peak disappeared and a tetrahydro-11-deoxycortisol peak was detected. This patient represents a difficult and challenging diagnosis of 11beta-hydroxylase deficiency. Careful evaluation of history and physical finding in the presence of apparent biochemistry discrepancy resulted in a correct diagnosis.
 
Article
In 2002, the composition of the breast milk fortifier used in our hospital changed, giving increased protein and energy. We therefore decided to prospectively audit nutritional management in our unit and to compare nutritional intake and growth in our babies with published data. Data were prospectively collected over a 3-month period on infants<1200 g or 30 weeks gestation. Prescribed and delivered volumes of all parenteral and enteral fluids were recorded. Babies were weighed as per unit protocol. Thirty-four infants met the audit criteria. Data are median (range). After the first week of life, energy and protein intakes were 147 (78-174) kcal/kg/day and 3.9 (2.1-4.8) g/kg/day respectively. Daily weight gain was 17 (-3.2-35.4) g/kg and was significantly associated with both energy and protein intakes (P<0.001). However, standard deviation scores for weight fell from 0.15 (-1.9-2.0) at birth to -1.0 (-2.9-0.8) by 36 weeks corrected age. Time to commencing enteral feeds was 1 (1-3) day and to full enteral feeds was 8 (5-28) days. One infant was diagnosed with necrotising enterocolitis and eight with chronic lung disease. Mean protein intake was significantly lower in babies with chronic lung disease (P=0.005). Overall, nutritional intakes and weight gain in this cohort of babies lie within the recommended ranges, although protein intakes in the smallest babies are at the lower end of the range. Enteral feeds are introduced early and advanced rapidly, but we have a low incidence of necrotising enterocolitis. However, babies still fell across weight centiles, suggesting that actual intakes for these tiny babies may be inadequate.
 
Article
To study mortality and short-term morbidity of infants born to women with HELLP (haemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelets) syndrome and to compare the long-term neurodevelopmental morbidity of a subgroup with birth weight (BWT) less than 1250 g (study group) with weight matched controls. Retrospective chart review and prospective neurodevelopmental follow-up through a Perinatal Follow-up clinic. Analysis of perinatal and neonatal data for women diagnosed with HELLP from 1993 to 1996. Neurodevelopmental outcome for the study group was compared to a group of weight matched controls. A total of 109 infants (mean gestational age 32.6 weeks, mean BWT 1766 g) were born to 104 women with HELLP syndrome. There was a significant decrease in mortality (P = 0.002) and morbidity (P < 0.05) with increasing gestational age and birthweight. No significant differences in neonatal mortality and morbidity were present between the infants weighing less than 1250 g study and weight matched control group. However, at 3 years, the study group had fewer children with cerebral palsy (P = 0.024) and mental disability (P trend = 0.07). Mean cognitive index was 99 versus 91 in the controls (P = 0.101). Improved health outcomes occur with increased gestational age. Infants with BWT less than 1250 g born to women with HELLP syndrome were not at risk of increased neurodevelopmental disability compared to controls.
 
Article
To compare the long-term growth and neurodevelopmental outcomes at 36 months adjusted age in preterm infants (birthweight (BW) < or = 1250 g) with necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) with BW-matched controls. This is a case control study performed at a regional tertiary care neonatal intensive care unit. Infants with stage II or III NEC admitted to a regional tertiary care neonatal unit between 1995 and 2000 were identified. Each infant with NEC was matched by BW (+/-100 g) to next two infants admitted in the unit without NEC. Growth and neurodevelopmental outcomes at 36 months are compared. In total, 51 infants with NEC and 102 controls met study eligibility criteria and 146/153 (94.3%) were prospectively followed for 36 months. Infants with NEC had more culture-proven sepsis (35.3% vs. 10.8%, P < 0.001); patent ductus arteriosus requiring therapy (64.7% vs. 45%, P = 0.02), chronic lung disease (60.7% vs. 45%, P = 0.04) and longer hospital stay (84 days vs. 71 days, P < 0.0001). There were no significant differences in growth outcomes between the two groups at 36 months. Overall 24% of infants with NEC had one major neurodevelopmental disability compared with 10% among control infants. Infants who developed NEC had significantly higher cognitive delay (i.e. cognitive index <70) and visual impairment. A logistic regression model identified NEC as a predictor of cognitive delay. Preterm infants who develop NEC are at a significantly higher risk for developing neurodevelopmental disability. We recommend close neurodevelopmental follow up for all < or =1250 g infants who develop stage II or III NEC.
 
Article
To evaluate the agreement between parental reporting of development of children born very preterm using the Parents' Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS) questionnaire and professional assessment by a paediatric developmental team in the detection of sensorineural disability. A cross-sectional cohort study of 362 children born in Queensland with a birthweight < or = 1250 g, who were surviving at 2 and 4 years of age corrected for prematurity, was conducted. Parents completed the PEDS questionnaire prior to their child receiving a neurodevelopmental assessment. The level of agreement for sensorineural disability between the neurodevelopmental assessment and the parents' score on the PEDS questionnaire was measured using the kappa statistic, and screening test characteristics were calculated. Logistic regression was used to investigate factors that might affect agreement. Two hundred and eighty-three (78%) of the eligible children were located and contacted. Of these, 216 (76%) agreed to participate in the study (110, 2-year-olds; 106, 4-year-olds). Agreement between the two forms of rating sensorineural disability (developmental quotient > -2SD (standard deviation), cerebral palsy, bilateral blindness and deafness requiring aids) for the 4-year age group children was fair (kappa = 0.27, P = 0.001). PEDS accurately identified 69% (11 of 16) of disabled children and 72% (65 of 90) non-disabled children. The test characteristics for these children were similar to Glascoe's norming sample with a PPV 31% (95% CI: 14-48%), specificity 72% (95% CI: 62-81%), but lower sensitivity 69% (95% CI: 62-81%) and higher false-negative rate 31% (95% CI: 11, 59). Agreement for the 2-year age group was fair with poor test characteristics. Other comparisons for both age groups (PEDS A and B compared using a disability status with DQ > -1SD) showed poor agreement and test characteristics. Gestation age < 27 weeks and maternal education at or below grade 10 in the 2-year age group were the only factors independently affecting agreement. The agreement between parental evaluation of sensorineural disability status using PEDS and paediatrics developmental assessment in children born very preterm at 4-years corrected age for prematurity compares favourably with Glascoe's norming sample. The lower agreement seen in the 2-year age group limits the utility of PEDS to be used as a screen for disability at an age when early intervention may be useful. The PEDS questionnaire is designed and normed for the general paediatric population, and it is not clear if parents of children born very preterm may have interpreted the PEDS questionnaire in relation to their satisfaction with their child's developmental progress rather than their child's functional ability.
 
Article
To ascertain the prevalence of significant Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) and ROP requiring treatment in infants born greater than 30 weeks gestation and with a birthweight greater than 1250 g, utilising the Neonatal Intensive Care Units' (NICUS) data collection from 1998 to 2002. Second, to determine whether infants delivered at more than 30 weeks gestation or with a birthweight greater than 1250 g require ROP screening. A review of the New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory NICUS data collection from 1998 to 2002 was performed. Infants of gestational age 31-33 weeks and with a birthweight greater than 1250 g were included. A review was performed of these infants to ascertain stage of ROP, threshold disease and treatment for ROP. 2292 infants were greater than 30 weeks and had a birthweight greater than 1250 g. Of these 1386 (60%) were not examined or died prior to eye examination. No ROP was noted in 888 of the 904 infants examined (98%), 13 infants had stage 1 (1.4%), five infants stage 2 (0.6%) and no infant had stage 3 ROP. No infant developed stage 3 ROP, required treatment for ROP or had threshold disease. In this regional study of infants greater than 30 weeks gestation and with a birthweight greater than 1250 g, the prevalence of any ROP was low (2.0%). This study supports evidence from other studies that screening for ROP could be restricted, at least within our referral network, to infants less than 30 completed weeks and a birthweight less than 1250 g.
 
Article
The relationship of selected health beliefs to self-reported crash experiences, cycling at night and the use of tail-lights at night was examined for a sample of 730 13 years olds. The questions relating to cycling health beliefs were similar to those asked by Weinstein in his study of unrealistic optimism about susceptibility to a range of health problems. They included: vulnerability, worry, controllability, chance, barriers, seriousness, apprehension and safety. The majority of 13 year olds interviewed did not exhibit a strong optimistic bias regarding their vulnerability and skills as safe cyclists. In general the majority considered a crash involving a car would most likely be serious and only a minority said they were not worried about being involved in such a crash. In addition, the majority did not consider that crashes are a matter of chance or that there are significant barriers to adopting safety measures. They tended to consider the chances of being apprehended by a traffic officer for failure to use a tail-light at night as being low. Overall the univariate analyses failed to show a consistent pattern of relationships between health beliefs and the two cycling behaviours. The same was true for crash experiences. The joint effects of beliefs and crash experience on the use of a light at night were examined using logistic regression. The results suggest that the health beliefs work in an additive way as far as boys are concerned, but that they have very little influence on the behaviour of girls. The model for boys suggests that the variables have a relatively small influence on behaviour.
 
Article
To understand the relationship of health-related quality of life (HR-QOL) to early life experience. Eight thousand five hundred and fifty-six women enrolled in a prospective study at their first antenatal clinic visit. At 13 years, of 5345 women remaining, a consecutive sample of 901 mother/child pairs provided data on adolescent HR-QOL using the Child Health Questionnaire-Parent Report form (CHQ-PF50) and the Dartmouth COOP Functional Assessment Charts for Adolescents. The CHQ-PF50 yielded physical (PHS) and psychosocial (PSS) summary scores. We examined the relationship between health-related QOL and early childhood predictive variables. PHS was related to gestation, maternal health symptoms in pregnancy, maternal anxiety at 6 months, child health and hours of childcare at 5 years (P < 0.05). PSS was related to maternal age at index visit, maternal attitude to pregnancy, maternal satisfaction with care giving and maternal depression at 6 months, and child health and behaviour problems at 5 years (internalizing and social/attentional/thought (SAT) domains) (P < 0.05). Findings from adolescent self-reports were similar. This study has identified a number of early childhood determinants of adolescent HR-QOL. These findings add to evidence of the effects of early adversity on the developmental pathways of children and support the need for effective early intervention.
 
Article
To describe the management, morbidity and mortality of infants admitted to a tertiary paediatric hospital in New South Wales, Australia with a diagnosis of sacrococcygeal teratoma (SCT). All neonates admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit with a SCT between January 1996 and December 2008 were included in this retrospective review. Data collected included maternal and neonatal demographics, time of diagnosis, tumour characteristics, surgical treatment, operative complications and outcomes. Seventeen infants with a diagnosis of SCT were included in the study. Of these infants, the majority (70%) were born at term, and eight had a prenatal diagnosis made during the second trimester. Associated anomalies were detected in seven infants (41.8%), with renal anomalies being the most common. Tumour histology included mature (50%, n= 8), yolk sac tumour (18.75%, n= 3), immature (6.25%, n= 1) and mature with mixed elements (25%, n= 4). Recurrent disease occurred in two infants within 4-18 months of the primary resection, with one infant suffering a second recurrence. Only one child died prior to surgery, giving a survival rate of 94%, and mean age at follow-up was 32 months. Long-term sequelae found in four babies included revision of scar, vesicoureteric reflux, post-surgical neurogenic bladder and osteotomy for hip dysplasia. The overall survival of neonatal SCT is high. While this is a small series, our results are consistent with the literature. Important components of management include timely diagnosis, multidisciplinary planning, long-term follow-up and intervention for functional sequelae.
 
Article
To review recent experience of gastroschisis at the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne. Retrospective review of admissions over a 13 year period, June 1980-June 1993 inclusive, including an analysis of those factors influencing mortality, morbidity and complications. There were 49 infants, of whom two died (4%), both having an associated bowel atresia. Mode of delivery, age at operative repair, birthweight centile and silo repair had no significant effect on the duration of total parenteral nutrition (TPN) or hospital stay. The presence of short gut and/or gut resection and localized bowel narrowing or bowel atresia resulted in a significant increase in the duration of TPN and hospital stay. The presence of a central venous line was a highly significant risk factor for the development of systemic sepsis. Currently gastroschisis has a good outlook with a low mortality. Infants with short gut/resection and bowel atresia have a long duration of TPN and hospitalization, with significant morbidity and complications.
 
Article
The death and serious injury of adolescent motorcyclists is a major public health problem. Effective preventive strategies depend on knowledge about target populations. The attitudes and patterns of exposure to motorcycling of 730 13 year old New Zealand adolescents are described. Fifty-two per cent could ride a motorcycle, a further 13% intended to learn, 22% had driven on-road, and 60% had ridden as pillion passengers on-road. Significantly more males than females were riders (P less than 0.001) and had ridden as pillion passengers (P less than 0.05). More male than female non-riders intended to learn (P less than 0.001). Eighty per cent of the sample recognized road 'accidents' as the main cause of death for their peers, and 31% had known a motorcyclist killed or injured. Seventeen per cent of on-road riders had not worn a helmet when last riding. Few statistically significant differences in risk perception were obtained between males and females or riders and non-riders. Preventive options are discussed.
 
Article
Increasing numbers of children are surviving into adulthood following surgery to correct or palliate congenital heart disease. This surgery can occasionally result in long-standing elevated right heart pressures and chronic hepatic venous congestion leading to cardiac cirrhosis. We report the first paediatric case of hepatocellular carcinoma in the setting of cardiac cirrhosis. A 13-year-old girl developed inoperable hepatocellular carcinoma and was treated with transarterial embolization with lipiodol and doxorubicin eluting microbeads. Promoting awareness of this association, even in younger patients, will hopefully result in better surveillance and screening of hepatic complications in survivors of complex cardiac surgery.
 
Article
Oophorectomy performed in children is extremely uncommon. We aimed to investigate the disease pattern and the association between the underlying pathology and the clinical presentation among those patients who had their ovaries removed in their childhood. A retrospective study was performed on 41 consecutive children who underwent oophorectomy in a tertiary referral centre in the period between June 1995 and May 2008.   The median age was 11 years, ranged from 11 weeks to 15 years at the time of surgery. The primary presentations were acute lower abdominal pain (n= 20), progressive abdominal distension or abdominal mass (n= 13), chronic abdominal pain (n= 3), irregular menses (n= 1), antenatal diagnosis (n= 3) and incidental finding (n= 1). Ultrasound examination was performed in 31 patients and positive findings of ovarian pathology were found in all but one examination. Twenty cases of ovarian torsion were confirmed intra-operatively. Patients presenting with acute abdominal pain were more likely to have torsion than other presentations (P < 0.01). Non-neoplastic conditions and ovarian neoplasms were found in 11 and 30 patients, respectively. The most common neoplasm was mature teratoma (52%). Malignant neoplasms included immature teratoma (n= 3), dysgerminoma (n= 1), mixed dysgerminoma + yolk sac tumour (n= 2), yolk sac tumour (n= 2) and juvenile granulose cell tumour (n= 1). Malignant neoplasms were found to have more chronic presentation and less torsion than benign pathologies (P < 0.05). Although ovarian pathology is uncommon in children, a girl presenting with acute lower abdominal pain or progressive abdominal distension should raise the suspicion and prompt immediate investigation to rule out ovarian torsion or ovarian neoplasms.
 
Article
Heights and weights of a large sample of subjects studied longitudinally from ages 3 and 13 years were used to calculate relative weight, using a Body Mass Index score (BMI) which estimates adiposity. Males and females differed significantly in BMI scores only at ages 3 and 13 years. The correlations between BMI scores at all ages were positive and significant. The subjects were divided at each age into a 'light', an 'average' and a 'heavy' group based on the position of their BMI score relative to the 25th and 75th percentiles. Subjects were 'tracked' from ages 3, 7 and 11 years to determine whether they had remained in the same BMI group by age 13 years relative to their peers. Slightly fewer than half of the 3 year old subjects but the majority of 7 and 11 year old subjects remained in the same relative weight group by age 13 years. Only 1% of 7 and 11 year old subjects in the top and the bottom quartiles for BMI scores shifted from one extreme group to the other. Relative weight at 3, 7 and 11 years was more persistent for subjects with extreme bodyweights than subjects with bodyweights in the middle range. Consistent with the pattern of correlations, the tracking pattern for all 3 groups showed that subjects' BMI scores remained more stable as the subjects grew older.
 
Article
H-type tracheoesophageal fistula is rare. Although symptoms are present from birth, its rarity and overlap of symptoms with other respiratory conditions makes diagnosis difficult and delayed. We report a case of H-type fistula in a 13-year-old girl that was detected incidentally during investigations for achalasia cardia.
 
Article
To determine the influence of breastfeeding on overweight and obesity in early adolescence. Data about breastfeeding duration, BMI of children at 14 years, and confounding variables, were collected from an ongoing longitudinal study of a birth cohort of 7776 children in Brisbane. Prevalence of overweight and obesity at 14 years was assessed according to duration of breastfeeding, with logistic regression being used to adjust for the influence of confounders. Data were available for 3698 children, and those not included were significantly different in age, educational level, income, race, birthweight, and small-for-gestational-age status. Breastfeeding for longer than six months was protective of obesity (OR 0.6, 95% CI 0.4, 0.96) though not of overweight. When confounding variables were considered the effect size diminished and lost statistical significance OR 0.8 (95% CI 0.5, 1.3). Breastfeeding for less than 6 months had no effect on either obesity or overweight though a trend was found for increased prevalence of overweight at 14 years with shorter periods of breastfeeding. This investigation contributes to the gathering body of evidence that breastfeeding for longer than 6 months has a modest protective effect against obesity in adolescence.
 
Article
Advances in perinatal care include exogenous surfactant, unequivocal acceptance of antenatal steroids and in utero and ex utero transfers to tertiary centres. Increased survival of extremely premature infants may change the incidence and outcome of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). Our aim was to examine the trends in the incidence of NEC, surgery and mortality in infants of 24-28 weeks gestation in a retrospective regional review of three epochs over a span of 14 years. Radiologically or surgically proven NEC cases were determined from the New South Wales Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Study database. Three epochs were examined. A total of 360 infants were admitted in 1986-87 (Epoch 1), 622 in 1992-93 (Epoch 2) and 673 in 1998-99 (Epoch 3). There was an increase in neonatal intensive care unit admissions and a decrease in early and overall mortality of these very premature infants across the epochs. None of the early deaths was due to NEC. The incidence of NEC decreased in post day 5 survivors: 33 cases in Epoch 1 (12%), 60 cases in Epoch 2 (12%) and 34 cases in Epoch 3 (6%, P < 0.001). There was no change in surgical intervention (45%, 57% and 41%, respectively) or mortality due to NEC (37%, 27% and 32%). The reduced incidence of NEC was not singularly influenced by antenatal steroids, exogenous surfactant or outborn delivery. In a multivariate analysis, only later epoch of birth was independently associated with reduced NEC risk. With improved care and survival of extremely premature infants, the incidence of NEC has decreased, but it remains a disease of high mortality and morbidity.
 
Article
Methylxanthines, including theophylline, have been used extensively and successfully to treat apnoea in preterm infants. However, long-term consequences of such therapy are largely unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between theophylline therapy and outcome at 14 years of age in surviving preterm children of birthweight < 1501 g. The subjects of this study were 154 consecutive survivors with birthweights < 1501 g born from 1 October 1980 to 31 March 1982; 130 (84.4%) were assessed at 14 years of age. Outcomes included motor function, psychological test scores, and growth. Of the 130 children assessed, 69 (53.1%) had been exposed to theophylline; 13.0% had cerebral palsy, significantly higher than 1.6% in the 61 children not exposed to theophylline (P < 0.02). This difference remained statistically significant after adjusting for potential confounding variables including the presence of cerebroventricular haemorrhage. In contrast, after adjusting for known confounding variables, children who had received theophylline achieved higher psychological test scores. There was no association between theophylline therapy and growth. Theophylline therapy in the newborn period is associated with some evidence of harmful, but also helpful sensorineural effects at 14 years of age.
 
Article
A 14 year old girl with bilateral genu valgum of 6 years duration was brought for evaluation of primary hyperparathyroidism. She had clinical features of rickets such as frontal bossing, rachitic rosary, lumbar lordosis and fixed adduction deformity of the left leg. She had undergone osteotomy earlier for correction of these deformities without benefit. Laboratory investigations showed hypercalcaemia and hypophosphataemia, with elevated alkaline phosphatase and parathyroid hormone levels. A skeletal survey showed generalized decreased density of bone and brown tumours and, coincidentally, a right renal calculus. A computerized tomography scan of the neck and thallium-technetium subtraction scan delineated an adenoma of the left superior parathyroid gland, which was surgically removed. Parathyroid adenoma manifesting with bone deformities, especially genu valgum, is very rare in children. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment is essential to prevent such deformities.
 
Article
Basilar artery occlusion (BAO) is a rare cause of paediatric stroke that may result in severe neurological disability including a 'locked-in' state. Acute interventional therapy for paediatric BAO is limited to a small number of published case reports. Of 13 previously published cases that have undergone acute intravascular therapy, six made a full neurological recovery, six had residual deficits ranging from mild dysarthria and ataxia to vegetative state and one patient died. The time from symptom onset to intervention was ≥ 12 h in 77% (10/13). We reported a 14-year-old female patient presenting with altered sensorium that progressed to a 'locked-in' state due to idiopathic BAO who made a full clinical recovery after successful mechanical thrombectomy at 24 h following symptom onset. Acute neuro-interventional therapy for paediatric BAO can result in complete neurological recovery despite the presence of severe neurological deficits and a prolonged period of time from symptom onset to clinical diagnosis.
 
Article
The relationship between intrauterine growth retardation and sexual maturation has not been completely established. The aim of the present study was to compare menarche in 14-year-old Polish girls of low and normal birthweight, along with an evaluation of the impact of socio-economic status and body mass index (BMI). We studied 1060 girls (177 pre- and 883 post-menarche) aged 13.5-14.5 years. These girls attended the 7th grade of randomly selected primary schools in Wroclaw, Poland. The BMI was used as a measurement of general adiposity. The cut-off value of the 10th percentile of birthweight for gestational age was used to differentiate between girls born small for gestational age (SGA) and girls with a birthweight appropriate to gestational age (AGA). Parental education level and other measures were used to assess socio-economic status (SES). Birthweight (OR = 2.54; 95% CI 1.22-5.28) and BMI at the age of 14 years (OR = 7.93; 95%CI 4.67-13.48) were factors affecting the onset of menarche among the 14-year-old girls. Polish girls born small for gestational age are more likely to have experienced menarche by the age of 14 years, compared with their peers of normal weight at birth. These findings seem to be consistent with the hypothesis that the age of menarche is, to some extent, set by patterns of gonadotropin release, established prior to birth. Additionally, the age of menarche varies depending on levels of fat accumulation during childhood and adolescence.
 
Article
The relationships between intra-uterine growth retardation and stature, relative weight and fat distribution at adolescence have not been comprehensively established. The aim of this report is to assess the effect of low birthweight on stature, relative weight and fat distribution in 14-year-old boys and girls from Wroclaw, Poland. Cross-sectional measurements of 1197 boys and 819 post-menarcheal girls aged 13.50-14.49 years were performed during medical examinations in 1997. Stature, body mass index (BMI; kg/m2), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and waist-to-thigh ratio (WTR) were used in the present study. A cut-off value of the 10th percentile of birthweight for particular gestational weeks was used in order to define subjects born small for gestational age (SGA) or appropriate for gestational age (AGA). Two-way ANOVA was used to evaluate the effect of birthweight on anthropometric variables of 14-year-old adolescents, allowing for socioeconomic status (determined by the level of the mother's education). Birthweight affected stature in boys and girls (P < 0.001), BMI in boys (P < 0.05) and WHR and WTR in girls (P < 0.001 and P < 0.05, respectively). At the age of 14 years, both SGA boys and girls were shorter than their AGA peers. The SGA boys had lower BMI, whereas SGA girls accumulated more centralized fat compared with their AGA counterparts. Fetal growth retardation has a long-lasting adverse effect on later physical growth. Polish SGA children do not catch up with their peers in terms of stature by adolescence. Moreover, central fat distribution, as observed among SGA girls, constitutes a significant risk for several adult degenerative diseases.
 
Article
Of 846 adolescents interviewed near their 15th birthday, 51% could drive a motorcycle. A further 13% intended to learn. Drivers reported friends (mean age 16.5 years) as the most common source of instruction. Forty-four per cent of drivers and 69% of intending learners planned to apply for licences. Thirty-five per cent of the sample had driven or ridden as passengers on a motorcycle on-road in the past year and 85% of these had worn a helmet on the last occasion. The commonest cause of injuries to motorcyclists resulting in hospitalization (lower limb injury) was correctly identified by 52% of the sample. Fear of injury was the reason given for not learning to ride by 55% of confirmed non-drivers. Fifteen medically treated motorcycling injuries were reported for a 2-year recall period. Females reported significantly less exposure and less use of protective clothing than males. The issues of initiation, training, constraints on use and preventive strategies are discussed.
 
Article
To clarify the clinical features and pathogenesis of intussusception in neonates. Fourteen neonates were diagnosed with intussusception between June 1974 and January 2001. Patients were divided into two groups according to whether or not signs were present on the first day of life. The clinical features were interrelated with the pathological findings. All six patients in the group whose signs were present on the first day of life also had intestinal atresia or malrotation. Among patients whose signs began less than 24 h after birth, five of eight patients suffered hypoxia. Moreover, it was very difficult to establish the diagnosis of intussusception, particularly in the group of late-onset type intussusception. Hypoxic events may play a crucial aetiologic role in the pathogenesis of late-onset neonatal intussusception.
 
Article
From a sample of 849 adolescents studied at age 15, 429 had been involved in 657 separate incidents, which resulted in 705 acute injuries requiring medical attention during their 14th and 15th years of life. The most common injuries were sprains, strains, fractures and lacerations, and the most common body site was the finger. The majority of injuries were of minor severity. Striking against an object or person was the most common incident resulting in injury, followed by being struck by an object or person, and overexertion or strenuous movement. Approximately half of the injuries were incurred during sport or a similar physical activity. Sporting injuries are examined in detail and preventive measures discussed.
 
Article
To investigate whether the haemodynamic effects of the standard 2-3 h blood transfusion increases the risk for intraventricular haemorrhage (IVH) and patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in very low birthweight infants. In a randomized controlled study, haemodynamic changes using slow and rapid transfusion were compared. Twenty-seven very low birthweight infants were divided between 12h (n = 14) and 3h (n = 13) transfusion groups. Blood pressure, ejection fraction (EF), anterior cerebral artery pulsatility index (PI), blood gases, serum electrolytes and haematocrit were measured pre- and post-transfusion. Infectious status was also monitored. Blood pressure (48.1/25.5 vs 55.7/30.2 mmHg) and EF (0.68 vs 0.73) increased significantly during rapid transfusion (P<0.01) but remained stable with slow transfusion. Serum potassium, base excess and incidence of infection did not increase in either group. Slow transfusion causes less haemodynamic disturbance than rapid transfusion, thereby preventing the potential risk for IVH and PDA.
 
Article
With increasing survival rate of extremely premature neonates, their long-term outcomes including growth and risk factors for later disorders need to be considered. We prospectively evaluated anthropometric parameters in children born as extremely premature neonates. Anthropometric parameters were measured at the ages of 2 and 5 years in 72 extremely premature children born between the 22nd and 25 + 6th weeks of gestation (group I) and 85 children born between the 26th and 27 + 6th weeks of gestation (group II). Although catch-up in the postnatal growth was observed in both groups of children, resulting in growth improvement, the height of the extremely premature children at the ages of 2 and 5 years remains lower (P < 0.01) compared with the control population. A decline in head growth was observed in both groups between the ages of 2 and 5 years, resulting in decrease of standard deviation score (SDS) for head circumference (HC) in comparison with that of the control population, accompanied by an increased number of children with microcephaly, defined as HC < -2 SD. At the age of five, microcephaly was found in 18% of children from group I and 11.7% of children from group II. At the age of 5 years, the waist and hip circumferences and ten skinfolds were not different between both groups of children. Long-term follow-up of extremely premature neonates is important not only to establish their growth patterns but also for risk factors assessment including adiposity for later development of adult-onset diseases.
 
Article
Post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis (PSGN) is a frequent cause of acute nephritis in children. Numerous studies have described PSGN in high-risk populations yet few data describing PSGN in a low-incidence population exist. This study aimed to describe the epidemiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, complications and outcomes of PSGN in an urban Australian population. A 16-year retrospective review of case notes and laboratory data was conducted at a tertiary Sydney paediatric hospital. Thirty-seven children were treated for PSGN with a mean age of 8.1 years (range 2.6-14.1 years). Twenty-eight subjects (75.7%) had a history of a recent upper respiratory tract or skin infection. Hypertension and/or oedema was present in 29 subjects (78.4%). Streptococcal pharyngitis was identified as the likely source in 17 subjects (45.9%). Skin infections occurred less frequently. Antibodies against streptolysin O, streptokinase or deoxyribonuclease B were elevated when a single titre was measured in 35 subjects (94.6%). Thirty subjects (81.1%) developed renal impairment (median peak creatinine, 95 micromol/L, range 39-880 micromol/L). No correlation was demonstrated between peak creatinine, age, ethnicity, streptococcal titres and serum complement levels. The mean length of admission was 8.2 days. Seven subjects (18.9%) had a complicated course with three subjects requiring dialysis. Only one subject has ongoing renal dysfunction. Significant differences are seen in a low-incidence urban Australian population with PSGN when compared with endemic or epidemic disease in high-risk populations. The higher rates of complications that were seen compared with previously studied populations need further clarification.
 
Article
Six patients on steroid replacement therapy for congenital adrenal hyperplasia provided capillary blood samples collected at 0800, 1200, 1700, and 2200 h, on to filter paper for 17-hydroxyprogesterone analysis. There was a strong correlation between 17-hydroxyprogesterone day profiles and height velocity over a 4 year period of study. Steroid over-replacement, identified by significantly decreased height velocity (Standard Deviation Score [SDS] 1.92), caused suppression of 17-hydroxyprogesterone concentrations to below 10 nmol/L throughout the day. Near average height velocity (Standard Deviation Score 0.245) was accompanied by suppression of 17-hydroxyprogesterone concentrations below 40 nmol/L but with significant diurnal variation. Under-replacement with rapid height velocity and bone maturation was accompanied by non-suppression of 17-hydroxyprogesterone concentrations (i.e. > 40 nmol/L). These results suggest that serial blood spot 17-hydroxyprogesterone measurements are a convenient and helpful supplement to measurements of height velocity and bone age maturation to monitor steroid replacement therapy in congenital adrenal hyperplasia. These measurements may be useful particularly in differentiating between over-replacement and appropriate replacement, and should allow adjustments in dose before abnormal growth patterns are established.
 
Article
The study was designed to assess the reliability of measurement of 24-hour urinary 17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone (17-OHP) by radio-immunoassay (RIA) as an alternative biochemical assessment for monitoring the treatment of congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency (21-OHD) and to assess the need for sample purification by column chromatography to improve assay specificity. Morning serum 17-OHP was measured using RIA and 24-hour urinary pregnanetriol using gas chromatography. Twenty-four-hour urinary 17-OHP was measured in samples from 17 prepubertal patients with CAH due to 21-OHD, and 20 normal prepubertal children as controls. In 24 urine samples, RIA of 17-OHP was performed with and without column chromatography. There was a good correlation between 24-hour urinary 17-OHP and 24-hour urinary pregnanetriol (r = 0.962, P < 0.01) and between 24-hour urinary 17-OHP and morning serum 17-OHP (r = 0.955, P < 0.01). There was no significant difference in the RIA of the urine samples with and without purification by column chromatography. The measurement of 24-hour urinary 17-OHP is a reliable alternative for the biochemical monitoring of 21-OHD, and RIA specificity is unaffected by omission of column chromatography.
 
Top-cited authors
David Isaacs
  • Children's Hospital at Westmead
Elizabeth J Elliott
  • The University of Sydney
Katrina Williams
  • Monash University (Australia)
Patrina Caldwell
  • Children's Hospital at Westmead
Susan Donath
  • University of Melbourne