Journal Club

March 1, 2008

Reviews of medical abstracts, plus a top ten list of the best articles from 2007.

Top 10 List

Dr. Michael G. Burke chose the 10 best articles he reviewed in Journal Club over the past 12 months. The list below is chronological by issue of Contemporary Pediatrics. Head to http://www.contemporarypediatrics.com/ to read the summary and commentary on all of the top 10, as well as all the others.

1 Delayed ear tube insertion is not linked to developmental delay
Paradise JL et al: N Engl J Med 2007;356:248 (March 2007)

3 Procalcitonin level strong predictor of vesicoureteral reflux
Leroy S et al: J Pediatr 2007;150:89 (April 2007)

4 Drinking little or no tap water poses risk of inadequate fluoride
Hobson WL et al: Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2007;161:457 (July 2007)

5 Early antibiotic use linked to asthma
Kozyrskyj AL et al: Chest 2007;131:1753 (August 2007)

6 Prophylactic antibiotics for recurrent UTIs may not be a good idea
Conway PH et al: JAMA 2007;298:179 (September 2007)

7 Kids get "hooked" on smoking quickly and easily
Di Franza JR et al: Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2007;161:704 (September 2007)

8 Clinicians frequently miss hypertension
Hansen ML et al: JAMA 2007;298:874 (October 2007)

9 Nebulized hypertonic saline shortens hospitalization for viral bronchiolitis
Kuzik BA et al: J Pediatr 2007;151:266 (November 2007)

10 Adolescent overweight will increase future CHD rates
Bibbin-Domingo K et al: N Engl J Med 2007;357:2371 (February 2008)

Family meals protect teen girls from disordered eating

A longitudinal study found that adolescent girls who frequently had meals with their family were less likely to engage in extreme weight-control behaviors than girls who didn't. The finding did not hold true for boys.

Over 2,500 teenagers from 31 middle and high schools in Minnesota participated in Project EAT (Eating Among Teens). The first assessment, an in-class survey, asked how often participants ate meals with their families. It also included anthropomorphic measures. The second assessment, five years later by mail, asked what, if any, unhealthy weight-control behaviors they had practiced during the past year. Investigators then examined associations between family meal frequency and disordered eating behaviors.

Girls were much more likely than boys to have disordered eating behaviors, regardless of family meal patterns. Nonetheless, in girls but not boys, regular family meals (five or more a week) were linked to lower odds of "extreme weight-control behaviors"-using diet pills, laxatives, diuretics, or self-induced vomiting.

The association held even after adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics and body mass index. Family meals also had a protected effect against other disordered eating behaviors in girls-fasting or eating little food, using food substitutes, skipping meals, and smoking more cigarettes. The association of family meal frequency with these "less extreme" behaviors did not reach statistical significance, though.

A different picture emerged among adolescent boys. Frequent family meals were not associated with less likelihood of disordered eating behaviors, but they did increase the likelihood of skipping meals and eating little food (Neumark-Sztainer D et al: Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2008;162:17).