Maternal Child Health Newsletter 11/24/04

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Maternal Child Health Newsletter 11/24/04

Postby laura » Wed Nov 24, 2004 10:06 am

MCH Alert
Tomorrow's Policy Today

National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health
Search past issues of the MCH Alert and other MCH Library resources at

November 24, 2004

1. National Children's Study Enters Implementation Phase
2. Issue Brief Highlights Strategies for Improving State-Operated MCH
Telephone Hotlines
3. Research Brief Explores Abuse in Childhood and Adolescence as Predictor
of Future Victimization
4. Article Assesses Relationship Between Breastfeeding and Risk for
Childhood Leukemia



The Study Plan for the National Children's Study outlines the objectives,
methodologies, and measures related to the first years of the longitudinal
study to understand the role that the environment plays in children's
health. The National Children's Study, led by the National Institutes of
Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, will examine many aspects of children's
lives, including family genetics, neighborhoods and schools, chemical
exposures, and the social and behavioral environment in which children
grow and develop. The Study Plan designates 96 locations across the United
States where eligible participants will be recruited, enrolled, and
tracked over a 21-year period. It also describes a number of hypotheses
designed to address several priority health outcomes, including pregnancy
outcomes, child growth and development, injury, asthma, and psychological
and emotional health. Information about the National Children's Study, the
Study Plan, the locations where the study will be conducted, and the
request for proposals for institutions to manage initial study sites and a
coordinating center are available at



Dialing for Help: State Telephone Hotlines as Vital Resources for Parents
of Young Children examines families' use of state-operated, toll-free
hotlines as a means of obtaining reliable advice to families about their
young children's health and well-being. The issue brief was prepared by
the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP) and produced
by the Commonwealth Fund. AMCHP used three data-collection methods for the
brief, including a Web-based survey, interviews with state public health
toll-free line administrators, and calls to toll-free lines from a parent
of a child with special health care needs. The authors present a brief
history of maternal and child health toll-free lines, elements of their
operation, opportunities to expand them, and strategies for enhancing
coordination among the states. The brief is available at ... _id=248918 or ... _brief.pdf.



Violence Against Women: Identifying Risk Factors summarizes two studies
that used different methodologies and samples to determine the extent to
which physical and sexual abuse during childhood or adolescence contribute
to later victimization. The research brief, published by the National
Institute of Justice, describes the methodologies, limitations, and
findings of the two studies. The first study followed college-age women
and men for 4 years, asking them questions about past and current
victimization each year. In the second study, researchers asked urban,
low-income, mostly black women who had substantiated child sexual abuse
about their adolescent and adult victimization. The brief also presents
information on prevention strategies, and it includes references. It is
intended for use by service providers and counselors working with
adolescents and young adults, victims' and women's advocacy groups, and
researchers. The brief is available at



"This meta-analysis demonstrated a protective association between
breastfeeding and the risk of [childhood] ALL [acute lymphoblastic
leukemia] and possibly AML [acute myeloblastic leukemia]," state the
authors of an article published in the November/December 2004 issue of
Public Health Reports. Leukemia is the leading cause of cancer morbidity
among children under age 15 in the United States, and the scientific
evidence has been mixed regarding the association of breastfeeding with
childhood leukemia. The study described in this article used a
meta-analytic approach to evaluate the association between maternal
breastfeeding and the risk for childhood leukemia.

The authors searched MEDLINE and CancerLit for original research and
review articles on childhood leukemia and breastfeeding. For purposes of
this analysis, breastfeeding for 6 months or less was classified as
short-term breastfeeding, and breastfeeding for more than 6 months was
classified as long-term breastfeeding. Fourteen articles were included in
the meta-analysis.

The authors found that

* A significant negative association was observed between short-term
breastfeeding and ALL, but the AML results were not significant.

* A significant negative association was observed between long-term
breastfeeding and ALL and between long-term breastfeeding and AML.

* Inclusion of socioeconomic status (SES) as a potential confounder had
minimal influence on the risk estimates for both short-term and long-term
breastfeeding for ALL and AML.

The authors point out that alternative explanations for the findings
(other than a protective association between breastfeeding and childhood
leukemia) must be considered. For example, potential biases may be present
owing to different participation rates for case and control samples that
differed in SES.

The authors conclude that "the potential protective effect of
breastfeeding on risk of childhood ALL may be more complicated than the
current literature suggests. Nevertheless, the available evidence suggests
that such a protective effect exists for both ALL and AML."

Kwan ML, Buffler PA, Abrams B, et al. 2004. Breastfeeding and the risk of
childhood leukemia: A meta-analysis. Public Health Reports 119(6):521-535.


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MCH Alert © 2004 by National Center for Education in Maternal and Child
Health and Georgetown University. MCH Alert is produced by MCH Library
Services at the National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health
under its cooperative agreement (6U02 MC 00001) with the Maternal and
Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services. The Maternal and Child Health
Bureau reserves a royalty-free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable right to use
the work for federal purposes and to authorize others to use the work for
federal purposes.

Permission is given to forward MCH Alert to individual colleagues. For all
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the information contained in this publication should be sent to MCH Alert
Editor, National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health, at

The editors welcome your submissions, suggestions, and questions. Please
contact us at the address below.

EDITORS: Jolene Bertness, Tracy Lopez

National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health
Georgetown University
Mailing address: Box 571272, Washington, DC 20057-1272
Street address: 2115 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W., Suite 601, Washington, DC
Phone: (202) 784-9770
Fax: (202) 784-9777
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