Physical activity and cardiovascular disease risk factors in urban school children E Kilbride1, J Hussey2, G Boran1, P Greally1 Tallaght Hospital ,Dublin 242Department of Phyiotherapy,School ofMedicine, Trinity College Dublin
Abstract Although the clinical signs of cardiovascular disease (CVD) are not evident until adulthood, many of the risk factors have their roots in early childhood. The aim of this study was to examine physical activity levels (PA) and the incidence of CVD risk factors in a small population (n=102) of primary school children in Dublin. Risk factors measured included overweight/obesity, blood lipids, blood pressure (BP), physical fitness and PA levels. Over a quarter of the group were overweight/obese (n=29, 28%). Despite relatively good fitness levels, PA levels were low with less than half the group (n=44, 46%) participating in the recommended 1 hour/day. Fewer girls reported spending >1hour/day at PA compared to boys (n=14 v n=30). Six children had elevated cholesterol levels and five children had higher than normal BP values. Sixteen children demonstrated clustering of CVD risk factors and in those who were inactive the risk was greater. Our data suggest that in children as young as 10years significant risk factors already exist. Furthermore, the low level of PA in girls provides a target for health promotion programmes.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea In Children
Seasonal allergy refers to allergic rhino-conjunctivitis occurring in response to outdoor airborne allergens only during specific seasons eg. late spring and early summer. Also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR) or hay fever, the condition is distinguished from perennial allergic rhinitis (PAR) which occurs throughout the year. PAR tends to be associated with regular exposure to indoor allergens such as dust mite, animal dander and moulds. Other causes of PAR include drugs eg. non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and occupational exposures eg. bakers. There can be overlap between the two conditions, where SAR can occur in 30% of subjects with chronic rhinitis.
The pollen season approaches again. One quarter of Irish schoolchildren get hay fever (seasonal allergic rhinitis). Grass pollen is frequently the culprit. This can be a miserable time for children and particularly teenagers who have to take state examinations in June. If your child regularly suffers from hay fever symptoms then a visit to your GP soon would be a good idea. If their symptoms were severe last year, then starting on a regular non-sedating and long acting antihistamine and a steroid nasal spray before symptoms emerge may be the best recommendation.
There are several non-medical interventions for parents to consider:
Avoiding activity in the early part of the day when pollen counts are high.
- Avoid going out after storms or very windy days
- Wearing nasal filters reduce rhinitis symptoms during the pollen season
- Staying indoors while grass is being cut or when counts are expected to be high
- Children should not be allowed play in cut grass
- Keeping windows shut to prevent pollens drifting indoor
- Pollen filters can be fitted to vehicles
- Vaseline applied to nostrils may reduce pollen penetration of the nasal mucosa
- Showering or bathing once in for the day
- Wear wrap around sunglasses
Most of the above recommendations are based on expert consensus rather than randomised clinical trials.
Breast-feeding is associated with improved lung function in school-age children, particularly those with asthmatic mothers,” according to a study in this month’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. After measuring lung functions of 12-year-old children, researchers found that “breast-fed kids overall had a ‘modest improvement’ in forced mid-expiratory flow (FEF50),” and “breast-fed kids whose mothers also had asthma also did better on two other lung function tests, forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume at one second (FEV1).”
From |February Dr Greally will have a clinic at Hermitage.
Contact his secretary Naoimh 01-4142188 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org for details
In this months Clinical Microbiology Reviews 2012, 25;(1):164-92, Dogget and co-workers review the unexplained worldwide resurgence in Cimex lecticularis (Bed bugs) blood sucking insects. Unless the bug burden is very high they may not always be visible. They can cause skin lesions which may mimic urticaria and other forms of dermatitis. Proteins from their gut wall are allergenic in humans and may cause asthma symptoms akin to more common dust mite. Skin test reactivity to their allergens has been described. Sounds disgusting ! but the author has seen at least one case last year where asthma was triggered by these insects.