Highlights in this issue


Adolescence extended

Brain imaging casts new light on adolescent behaviour. We now know that brain development continues far beyond the traditional teenage years. For example, decision-making processes are not fully developed at the time a teen can legally drive, vote or drink alcohol. These new findings can help educators and policy makers to introduce adolescents to roles and responsibilities as they grow up. See review article by Megan Moreno et al. (pp. 226–232). See also the article: ‘Transition of children with epilepsies to adult care’ by Arif Khan et al. (pp. 216–221).


Outcome of preemies

In this issue, we present five articles on the theme: outcome of preterm children.

Giancarlo Natalucci et al. have evaluated self-perceived health status and mental health outcomes in young adults with extremely low birthweight (< 1000 g) (pp. 294–299).

In Susanna Calling et al.'s article, we will find out whether preterm birth is related to unintentional injuries in childhood, adolescence or young adulthood (pp. 287–293). See also articles by Kanya Mukhopadhyay et al. (pp. 278–281), Cornelieke Aarnoudse-Moen et al. (pp. 282–286) and Liis Toome et al. (pp. 300–307).


Children in shared custody families

Data from the Swedish Health Behaviour in School-aged Children survey show that children in shared custody families are more likely to report multiple health complaints and low well-being than children in two-parent families. When variables of parent–child communication were taken into account, the initial differences remained, indicating that the level communication was similar in these family arrangements. See article by Åsa Carlsund et al. (pp. 318–323).


Interleukin gene variation in sudden infant death syndrome

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) seems to be strongly associated with a specific interleukin-6 gene variation. In a study of 97 SIDS victims, Linda Ferrante et al. found that the IL-6-176CG/CC genotype was present in 92.3% (p = 0.01) of the cases with positive scores for three other risk factors: an activated immune system, prone sleeping and fever prior to death. The findings add further evidence to the hypothesis that SIDS infants have a genetic vulnerability in the regulation of the immune system (pp. 308–313).


Fatty liver in fat children – a predictor for atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis can be reversible if interventions start early. Lyla Akin et al. report that fatty liver is a good predictor of atherosclerosis in obese children and adolescents, regardless of association with elevated liver enzymes. The authors suggest that liver ultrasound scans should be implemented as a routine examination to diagnose and prevent atherosclerosis in obese children (pp. e107–e113).