Highlights in this issue


Neonatal Outcome

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The increased survival of very preterm infants has lead to a concern of a higher incidence of sequelae. However, Floris Groenendaal et al from the Netherlands and Petriina Munck et al from Finland report improved outcome. Less cystic PVL and CP are found in the Dutch study on preterm infants born between 1991 and 2006 (pp. 354–358). The Finnish study shows an improved cognitive development of VLBW infants born between 2001 and 2006. Postnatal corticosteroids and intestinal perforation are found to be negatively associated with deficient cognitive outcome (pp. 359–366).

Disorder of the Oesophagus Quality of Life

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The oesophagus is a very important organ. Marieke Peetsold et al report that children and adolescents born with oesophageal atresia have an impaired quality of life. However, this seems to be mainly related to concomitant anomalies (pp. 411–417). Children with gastroesophageal reflux disease also have a reduced quality of life according to Matko Marlais et al (pp. 418–421).

Burnout Parents

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Problems to cope with daily life are called burnout symptoms in Sweden. Caisa Lindström et al find that this condition is very common (44%) among mothers of children who have been diagnosed with Diabetes Type I. Burnout symptoms were also more common among mothers of children with IBD, Inflammatory Bowel Disease. The fathers seemed to be less affected. It can be noted that decrease of telomerase has been reported by the 2009 Nobel Laureate, Elisabeth Blackburn in mothers of chronically ill children (PNAS 101:14713–8, 2004). This suggests that mothering a chronically ill child can speed up ageing (pp. 427–432).

Cytokines and SIDS

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Specific polymorphisms of the cytokine genes seem to predispose for Sudden Infant Death. Linda Ferrante et al from Norway report an association between genetic polymorphism of the gene encoding for IL-1 and SIDS. However, this was only seen when the infants were sleeping prone. Prone sleeping seems to be particularly dangerous in combination with upper airway infection (pp. 384–388).

Self-perceived Health and Burden of Diabetes

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Youngsters with diabetes may suffer from less quality of life (QoL), which may disturb their metabolic control. Gunnel Viklund and Karin Wikblad in this issue on pp. 422–426, have assessed an instrument, “Check your health” in teenagers with diabetes, to measure QoL. The instrument seems to confirm that the QoL is inversely related to the metabolic control as indicated by the HbA1c levels.