One in nine teens in the United States have had a major depressive episode

More US Teens May Be Facing Depression


Depression affects adolescents in every part of the United States. Depression has been shown to affect adolescents’ physical, emotional, and social development. Adolescents who suffer from depression are at increased risk for substance use, high-risk sexual behaviors, problems at school, problems with peer and family relationships, and suicide attempts. Like many mental disorders, depression can emerge during adolescence, and the prevalence of major depressive episode (MDE) generally increases with age through the adolescent years. Studies have shown that there is nearly a twofold increase in mood disorders from the 13- and 14-year-old age group to the 17- and 18-year-old age group. Because adolescent depression is a problem in every American community, this report provides state-level information on the prevalence of depression among adolescents. This information can inform policymakers’ and prevention specialists’ efforts to develop effective education, treatment, and prevention programs in their communities.

STATE ESTIMATES OF MAJOR DEPRESSIVE EPISODE AMONG ADOLESCENTS: 2013 AND 2014, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, July 07, 2016.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) provides up-to-date estimates of MDE and treatment for depression among adolescents. NSDUH asks adolescents aged 12 to 17 about past year symptoms to determine whether they had MDE in the past year. MDE is defined using the diagnostic criteria from the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Adolescents were assessed as having MDE if they had a period of 2 weeks or longer during which they had either depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities, as well as at least four other symptoms that reflect a change in functioning, such as problems with sleep, eating, energy, concentration, and self-worth.

More US Teens May Be Facing Depression: Here’s Why, livescience, August 10, 2016.

This issue of The CBHSQ Report uses data from NSDUH to present state (including the District of Columbia) estimates of past year MDE among adolescents aged 12 to 17. Findings in this report are annual averages based on combined 2013–2014 NSDUH data from 39,600 adolescent respondents. Comparisons are made with combined 2012–2013 data to examine changes over time; 2012–2013 data are based on information obtained from 45,000 adolescents aged 12 to 17. The inclusion of a common year (i.e., 2013) in these comparisons increases the precision of the estimates and the ability to detect statistically significant differences between the two periods. Statistically significant differences between 2012–2013 and 2013–2014 indicate average annual change between 2012 and 2014. All changes discussed in this report are statistically significant at the .05 level of significance.

Estimates are displayed in a U.S. map (Figure 1) and in Table 1. For the estimates displayed in Table 1, states are listed alphabetically. Ninety-five percent confidence intervals are included as a measure of precision for each estimate. To produce the 2013–2014 MDE map (Figure 1), state estimates shown to two decimal places were first rank ordered from lowest to highest and then divided into quintiles (fifths). States with the lowest estimates (i.e., the lowest fifth) are assigned to the bottom quintile and are shown in dark blue. States with the highest estimates are assigned to the top quintile and are shown in dark red. All other states are assigned to one of three quintiles between the lowest and highest quintiles. A supporting table associated with the map (Table S1) provides estimates that are rank ordered from highest to lowest and then divided into quintiles.

How to choose a toothpaste without problematic chemicals

Triclosan and other suspected endocrine disruptors are present in some toothpastes

Have you thought about the chemicals in the toothpaste, that you use every morning and evening? The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals recommends that you do if you want to avoid problematic ingredients during the brushing.

The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals has checked the ingredient lists on 32 toothpastes, looking for substances that are suspected to be endocrine disrupting and also fragrances which are classified as detrimental to the environment. 14 toothpastes receive the best mark, whereas 5 get the lowest.

Test: 14 toothpastes are without problematic substances, Forbrugerrådet Tænk Kemi, 4. maj 2016.

Besides triclosan some toothpastes in the test contain parabens, which are suspected to be endocrine disrupting substances. One contained the substance manganese sulfate which is classified as damaging to the organs of the body by the EU.

There are plenty of good toothpaste on the market for the consumers. However, there are still substances that we recommend consumers to avoid in order to reduce their exposure. For example, Colgate Total contains the endocrine disrupting substance triclosan. Even though there is no immediate health risk in using the product, triclosan is one of the unnecessary endocrine disrupting substances, that we recommend consumers to reduce or avoid altogether.”

says Stine Müller, project manager at The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals.

The common fragrance limonene gets a yellow mark in the test, since the substance is classified as detrimental to the environment.

Public health impact of chemicals: knowns and unknowns

World Health Organization International Programme on Chemical Safety, 2016

image of WHO_FWC_PHE_EPE_16
A brand new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 1.3 million lives and 43 million healthy life-years were lost in 2012 due to exposures to selected chemicals.

We are exposed to various chemicals every day, through multiple routes such as ingestion, inhalation and skin contact. But what exactly do we know about the public health impact of chemicals? And equally as important: what don’t we know yet?

The new report from the World Health Organization (WHO), Public health impacts of chemicals: knowns and unknowns, provides insights into these questions. It also provides concrete examples of effective interventions to prevent death and diseases caused by chemicals, and the economic benefits to be gained. It estimates that 1.3 million lives and 43 million healthy life-years were lost in 2012 due to exposures to selected chemicals.

However, data are only available for a small number of chemical exposures and people are exposed to many more chemicals every day. Unintentional poisonings are estimated to cause 193,000 deaths annually, with the major part being from preventable chemical exposures.

Sources and more information

How to choose a sunscreen without problematic chemicals

Ecolabels are the easy choice

When you are enjoying the sun and applying sunscreen this summer, don’t forget that your skin is in close contact with the ingredients in the bottle. It is therefore worth considering which substances your sunscreen contains. Are they for example suspected hormone disrupting chemicals?

The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals, an EDC-Free campaign partner, has put over 65 sunscreens to the test. 25 out of 66 sunscreens on the Danish market, many of which are international brands, receive the best assessment for being without content of problematic chemicals.

How to choose a sunscreen without problematic chemicals this summer, Health and Environment Alliance, 27 July 2016.

It is not only from sunscreen that you can be exposed to problematic substances. Other personal care products can also contain unwanted chemicals and you can be exposed to the chemicals from for example dust or vapours in your home. That is what scientists call the cocktail effect, where the combined exposure from many sources of chemicals can be problematic regarding for example hormone disrupting effects.

Eco-labels are the easy choice

In sunscreens consumers can keep an eye out for ingredients such as ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate and benzophenone-3, methyl- and ethylparaben, which are suspected to be endocrine disrupting. However, these names are close to impossible to remember for consumer. Therefore it is easier to look for products with eco-labels. Many consumers also use apps to show whether a product contains unwanted chemicals. A popular app by the Danish Consumer Council ‘Kemiluppen’ – ‘The magnifying glass for chemicals’ – contains 368 sun products in its database including for sunscreens, sun sprays and after sun.

Bioengineering Infographic

The future of disease prevention and treatment ?

Editing Out Diseases with the Help of Bioengineering…

This infographic by The University of California, Riverside highlights not only how engineering is crossing into the health and medical industry, but how engineering is “the future of disease prevention and treatment“.

Saving antibiotics for when they are really needed: the Dutch example

The Netherlands demonstrated that antibiotic use can be reduced in agriculture

Dutch healthcare uses the fewest antibiotics in the world,” is the bold and justifiable claim of the Dutch Health Council, the government’s independent scientific advisers. The country has had low use for decades. Yet in veterinary medicine the Netherlands, the world’s second largest exporter of agri-food products (after the United States), was, until a few years ago, among the highest users. This mismatch sparked action that saw the country cut antibiotic use in farm animals by nearly 60% from 2007 to 2015.

Today the Netherlands has one of the lowest levels of antimicrobial resistance in the world, and it believes the only way to keep resistance levels down is for health and agricultural sectors everywhere to work together in what it calls a “One Health” approach.

“If we want to control a problem in healthcare we need to act everywhere where antibiotics are used. Because of the continuous evolution of resistance, any reservoir could be a source of resistant organisms to humans,”

says Dik Mevius, head of the National Reference Laboratory on Antimicrobial Resistance in Animals at the Central Veterinary Institute at Wageningen University.

The Dutch have shown that antibiotic use can be slashed in agriculture too.
So why isn’t everybody doing it?

Read Saving antibiotics for when they are really needed: the Dutch example, The BMJ 2016;354:i4192, 03 August 2016.

La carte de France des victimes des pesticides

Carte Orange, par Olivero, dessin de presse

Générations futures a publié une carte de France pour rendre visibles les victimes des pesticides, qu’il s’agisse de professionnels ou de riverains exposés.

How the food lobby undermines existing laws in the EU

Much-needed measures are vital for tackling Europe’s looming obesity crisis

The food and drink lobby is winning the fight over EU sugar regulation. As Corporate Europe Observatory’s new reportA spoonful of sugar‘ illustrates, existing laws are being undermined and much-needed measures fought off that are vital for tackling Europe’s looming health crisis.

An increasing number of people in Europe are struggling with obesity, heart disease and diabetes linked to excessive sugar consumption. This public health crisis has not stopped trade associations that represent the biggest players in the food and drink industry from resisting regulation at all cost: snacks, drinks, and processed foods that are high in sugar have the highest profit margins.

Food lobby rigs EU sugar laws while obesity and diabetes spiral out of control, corporateeurope, July 28th 2016.

In total, the key trade associations, companies and lobby groups behind sugary food and drinks spend an estimated €21.3 million annually to lobby the European nion.

A spoonful of sugar‘ highlights how, despite rhetoric about addressing the health crisis, industry lobbyists are derailing effective sugar regulation in the European Union.

Their strategies include:
  • Pushing free trade agreements and deregulation drives that undermine existing laws;
  • Exercising undue influence over EU regulatory bodies;
  • Capturing scientific expertise;
  • Championing weak voluntary schemes;
  • Outmaneuvering consumer groups by spending billions on aggressive lobbying.

Health policies like upper limits for sugars in processed foods, sugar taxes, and labels that clearly show added sugars are long overdue. We need lobby transparency and a clear division between the regulators and the regulated. Rules and guidelines that help people make informed and healthier nutrition choices must no longer fall prey to the disproportionate influence of the food and drink industry.

Katharine Ainger, freelance journalist and co-author of Corporate Europe Observatory’s new report, said:

“So many independent scientific studies show a clear link between excessive sugar consumption and serious health risks. But the fact that there is still no consensus on the dangers of sugar among EU regulators proves just how powerful the food and drink lobby is.
Sound scientific advice is being sidelined by the billions of euros backing the sugar lobby. In its dishonesty and its disregard for people’s health, the food and drink industry rivals the tactics we’ve seen from the tobacco lobby for decades.”

Breast feeding premature babies may improve their heart function as adults

Breastfed preterm babies may have better IQs, working memory, motor function


Preterm birth relates to long-term alterations in cardiac morphology and function. Understanding whether preterm postnatal life is a tractable period of cardiovascular development that can be positively altered by nutrition is relevant to long-term outcomes. We hypothesized that being fed human breast milk during early postnatal life is beneficial to long-term cardiac structure and function in preterm-born individuals compared with infant formulas.

Breast Milk Consumption in Preterm Neonates and Cardiac Shape in Adulthood, pediatrics, June 2016.

A total of 926 preterm-born infants originally took part in a randomized controlled trial of postnatal milk-feeding regimens between 1982 and 1985 across 5 different UK centers. Preterm-born individuals were randomly assigned to either breast milk donated by unrelated lactating women or nutrient-enriched formulas. We followed 102 individuals from this cohort: 30 of whom had been randomized to being fed exclusively human milk and 16 to being fed exclusively formula. As a comparison group, we recruited an additional 102 individuals born term to uncomplicated pregnancies. Cardiac morphology and function were assessed by MRI.

Breast feeding premature babies improves their heart function as adults, study shows, The BMJ 2016;353:i3307, 14 June 2016.

Preterm-born individuals fed exclusively human milk as infants had increased left and right ventricular end-diastolic volume index (+9.73%, P = .04 and +18.2%, P < .001) and stroke volume index (+9.79%, P = .05 and +22.1%, P = .01) compared with preterm-born individuals who were exclusively formula fed as infants.

Pediatrics / Children’s Health
Pregnancy / Obstetrics
Women’s Health / Gynecology
Breastfed preterm babies may have better IQs, working memory, motor function, medicalnewstoday, 02.08.2016.

This study provides the first evidence of a beneficial association between breast milk and cardiac morphology and function in adult life in those born preterm and supports promotion of human milk for the care of preterm infants to reduce long-term cardiovascular risk.

Simultaneous determination of environmental estrogens

DES and estradiol monitoring using Cu-BTC frameworks-sensitized electrode


It is quite important to monitor environmental estrogens in a rapid, sensitive, simple and cost-effective manner due to their wide existence and high toxicity.

Schematic representation of the different processes and compartments that need to be monitored to characterize the fate and transport of e-EDCs in the environment via ScienceDirect.

Using 1,3,5-Benzenetricarboxylic acid (H3BTC) as the ligand and copper ions as the center, Cu-BTC frameworks with surface area of 654.6m(2)/g were prepared, and then used to construct a novel electrochemical sensing platform for diethylstilbestrol (DES) and estradiol (E2).

On the surface of Cu-BTC frameworks, two oxidation waves at 0.26V and 0.45V are observed for DES and E2, and the oxidation signals are improved greatly. The prepared Cu-BTC frameworks not only enhance the accumulation efficiency of DES and E2, but also improve their electron transfer ability. The influences of pH value, modification amount of Cu-BTC and accumulation time were examined.

Simultaneous determination of environmental estrogens: Diethylstilbestrol and estradiol using Cu-BTC frameworks-sensitized electrode, NCBI PubMed PMID: 27474301, 2016 Jun 16.

As a result, a highly-sensitive, rapid and convenient electrochemical method was developed for the simultaneous determination of DES and E2, with detection limit of 2.7nM and 1.1nM. The practical applications manifest this new sensing system is accurate and feasible.

DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources