Sunday, January 11, 2009

Badly behaved schoolchildren 'more likely to suffer health problems in adulthood'

I have no doubt that good discipline in schools improves subsequent behaviour and life experiences generally but this study does not show it. The people examined below were schooled at a time when there was good discipline so the results are almost certainly yet another demonstration of the wide-ranging effects of IQ. It is known that low IQ people are less healthy and low IQ kids are also more likely to have problems at school. Once again high IQ is shown to be a sign of general biological good function

Badly behaved schoolchildren are twice as likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, teen pregnancy or to experience divorce, as their classmates, a 40-year study has found. Dr Ian Colman, from the University of Alberta's School of Public Health in Canada, said: "Adolescents who engaged in (disruptive) behaviour had poorer mental health, less successful family lives, and poorer social and economic outcomes in adulthood. "Given the long term costs to society, and the distressing impact on the adolescents themselves, our results might have considerable implications for public health policy."

The study looked at more than 3,500 British people born in the 1940s who were aged between 13 and 15 at the start of the study. Dr Colman's team found that teenagers who were deemed to be badly behaved at school "experienced multiple impairments that persist throughout adult life". Severe behavioural problems in schools affect about 7 per cent of nine to 15-year-olds.

Participants were rated by their teachers as having severe, mild or no problems with their conduct and were followed up between the ages of 36 and 53, when researchers asked them about their mental health and social and economic status.

Unlike previous studies, the findings, published online by the British Medical Journal, show most of the participants who were badly behaved while they were at school did not go on to develop alcohol problems as they got older.


Surge in measles blamed on MMR vaccine scare

This is a terrible condemnation of the fraud who started the scare. As soon as some kid dies of measles Andrew Wakefield should be charged with murder

The resurgence of measles in Britain is expected to be confirmed by Health Protection Agency figures showing up to 1,200 cases in 2008. There were 1,049 cases of measles, caused by a paramyxovirus, left, in England and Wales by the end of October, almost ten times the 1996 total. A slump in vaccination is blamed on unfounded fears about side-effects of the MMR jab for measles, mumps and rubella. In England one child in four has not had two doses, leaving take-up well below the level needed to prevent an epidemic. Figures to November 30 will be released today.


Australian professor identifies danger genes for deadly Kawasaki disease

Those genes again

An Australian researcher says he has made a breakthrough which could lead to a diagnostic test and better treatment for the potentially fatal Kawasaki disease. The illness is an inflammatory condition in young children that can damage blood vessels. There are up to 200 cases in Australia each year. A team of researchers led by University of Western Australia Professor David Burgner studied almost 900 cases around the world and has identified genes which could make some children more susceptible.

Lily Allen was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease before she was two months old. She is now fully recovered, but Lily's mother Amanda says they had to wait several agonising days before a diagnosis could be made. "That was the hard thing, we knew nothing of it and it just took so long to actually diagnose it, which was hard," she said. "It emotionally and physically takes its toll on you. You wonder why your baby's so sick and her heart rate was at 180 at rest, so she was constantly in pain and having trouble breathing."

Named after the professor who first described it, Kawasaki disease usually affects children aged from six months to four years. The symptoms include fever, rash, swollen hands and feet, and peeling skin. Kawasaki disease also inflames blood vessels and can cause permanent damage to the heart.

Professor Burgner says the disease can be difficult to diagnose. "It's often mistaken for Measles or severe infections, scarlet fever or even sometimes meningitis," he said. "So this is a mysterious but very serious disease of young children. "Like many diseases we think that genetics plays a major role in deciding or determining who actually develops Kawasaki disease. "And we think this because if Japanese children move to America which has a relatively low rate, their risk remains as high as it would be if they were in Japan. "And the risk of brothers and sisters who have had Kawasaki disease is about 10 times the risk of the general population. "So we think that genes are going to be important in determining who actually develops Kawasaki disease when they're exposed to whatever it is that's triggering this illness," he added.

Professor Burgner says the findings are an important first step in understanding the disease. "Ultimately we'd like to develop a diagnostic test, that's really what the paediatricians are crying out for - a bedside or a diagnostic test for Kawasaki disease, because it's a very difficult diagnosis to make sometimes," he said. "We need better treatment because our best treatment actually fails in 5 to 10 per cent of cases to prevent damage to the heart. "It's not inconceivable. In the future we may be able to develop a vaccine to prevent Kawasaki disease and maybe that will have some impact on future risk of heart attack and things like that.


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