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Leaders in children's health to gather in Boston

BOSTON The latest scientific research in children's health will be presented in Boston April 28-May 1 at the Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting. More than 6,500 leaders in academic pediatrics from around the world are expected to attend the meeting at the Hynes Convention Center.

Journalists will have access to hundreds of scientists who are conducting original research in children's health. More than 3,000 scientific papers will be presented on a wide range of topics, from prematurity and infancy, through adolescence and diseases that carry into adulthood. Highlights of the 2012 meeting include:

Saturday, April 28:

Astronaut Discusses His Experiences on the International Space Station

NASA astronaut and mission specialist Gregory E. Chamitoff, PhD, will deliver the keynote address at 5:40 p.m. ET in the Hynes Convention Center. He will discuss his time on the space station and activities that contribute to NASA's goal of inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers.

How Early Life Affects Future Health

Scott Montgomery, PhD, of the Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden is among a panel of speakers who will discuss how a child's genes, early environment, nutrition and other factors affect his or her future disease risk in a symposium at 10:30 a.m. ET in the convention center.

Sunday, April 29:

Unruly Kids May Have a Mental Disorder

Thomas R. Insel, MD, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, will discuss signs of mental illnesses in young children and the importance of early diagnosis and intervention during his presentation, "What Every Pediatrician Needs to Know about Mental Disorders," at 1:35 p.m. ET in the convention center.

Monday, April 30:

Stopping Obesity

A panel of speakers will discuss the roles played by social structures, the economy, the quality of the food supply, health policy, and the influence of the food industry in the obesity epidemic during a symposium at 3:30 p.m. ET in the Sheraton Boston Hotel Grand Ballroom. The symposium, "The Development of Our Obesogenic Environment: How Did We Get Here and How Do We Get Out?" will include a discussion of whether legal intervention is warranted in the case of a morbidly obese child.

Tuesday, May 1:

Weighing the Recommendations on Vitamin D

Various medical societies have issued conflicting recommendations about the need for screening and targets for vitamin D in infants and pregnant women. In a symposium at 10:30 a.m. ET in the convention center, a panel of experts presents research on this topic and discusses the risks and benefits of high-dose supplementation with vitamin D.

Additional news releases are available on some of the newsworthy scientific abstracts being presented throughout the four-day conference, including studies on the presence of family members during trauma care of critically injured children, texting and cell phone use while driving, stress and pregnancy, racial differences in emergency care, parents' math skills and medication errors, tobacco smoke in apartment buildings, and whether pacifiers affect breastfeeding rates.

Contact: Debbie Jacobson
American Academy of Pediatrics

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