Open Access in JAH
- Many unhealthy behaviors often begin during adolescence and represent major public health challenges. Substance abuse has a major impact on individuals, families, and communities, as its effects are cumulative, contributing to costly social, physical, and mental health problems. We conducted an overview of systematic reviews to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions to prevent substance abuse among adolescents. We report findings from a total of 46 systematic reviews focusing on interventions for smoking/tobacco use, alcohol use, drug use, and combined substance abuse.
- Adequate adolescent nutrition is an important step for optimal growth and development. In this article, we systematically reviewed published studies till December 2014 to ascertain the effectiveness of interventions to improve adolescent nutrition. We found one existing systematic review on interventions to prevent obesity which we updated and conducted de novo reviews for micronutrient supplementation and nutrition interventions for pregnant adolescents. Our review findings suggest that micronutrient supplementation among adolescents (predominantly females) can significantly decrease anemia prevalence (relative risk [RR]: .69; 95% confidence interval [CI]: .62–.76) while interventions to improve nutritional status among “pregnant adolescents” showed statistically significant improved birth weight (standard mean difference: .25; 95% CI: .08–.41), decreased low birth weight (RR: .70; 95% CI: .57–.84), and preterm birth (RR: .73; 95% CI: .57–.95).
- Vaccination strategies are among the most successful and cost-effective public health strategies for preventing disease and death. Until recently, most of the existing immunization programs targeted infants and children younger than 5 years which have successfully resulted in reducing global infant and child mortality. Adolescent immunization has been relatively neglected, leaving a quarter of world's population underimmunized and hence vulnerable to a number of preventable diseases. In recent years, a large number of programs have been launched to increase the uptake of different vaccines in adolescents; however, the recommended vaccination coverage among the adolescent population overall remains very low, especially in low- and middle-income countries.
- Globally, every day, ∼2,300 children and adolescents succumb to unintentional injuries sustained from motor vehicle collisions, drowning, poisoning, falls, burns, and violence. The rate of deaths due to motor vehicle injuries in adolescents is 10.2 per 100,000 adolescents. We systematically reviewed published evidence to identify interventions to prevent unintentional injuries among adolescents aged 11–19 years. We defined unintentional injuries as a subset of injuries for which there was no evidence of predetermined intent, and the definition included motor vehicle injuries, suffocation, drowning, poisoning, burns, falls, and sports and recreation.