Posted on the Pediatric Supersite
06 October 2010
SAN FRANCISCO – To receive medical care that is tailored to their unique needs, children’s participation in clinical trials is essential, according to a speaker here at the 2010 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition.
Gail Pearson, MD, of the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., said that research in the pediatric population is needed because this group of patients has special needs that require more than just “hand-me-down” information derived from studies conducted in adults.
“One of the major reasons we should do research in kids is because they have diseases that adults don’t have,” Pearson said. She pointed out that the Salk vaccine trial, which involved 1.8 million children, was integral to developing a successful polio vaccine.
Research in the pediatric population is also important now because children are now presenting with diseases typically seen in adults. “We’re a fast food nation, so we’re all seeing more high blood pressure, type 1 and type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemias, and we really don’t know what to do about it,” Pearson said.
Pediatrics recently published two articles highlighting this problem, she noted, with one paper recommending universal cholesterol screening because data indicated that family history was an insufficient predictor for severe dyslipidemia in children.