Browsing by Subject "PRESCHOOL-CHILDREN"

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  • Prasad, Marianne; Takkinen, Hanna-Mari; Uusitalo, Liisa; Tapanainen, Heli; Ovaskainen, Marja-Leena; Alfthan, Georg; Erlund, Iris; Ahonen, Suvi; Åkerlund, Mari; Toppari, Jorma; Ilonen, Jorma; Knip, Mikael; Veijola, Riitta; Virtanen, Suvi M. (2018)
    Fruit and vegetable intake has been associated with a reduced risk of many chronic diseases. These foods are the main dietary source of carotenoids. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the associations between dietary intake and serum concentrations of alpha- and beta-carotene in a sample of young Finnish children from the population-based birth cohort of the Type 1 Diabetes Prediction and Prevention (DIPP) Study. The current analysis comprised 3-day food records and serum samples from 207 children aged 1, 2 and 3 years. Spearman and partial correlations, as well as a cross-classification analyses, were used to assess the relationship between dietary intake and the corresponding biomarkers. Serum concentrations of alpha- and beta-carotene were significantly higher among the 1-year-old compared to the 3-year-old children. Dietary intakes of alpha- and beta-carotene correlated significantly with their respective serum concentrations in all age groups, the association being highest at the age of 1 year (alpha-carotene r = 0.48; p <0.001 and beta-carotene r = 0.47; p <0.001), and lowest at the age of 3 years (alpha-carotene r = 0.44; p <0.001 and beta-carotene r = 0.30; p <0.001). A cross-classification showed that 72-81% of the participants were correctly classified to the same or adjacent quartile, when comparing the reported dietary intakes and the concentrations of the corresponding carotenoid in serum. The 3-day food record seems to be reasonably valid in the assessment of root vegetable consumption among young Finnish children. Root vegetables were the main dietary source of both carotenoids in all age groups. The high consumption of commercial baby foods among the 1-year-old children was reflected in the relatively high dietary intake and serum concentration of both carotenoids.
  • Hauta-alus, Helena H.; Korkalo, Liisa; Holmlund-Suila, Elisa M.; Rosendahl, Jenni; Valkama, Saara M.; Enlund-Cerullo, Maria; Helve, Otto M.; Hytinantti, Timo K.; Mäkitie, Outi M.; Andersson, Sture; Viljakainen, Heli T. (2017)
    The infant diet has short- and long-term health consequences. Updated data regarding the dietary intake of Finnish infants are lacking. The objectives of this study were to describe infant food and nutrient intake and to identify food sources of the nutrients. Altogether, 739 healthy infants were studied. Dietary intake and breastfeeding frequency were assessed with a three-day food record at 1 year of age. Dietary intake was calculated separately for non-breastfed and breastfed infants. One-third (36%) of the infants were partially breastfed and 95% consumed mass-produced baby foods. The infants' diet consisted mainly of infant formula, dairy milk, porridges, fruit and berry foods, and meat dishes. The mean vegetable, fruit and berry consumption was 199 g/day. Most nutrient intakes were adequate except for fat, linoleic acid, vitamin D and iron from food. Mean sucrose intake, as a percentage of total energy intake (E%), was 5-6 E%. High protein intake (>20 E%) was observed in 19% of non-breastfed infants. Overall, the infants' diet was favorable since vegetable and fruit consumption was reasonably high and nutrient intake was mostly adequate. However, the fat intake was lower, and protein intake higher than recommended. Increasing the consumption of vegetable oils and reducing the intake of red meat and dairy milk may further improve the diet of 1-year-olds.
  • Dubois, Lise; Diasparra, Maikol; Bedard, Brigitte; Kaprio, Jaakko; Fontaine-Bisson, Benedicte; Tremblay, Richard; Boivin, Michel; Perusse, Daniel (2013)
  • Huhdanpää, Hanna; Klenberg, Liisa; Westerinen, Hannu; Bergman, Paula Hannele; Aronen, Eeva Tuulikki (2019)
    Few studies have reported on the quantity and quality of executive function (EF) deficits in young children referred to child psychiatric outpatient clinic with multiple psychiatric symptoms. We evaluated the EF deficits with the Attention and Executive Function Rating Inventory-Preschool (ATTEX-P) filled out by day care teachers for 4- to 7-year-old clinical group (n = 171) and reference group (n = 709). Family background information was collected from all families by parent questionnaire. Diagnoses of the referred children were collected from medical records. Clinical group exhibited higher mean ranks across the ATTEX-P Total score and all nine subscales than reference group (p <.001). Most of the children in the clinical group (58.5%) showed a significant amount of EF deficits (ATTEX-P Total score over clinical cut-off) including distractibility (55.6%) and impulsivity (53.8%) regardless of their diagnoses. In a multiple logistic regression model (controlling for age, gender and parental education), children in the clinical group had increased risk (odds ratio (OR)) = 10.6, 95% confidence interval (CI) = [6.88, 16.2], p <.001) for scoring over the clinical cut-off point on the ATTEX-P Total score. Assessment of EFs should be a routine part of the treatment plan in young children referred to child psychiatric outpatient clinic as it may guide the treatment choices.
  • Tanno, Luciana K.; Haahtela, Tari; Calderon, Moises A.; Cruz, Alvaro; Demoly, Pascal; Joint Allergy Academies (2017)
    Asthma and allergic diseases can start in childhood and persist throughout life, but could also be manifested later, at any time for still misunderstood reasons. They are major chronic multifactorial respiratory diseases, for which prevention, early diagnosis and treatment is recognized as a priority for the Europe's public health policy and the United Nations. Given that allergy triggers (including infections, rapid urbanization leading to loss in biodiversity, pollution and climate changes) are not expected to change in a foreseeable future, it is imperative that steps are taken to develop, strengthen and optimize preventive and treatment strategies. Currently there are good treatments for asthma, several risk factors are known (e.g., allergies, rhinitis, tobacco smoke) and tools to control the disease have been developed. However, we are still uncertain how to prevent patients from developing asthma and allergic diseases. In this paper, we list the positive and negative experiences in this field as well as analyze the missing links in the process. This critical analysis will be the basis of setting-up an effective program for prevention and making, a process labeled as "implementation gaps". (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Torppa, Ritva; Faulkner, Andrew; Laasonen, Marja; Lipsanen, Jari; Sammler, Daniela (2020)
    Objectives: A major issue in the rehabilitation of children with cochlear implants (CIs) is unexplained variance in their language skills, where many of them lag behind children with normal hearing (NH). Here we assess links between generative language skills and the perception of prosodic stress, and with musical and parental activities in children with CIs and NH. Understanding these links is expected to guide future research and towards supporting language development in children with a CI. Method: 21 unilaterally and early-implanted children and 31 children with NH, aged 5 to 13, were classified as musically active or non-active by a questionnaire recording regularity of musical activities, in particular singing, and reading and other activities shared with parents. Perception of word and sentence stress, performance in word finding, verbal intelligence (WISC vocabulary) and phonological awareness (PA; production of rhymes) were measured in all children. Comparisons between children with a CI and NH were made against a sub-set of 21 of the children with NH who were matched to children with CIs by age, gender, socio-economic background and musical activity. Regression analyses, run separately for children with CIs and NH, assessed how much variance in each language task was shared with each of prosodic perception, the child’s own music activity, and activities with parents, including singing and reading. All statistical analyses were conducted both with and without control for age and maternal education. Results: Musically active children with CIs performed similarly to NH controls in all language tasks, while those who were not musically active performed more poorly. Only musically non-active children with CIs made more phonological and semantic errors in word finding than NH controls, and word finding correlated with other language skills. Regression analysis results for word finding and VIQ were similar for children with CIs and NH. These language skills shared considerable variance with the perception of prosodic stress and musical activities. When age and maternal education were controlled for, strong links remained between perception of prosodic stress and VIQ (shared variance: CI, 32%/NH, 16%) and between musical activities and word finding (shared variance: CI, 53%/NH, 20%). Links were always stronger for children with CIs, for whom better phonological awareness was also linked to improved stress perception and more musical activity, and parental activities altogether shared significantly variance with word finding and VIQ. Conclusions: For children with CIs and NH, better perception of prosodic stress and musical activities with singing are associated with improved generative language skills. Additionally, for children with CIs, parental singing has a stronger positive association to word finding and VIQ than parental reading. These results cannot address causality, but they suggest that good perception of prosodic stress, musical activities involving singing, and parental singing and reading may all be beneficial for word finding and other generative language skills in implanted children.
  • Aunio, Pirjo; Korhonen, Johan; Ragpot, Lara; Törmänen, Minna; Mononen, Riikka; Henning, Elizabeth (2019)
    The aim of the study was to investigate the influence of cognitive skills (executive function), language factors (listening comprehension, English as a second language, ESL) and kindergarten attendance on early numeracy in a cross-sectional sample of South African children (N = 442) in the beginning of Grade 1. The mean age of children was 81.62 months (SD =5.40). Structural equation path models showed that kindergarten attendance predicted children’s early numeracy performance even when controlling for executive function and language skills. Listening comprehension skills predicted the early numeracy skills more strongly than did executive function skills. ESL was associated with weaker early numeracy performance.
  • Linnavalli, Tanja; Putkinen, Vesa; Lipsanen, Jari; Huotilainen, Minna; Tervaniemi, Mari (2018)
    Several studies have suggested that intensive musical training enhances children’s linguistic skills. Such training, however, is not available to all children. We studied in a community setting whether a low-cost, weekly music playschool provided to 5–6-year-old children in kindergartens could already affect their linguistic abilities. Children (N = 66) were tested four times over two school-years with Phoneme processing and Vocabulary subtests, along with tests for Perceptual reasoning skills and Inhibitory control. We compared the development of music playschool children to their peers either attending to similarly organized dance lessons or not attending to either activity. Music playschool significantly improved the development of children’s phoneme processing and vocabulary skills. No such improvements on children’s scores for non-verbal reasoning and inhibition were obtained. Our data suggest that even playful group music activities – if attended to for several years – have a positive effect on pre-schoolers’ linguistic skills. Therefore we promote the concept of implementing regular music playschool lessons given by professional teachers in early childhood education.
  • Rosenqvist, Johanna; Lahti-Nuuttila, Pekka; Urgesi, Cosimo; Holdnack, James; Kemp, Sally L.; Laasonen, Marja (2017)
    Objectives: Performance on neurocognitive tasks develops with age, but it is still unknown whether this performance differs between children from different cultures. We compared cross-sectionally the development of neurocognitive functions in 3- to 15-year-old children from three countries: Finland, Italy, and the United States (N=2745). Methods: Language, face memory, emotion recognition, theory of mind, and visuospatial processing subtests from the NEPSY-II standardizations in Finland, Italy, and the United States were used to evaluate if children and adolescents from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds differ in performance on these measures. Results: We found significant differences in performance on the tasks between the countries. Generally, the differences were more pronounced in the younger age groups. Some subtests showed greater country effects than others, performance on these subtests being higher, in general, in one country over the others, or showed different patterns of age associated changes in test performance. Conclusions: Significant differences in neurocognitive performance between children from Finland, Italy, and the United States were found. These findings may be due to cultural or educational differences that impact test performance, or due to factors associated with the adaptation of measures from one culture to another. The finding of performance differences across countries on similar tasks indicate that cross-cultural and background variables impact performance on neuropsychological measures. Therefore, clinicians need to consider a child’s cultural background when evaluating performance on neuropsychological assessments. The results also indicate that future cross-cultural studies are needed to further examine the underlying cultural factors that influence neurocognitive performance. (JINS, 2017, 23, 1–14)
  • Tarvainen, Sirpa; Stolt, Suvi; Launonen, Kaisa (2020)
    Background and aims: The most severe problems in language manifest as difficulties in comprehending oral language. These difficulties are persistent and expose individuals to several risk factors. There is a lack of intervention research in the area of oral language comprehension, and no reviews have focused solely on oral language comprehension interventions in young children. The aim of this review was to identify interventions targeting oral language comprehension in children 8 years or younger with language disorders or difficulties. The review also examined the possible intervention foci, efficacy, and level of evidence of these interventions. Methods: A systematic scoping review of eight databases was carried out. Twenty of 2399 articles met the inclusion criteria and a further six articles were identified through reference lists of sourced articles. These 26 articles described 25 studies. Altogether 2460 children aged 1-8 years participated in the 25 studies. The data from these studies were extracted and analysed, and the intervention foci, efficacy, and level of evidence were evaluated. Main contribution: The reviewed interventions focused on three aspects: modifying the communicative environment of the child; targeting aspects of the child's language; or targeting the child's language processing. Of the included studies, 80% indicated positive effects on participants' oral language comprehension. The level of evidence of the included studies varied. With few exceptions, researchers and practitioners can have moderate confidence in the results of the included studies indicating that it is possible to ameliorate difficulties in oral language comprehension. Conclusions: This review summarises the existing evidence on oral language comprehension interventions in young children with language disorders or difficulties. The evidence base is still limited, and more research is urgently needed. The results suggest that though not all interventions seem to provide desired outcomes, there are several interventions indicating efficacy to target problems in oral language comprehension in 1-8-year-old children with language disorders or difficulties. A careful choice of therapy technique and collaboration with people in the child's environment is required to maximize outcomes. Implications: The results suggest that young children's oral language comprehension skills can be improved by guiding parents and clinicians in their communication strategies, and by clinician-implemented interventions targeting aspects of the child's language. The research on interventions targeting children's language processing is limited, and the results mixed. The present study provides information on different oral language comprehension interventions and their outcomes. The findings are readily applicable for clinical use.
  • Liskola, Krista; Raaska, Hanna; Lapinleimu, Helena; Elovainio, Marko (2018)
    Parental depressive symptoms have shown to be associated with offspring depression but much of the research has been focused on maternal depression. The aim of our study was to investigate the extent to which depressive symptoms of both parents associate with offspring depressive symptoms and whether social factors mediate these associations using data from adopted children with no shared genetic background. Data were derived from the Finnish Adoption survey study (a subsample of adopted children aged between 9 and 12years, n=548). Parental depressive symptoms were measured using short version of the General Health Questionnaire and Children's Depression Inventory (CDI) was used to measure depressive symptoms in adoptees. Paternal depressive symptoms were related to the total CDI (B=0.33, p=0.05) and two dimensions of offspring depressive symptoms: negative mood (B=0.10, p=0.03) and interpersonal problems (B=0.06, p=0.009). These associations remained significant even when adjusted for child's age and gender, age at adoption, type of placement before adoption, continent of birth and adoptive family's SES. No associations were found between maternal and any dimensions of offspring depressive symptoms. No information about the mental health of biological parents was available. We interpret the results as demonstrating that intergenerational transmission of depressive symptoms is not solely related to shared genes. Also, the results highlight the association of paternal depression with offspring depressive symptoms.
  • Viljakainen, Heli T.; Figueiredo, Rejane A. O.; Rounge, Trine B.; Weiderpass, Elisabete (2019)
    Background Picky eating (PE) is the most common cause of early-life feeding problems. However, the consequences of PE on food intake and weight development in general populations have not been established. Objectives: This study aims to investigate the associations of PE and food neophobia (FN) with weight status in 5700 Finnish preadolescents. In addition, we described food consumption by PE/FN status. Material and methods: We utilised the Finnish Health in Teens (Fin-HIT) cohort of 9-12-year-old preadolescents, who were categorised as having PE and FN based on answers from parental questionnaires. Weight was categorised as underweight, normal weight, and overweight/obesity based on body mass index (BMI) according to IOTF age- and sex-specific cut-offs. Eating patterns were obtained with a 16-item food frequency questionnaire. Multinomial logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Results: The overall prevalence of PE and FN were 34% and 14%, respectively. PE was inversely associated with overweight/obesity (OR = 0.7; 95% CI 0.6-0.8) and led to a higher risk of underweight (OR = 2.0; 95% CI 1.7-2.4), while this was not observed with FN. Compared with preadolescents without PE/FN, those with PE/FN reported consuming unhealthy foods such as pizza, hamburgers/hot dogs, and salty snacks more frequently (p <0.0038). By the same token, these preadolescents reported consuming healthy foods such as cooked vegetables, fresh vegetables/salad, fruit/berries, milk/soured milk, and dark bread less frequently. Conclusions: Among Finnish preadolescents, only PE was associated with a higher risk for underweight and inversely with overweight/obesity. PE and FN were accompanied with unhealthy eating patterns. Management of PE in children may be explored as a potential strategy for improving healthy eating and avoiding underweight in preadolescents.
  • Jäsberg, Heli; Tervahartiala, Taina; Sorsa, Timo; Söderling, Eva; Haukioja, Anna (2018)
    Objective: To study the effect of orally administered Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB-12 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG on the salivary levels of Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMP)-8, MMP-9 and of Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinases (TIMP)-1 in healthy adults. Furthermore, the correlations between MMP-8, MMP-9 and TIMP-1 and plaque and gingival indices, salivary mutans streptococci and lactobacilli counts, and stimulated saliva secretion rate were analysed. Design: The salivary samples originated from a randomized controlled trial where healthy student volunteers consumed probiotic or placebo lozenges twice a day for four weeks. The saliva samples were collected and clinical parameters measured at the baseline and at the end of the original study. For this study, the salivary levels of MMP-8, MMP-9 and TIMP-1 were analysed with immunofluorometric assay (IFMA) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results: In the probiotic group (n = 29), salivary MMP-9 levels increased (p <0.01) and TIMP-1 levels decreased (p <0.01) significantly during the intervention. Furthermore, MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratio differed significantly from the baseline level (p <0.01). These changes were not observed in the control group (n = 31). In the whole data, salivary MMP-9 and gingival index correlated (r = 0.260, p <0.05 at baseline and r = 0.354, p <0.01 at the end of the study). Intergroup differences or correlations with other clinical parameters were not found. Probiotic consumption did not affect the saliva flow rate. Conclusions: Increased MMP-9 and decreased TIMP-1 levels in saliva may indicate that probiotics have immunomodulatory effects in the oral cavity. Furthermore, increased salivary MMP-9 levels may be an indication of the defensive potential of matrix metalloproteinases.
  • Hellstrand, Heidi; Korhonen, Johan; Räsänen, Pekka; Linnanmäki, Karin; Aunio, Pirjo (2020)
    This study investigated reliability and validity evidence regarding the Early Numeracy WA (EN-test) in a sample of 1139 Swedish-speaking children (587 girls) in kindergarten (n = 361), first grade (n = 321), and second grade (n = 457). Structural validity evidence was established through confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), which showed that a four-factor model fit the data significantly better than a one-factor or two-factor model. The known-group and cross-cultural validity were established through multigroup CFAs, finding that the four-factor model fit the gender, age and language groups equally well. Internal consistency for the WA and sub-skills varied from good to excellent. The EN-test can be considered as an appropriate assessment to identify children at risk for mathematical learning difficulties.
  • Knihtilä, Hanna; Kotaniemi-Syrjänen, Anne; Pelkonen, Anna S.; Mäkelä, Mika J.; Malmberg, L. Pekka (2018)
    Background: Clinical significance of small airway obstruction in mild pediatric asthma is unclear. Objective: To evaluate small airway properties in children with mild to moderate asthmatic symptoms and the association of small airway function with asthma control and exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB). Methods: Children (5-10 years old) with recurrent wheezing (n = 42) or persistent troublesome cough (n = 16) and healthy controls (n = 19) performed impulse oscillometry (IOS), spirometry, and a multiple-breath nitrogen washout (MBNW) test. Exhaled nitric oxide (NO) was measured at multiple flow rates to determine alveolar NO concentration (CAIN). Asthma control was evaluated with the Childhood Asthma Control Test (C-ACT), short-acting beta(2)-agonist (SABA) use within the past month, and asthma exacerbations within the past year. Results: IOS, spirometry, and exhaled NO indexes that are related to small airway function differed between children with recurrent wheezing and healthy controls, whereas only forced expiratory flow at 25% to 75% of the forced vital capacity was associated with persistent cough. The MBNW indexes showed no difference between the groups. Among symptomatic children, conducting airway ventilation inhomogeneity and CALV were associated with asthma exacerbations (P = .03 and P = .002, respectively), and lung clearance index and CALV were associated with EIB (P = .04 and P = .004, respectively). None of the proposed small airway indexes was associated with the C-ACT score or SABA use. Conclusion: Subtle changes were observed in the proposed small airway indexes of IOS, spirometry, and exhaled NO among children with mild to moderate recurrent wheezing. Small airway dysfunction, expressed as ventilation inhomogeneity indexes and CALV, was also associated with asthma exacerbations and EIB. (C) 2018 American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Itkonen, Suvi T.; Erkkola, Maijaliisa; Lamberg-Allardt, Christel J. E. (2018)
    Fluid milk products are systematically, either mandatorily or voluntarily, fortified with vitamin D in some countries but their overall contribution to vitamin D intake and status worldwide is not fully understood. We searched the PubMed database to evaluate the contribution of vitamin D-fortified fluid milk products (regular milk and fermented products) to vitamin D intake and serum or plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) status in observational studies during 1993-2017. Twenty studies provided data on 25(OH)D status (n = 19,744), and 22 provided data on vitamin D intake (n = 99,023). Studies showed positive associations between the consumption of vitamin D-fortified milk and 25(OH)D status in different population groups. In countries with a national vitamin D fortification policy covering various fluid milk products (Finland, Canada, United States), milk products contributed 28-63% to vitamin D intake, while in countries without a fortification policy, or when the fortification covered only some dairy products (Sweden, Norway), the contribution was much lower or negligible. To conclude, based on the reviewed observational studies, vitamin D-fortified fluid milk products contribute to vitamin D intake and 25(OH)D status. However, their impact on vitamin D intake at the population level depends on whether vitamin D fortification is systematic and policy-based.
  • Määttä, Anette M.; Kotaniemi-Syrjänen, Anne; Malmström, Kristiina; Malmberg, L. Pekka; Sundvall, Jouko; Pelkonen, Anna S.; Makela, Mika J. (2017)
    Background: Vitamin D insufficiency might be associated with biased T-cell responses resulting in inflammatory conditions such as atopy and asthma. Little is known about the role of vitamin D in low-grade systemic inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) in young children. Objective: To evaluate whether vitamin D insufficiency and increased serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) are linked to AHR in symptomatic infants. Methods: Seventy-nine infants with recurrent or persistent lower respiratory tract symptoms underwent comprehensive lung function testing and a bronchial methacholine challenge test. In addition, skin prick tests were performed and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (S-25-OHD), hs-CRP, total immunoglobulin E, and blood eosinophil levels were determined. Results: S-25-OHD was lowest in infants with blood eosinophilia and AHR (n = 10) compared with those with eosinophilia only (n = 6) or AHR only (n = 50) or those with neither (n = 13; P = .035). Moreover, vitamin D insufficiency (S-25-OHD <50 nmol/L) was most common in infants with blood eosinophilia and AHR (P = .041). Serum hs-CRP was lower in infants with recurrent physician-diagnosed wheezing (P = .048) and in those with blood eosinophilia (P = .015) than in infants without these characteristics and was not associated with S-25-OHD or AHR. S-25-OHD levels were significantly lower (median 54 nmol/L) during the autumn-winter season than in the spring-summer season (median 63 nmol/L; P = .026). Conclusion: Vitamin D insufficiency could underlie eosinophilia and AHR in infants with troublesome lung symptoms, whereas hs-CRPemediated low-grade systemic inflammation is rare in early childhood wheezing. (C) 2017 American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.