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Anorexia hospitalizations among youth up in 2020: study – CTV News

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TORONTO —
A new study examining the rates of adolescent anorexia in Canada paints a grim picture of how the eating disorder affected youth at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Published in the JAMA Open Network Tuesday, the study found that cases and hospitalizations for newly-diagnosed anorexia nervosa or atypical anorexia nervosa among children and adolescents in Canada increased during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study was a repeated, cross-sectional analysis of new eating disorder assessments conducted at six specialist hospitals in Canada between Jan. 1, 2015 and Nov. 30, 2020 in patients aged nine to 18 with a new anorexia nervosa or atypical anorexia nervosa diagnosis.

Atypical anorexia nervosa has the same symptoms associated with anorexia nervosa (often simply called anorexia) but with the distinct difference that the person does not have a low body weight.

The study notes that with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, public health authorities in Canada cautioned against unnecessary visits to health-care facilities to reduce the possibility of transmission and to accommodate surges in COVID-19 cases. But pediatric hospitals, while experiencing a decrease in emergency department visits for medical attention throughout 2020, “reported increased pediatric mental health visits,” researchers wrote.

Researchers analyzed data collected from patients at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, the British Columbia Children’s Hospital, Janeway Children’s Hospital in Newfoundland, McMaster Children’s Hospital in Ontario, Montreal Children’s Hospital and Sainte Justine Hospital in Quebec, which serve vast swaths of Canada’s population.

Researchers then compared incidence and hospitalization rates for all anorexia or atypical anorexia during the first wave of the pandemic with the rates from five years prior to the pandemic.

A total of 1,883 children and adolescents, 1,713 female and 170 male with a median age of 15.9, were included in the study. During the first wave of the pandemic, the number of newly diagnosed cases “demonstrated a steep upward trend” to about 40 cases per month, the study says.

Hospitalizations for new patients also increased sharply with the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing from 7.5 cases per month to 20 cases per month, on average.

In short, during the first wave of the pandemic monthly new cases of anorexia and atypical anorexia increased by more than 60 per cent and monthly hospitalization nearly tripled compared to pre-pandemic rates.

The study notes that the largest increases in both new anorexia diagnoses and related hospitalizations were reported in Quebec and Ontario, which had the highest mortality per capita rate in the first wave of the pandemic – leading to the most restrictive lockdowns.

Lockdowns led to substantial changes for children and adolescents, the study notes, with disruptions to eating, physical activity and social patterns which can be risk factors for developing an eating disorder.

“In addition, school closures likely expand social media use as a means of communication with peers. Media use has been associated with an increased risk for disordered eating, in particular through exposure to thin ideals and diet-related content,” the study says. “Social media trends referring to weight gain during confinement and a focus on home cooking and exercise routines may have further elevated the eating disorder risk among youth.”

The relationship between stressful events and exacerbations in eating disorder symptoms has been well documented, the study notes, with studies of adult patients with pre-existing eating disorders reporting worsening symptoms during the first wave of COVID-19 associated with confinement such as greater restrictions on eating, increased self-induced vomiting (purging), worsening body dysmorphia and heightened exercise drive.

Researchers wrote that many adolescents with an eating disorder also have depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder, and that evidence suggests COVID-19 has detrimental consequences on the mental health of youth.

Rates of depression and suicidal ideation were higher in adults in COVID-19–associated lockdowns compared with those who were not under these restrictions, according to the study. “In children and adolescents, the disruption of routines and disconnection from peers were associated with the increase in mental health burden and emergence of depression and anxiety. A worsening of overall mental health status may explain the increased rate of newly diagnosed anorexia nervosa or atypical anorexia nervosa found in the present study.”

Disruptions to children and adolescents’ “protective factors” against eating disorders, such as social support, made them “more vulnerable to stressful circumstances,” the study says.

Researchers hope to continue studying how to better prepare for the mental health needs of children and adolescents who have eating disorders in the event of future pandemics or prolonged social isolation.

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The following is a list of resources and hotlines dedicated to supporting people in crisis:

National Residential School Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419

Hope for Wellness Helpline (English, French, Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut): 1-855-242-3310

Trans Lifeline: 1-877-330-6366

Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868

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Truckers fighting government vaccine mandate march to Canadian capital

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A convoy of truckers started their march from Vancouver on Sunday to the Canadian capital city of Ottawa protesting the government’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for truckers, which the industry says would create driver shortages and fuel inflation.

Truckers under the banner Freedom Convoy 2022 had raised C$2.7 million ($2.2 million) by Sunday through a gofundme campaign to fight the mandate. The funds raised would be used to help with the costs of fuel, food and lodgings, the gofundme page said. The convoy is expected to reach Ottawa on Jan. 29.

The trucking industry is vital to ensure smooth flow of goods since more than two-thirds of the C$650 billion ($521 billion) in goods traded annually between Canada and the United States travels on roads.

But as many as 32,000, or 20%, of the 160,000 Canadian and American cross-border truck drivers may be taken off the roads due to the mandate https://www.reuters.com/business/canada-us-supply-chain-still-could-face-disruptions-due-vaccine-mandates-2022-01-13, the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) estimates.

The CTA, however, said in a statement on Saturday it does not support any protests on public road ways and the only way to cross the border on a commercial truck is by getting vaccinated.

Canada imposed the vaccine mandate for the trucking industry from Jan. 15, under which unvaccinated Canadian truckers re-entering Canada from the United States must get tested for COVID-19 and quarantine themselves.

Driver shortages are further expected to fuel red-hot inflation https://www.reuters.com/business/canadas-annual-inflation-rate-hits-48-dec-highest-since-sept-1991-2022-01-19 which is running at a three-decade high, industry lobby groups gave said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has resisted industry pressure to delay the mandate since it was first announced in November.

($1 = 1.2572 Canadian dollars)

 

(Reporting by Denny Thomas; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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P.E.I. reports another COVID-19 death; 9 people in hospital – CBC.ca

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P.E.I. has announced announced another death related to COVID-19, raising the province’s total to six.

The person was over age 80, according to a release from the Chief Public Health Office on Sunday. No further details were released about the death.

The number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 increased to nine as of early Sunday. One person is in intensive care.

Four other people in hospital for other reasons have also tested positive for the virus.

The province has declared a new outbreak at the Summerset Manor long-term care facility in Summerside. 

There are currently six long-term care facilities, two community care facilities, 19 early learning and child-care centres and five other congregate settings with outbreaks:

  • Andrews of Park West.
  • Atlantic Baptist.
  • Beach Grove Home.
  • Clinton View Lodge.
  • Garden Home.
  • Summerset Manor.
  • Bevan Lodge.
  • Miscouche Villa.
  • Nineteen early learning and child-care centres. Five open, six closed and eight operating at reduced capacity.
  • Population that accesses shelter and outreach services in Charlottetown.
  • Prince County Correctional Centre.
  • Provincial Addictions Treatment Facility.
  • Provincial Correctional Centre.
  • St. Eleanor’s House.

There are 209 new cases and 214 recoveries in Sunday’s update. On average, 279 cases per day have been reported over the last week.

P.E.I. has 2,484 active cases and there have been 6,125 cases since the pandemic began.

Hundreds of vaccination appointments are still available this week, according to the release, including dedicated appointments for children.

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New Brunswick reports two additional deaths related to COVID-19 Sunday – CTV News Atlantic

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Health officials in New Brunswick said Sunday that a person in their 80s in the Moncton region and a person in their 70s in the Bathurst region have died as a result of COVID-19.

HOSPITALIZATIONS

In a news release Sunday, public health reported there are a total of 126 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the province. Ten people are currently in intensive care.

Of those currently hospitalized, 74 were admitted for reasons other than COVID-19.

Of those in hospital, 101 are 60 or over, and six people are on a ventilator. Public health said Sunday that three people 19 and under are currently hospitalized.

The province said the rate of people hospitalized and in ICU continues to most greatly impact people who are unvaccinated and those who are over six months from their second dose.

PARENTS ENCOURAGED TO CHILDREN VACCINATED

Officials are urging parents and guardians to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment for their child’s first or second dose if they have not yet done so.

Children aged five to 11 who have already received their first dose of the vaccine are eligible to receive their second dose once eight weeks have passed since their first dose.

“Children are expected to return to in-person school by the end of the month and will benefit greatly from vaccination,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health in a news release Sunday.

“I’m calling on all parents with kids in this age group to book an appointment now for their child’s first dose if they are not yet vaccinated, or for their second dose if they are eligible.”

BOOSTER SHOTS AVAILABLE

The New Brunswick government is encouraging those eligible for a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to book their appointment to help slow the spread of the virus.

Booster doses are available to everyone 18 and older, as long as five months have passed since their second dose.

To date, 62.3 per cent of the eligible population of people 50 and older have received their booster dose.

Appointments can be booked online at vaccination clinics offered through the Vitalité and Horizon health networks.

Many pharmacies across the province are also offering vaccine clinics. Appointments can be made by contacting a participating pharmacy directly.

Those unable to book an appointment online, or who otherwise need assistance booking through a health authority clinic or pharmacy, may call 1-833-437-1424.

Since Jan. 10, more than 44,000 appointments have been booked for booster doses of an mRNA vaccine.

LEVEL 3 RESTRICTIONS

New Brunswick is currently in Level 3 phase of the winter plan to manage COVID-19.

Premier Blaine Higgs said Friday that vaccinating more children against COVID-19 and ensuring more adults receive their booster dose over the next week will help New Brunswick return to Level 2 of the winter plan on Jan. 30 at 11:59 p.m.

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