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      Norwegian adolescents’ use of energy drinks and painkillers and misuse of prescription drugs prior to and during the initial COVID-19 pandemic year: Evidence from the MyLife study


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          This study aimed to examine and compare the use of energy drinks, over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers and misuse of prescription drugs in two cohorts of Norwegian adolescents entering high school (i.e. grade 11) immediately prior to and during the initial year of the COVID-19 pandemic.


          Accelerated longitudinal design and multi-cohort sampling enabled identification of the two socio-demographically comparable cohorts of grade 11 students: (a) COVID-19 cohort assessed in the autumn of 2020 ( n=915) and (b) pre-COVID-19 cohort assessed in the autumn of 2018/19 ( n=1621). Unadjusted and adjusted logistic and Poisson models were used to estimate the proportion of (mis)users and use frequencies among (mis)users in two cohorts.


          Energy drinks use was both more common in the COVID-19 cohort (60.8% vs. 52.5%; adjusted odds ratio=1.40, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.18–1.66, p<0.001) and more frequent among users from this cohort than among their pre-COVID-19 counterparts (9.58 vs. 7.79 days past month, adjusted incidence risk ratio (aIRR)=1.23, 95% CI 1.14–1.32, p<0.001). No cohort differences were observed in OTC painkillers use. Prescription drugs misuse was equally common in the two cohorts but was more frequent among misusers from the COVID-19 cohort than among their pre-COVID-19 counterparts (18.94 vs. 12.45 times past year, aIRR=1.52, 95% CI 1.10–2.10, p<0.001).


          Norwegian adolescents from the COVID-19 cohort were more likely to use energy drinks and, once engaged in these behaviours, to use energy drinks and misuse prescription drugs more frequently than their pre-COVID-19 counterparts.

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          Most cited references26

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          Adolescent psychiatric disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown

          Highlights • The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown may have a negative impact on the mental health of adolescents. • Epidemics and disasters are associated with adolescent Post Traumatic Stress, Depression, and Anxiety symptoms. • Home confinement may be associated with increased intrafamilial violence. • Healthcare system adaptations are necessary for mental health support despite the lockdown. • Data is scarce on adolescent psychiatric disorders during epidemics and pandemics.
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            Adolescents' perceptions of social status: development and evaluation of a new indicator.

            Eliminating health disparities, including those that are a result of socioeconomic status (SES), is one of the overarching goals of Healthy People 2010. This article reports on the development of a new, adolescent-specific measure of subjective social status (SSS) and on initial exploratory analyses of the relationship of SSS to adolescents' physical and psychological health. A cross-sectional study of 10 843 adolescents and a subsample of 166 paired adolescent/mother dyads who participated in the Growing Up Today Study was conducted. The newly developed MacArthur Scale of Subjective Social Status (10-point scale) was used to measure SSS. Paternal education was the measure of SES. Indicators of psychological and physical health included depressive symptoms and obesity, respectively. Linear regression analyses determined the association of SSS to depressive symptoms, and logistic regression determined the association of SSS to overweight and obesity, controlling for sociodemographic factors and SES. Mean society ladder ranking, a subjective measure of SES, was 7.2 +/- 1.3. Mean community ladder ranking, a measure of perceived placement in the school community, was 7.6 +/- 1.7. Reliability of the instrument was excellent: the intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.73 for the society ladder and 0.79 for the community ladder. Adolescents had higher society ladder rankings than their mothers (micro(teen) = 7.2 +/- 1.3 vs micro(mom) = 6.8 +/- 1.2; P =.002). Older adolescents' perceptions of familial placement in society were more closely correlated with maternal subjective perceptions of placement than those of younger adolescents (Spearman's rho(teens <15 years) = 0.31 vs Spearman's rho(teens 15 years) = 0.45; P <.001 for both). SSS explained 9.9% of the variance in depressive symptoms and was independently associated with obesity (odds ratio(society) = 0.89, 95% confidence interval = 0.83, 0.95; odds ratio(community) = 0.91, 95% confidence interval = 0.87, 0.97). For both depressive symptoms and obesity, community ladder rankings were more strongly associated with health than were society ladder rankings in models that controlled for both domains of SSS. This new instrument can reliably measure SSS among adolescents. Social stratification as reflected by SSS is associated with adolescents' health. The findings suggest that as adolescents mature, SSS may undergo a developmental shift. Determining how these changes in SSS relate to health and how SSS functions prospectively with regard to health outcomes requires additional research.
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              Health effects of energy drinks on children, adolescents, and young adults.

              To review the effects, adverse consequences, and extent of energy drink consumption among children, adolescents, and young adults. We searched PubMed and Google using "energy drink," "sports drink," "guarana," "caffeine," "taurine," "ADHD," "diabetes," "children," "adolescents," "insulin," "eating disorders," and "poison control center" to identify articles related to energy drinks. Manufacturer Web sites were reviewed for product information. According to self-report surveys, energy drinks are consumed by 30% to 50% of adolescents and young adults. Frequently containing high and unregulated amounts of caffeine, these drinks have been reported in association with serious adverse effects, especially in children, adolescents, and young adults with seizures, diabetes, cardiac abnormalities, or mood and behavioral disorders or those who take certain medications. Of the 5448 US caffeine overdoses reported in 2007, 46% occurred in those younger than 19 years. Several countries and states have debated or restricted energy drink sales and advertising. Energy drinks have no therapeutic benefit, and many ingredients are understudied and not regulated. The known and unknown pharmacology of agents included in such drinks, combined with reports of toxicity, raises concern for potentially serious adverse effects in association with energy drink use. In the short-term, pediatricians need to be aware of the possible effects of energy drinks in vulnerable populations and screen for consumption to educate families. Long-term research should aim to understand the effects in at-risk populations. Toxicity surveillance should be improved, and regulations of energy drink sales and consumption should be based on appropriate research.

                Author and article information

                Scand J Public Health
                Scand J Public Health
                Scandinavian Journal of Public Health
                SAGE Publications (Sage UK: London, England )
                21 December 2022
                21 December 2022
                : 14034948221141516
                [1 ]Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Norway
                [2 ]Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Norway
                Author notes
                [*]Jasmina Burdzovic Andreas, Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drugs, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, PO Box 222, Skøyen, 0213 Oslo, Norway. E-mail: jabu@ 123456fhi.no
                Author information
                © Author(s) 2022

                This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic or until permissions are revoked in writing. Upon expiration of these permissions, PMC is granted a perpetual license to make this article available via PMC and Europe PMC, consistent with existing copyright protections.

                : 22 March 2022
                : 28 September 2022
                : 27 October 2022
                Short Communication
                Custom metadata

                Public health
                covid-19,adolescents,energy drinks,painkillers,prescription drugs,substance use
                Public health
                covid-19, adolescents, energy drinks, painkillers, prescription drugs, substance use


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