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Percentage of US children who have chronic health conditions on the rise

Diseases such as asthma and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have increased at a disproportionate rate among children living in poverty, according to new research being presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies 2016 Meeting

Date:
April 30, 2016
Source:
American Academy of Pediatrics
Summary:
The percentage of children with chronic health conditions is on the rise, and new research shows this is especially true among children who live in or near poverty.
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The percentage of children with chronic health conditions is on the rise, and new research being presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies 2016 Meeting shows this is especially true among children who live in or near poverty.

Researchers presenting the study abstract, "National Trends in Prevalence and Co-morbid Chronic Conditions among Children with Asthma, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder," looked at data from the National Survey of Children's Health data for 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2012 to spot trends surrounding these conditions by sociodemographic characteristics in the United States.

The study found more significant increases in asthma and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) among children living in poverty, as compared to their wealthier counterparts. Poor children with these conditions also were more likely to have two or more additional diseases. Those living in extreme poverty who had asthma and ADHD, for example, were roughly twice as likely to have at least one other chronic medical condition. Some of the more common co-existing conditions included developmental delays, autism, depression or anxiety, behavioral or conduct issues, speech and language problems, epilepsy/seizure disorders and learning disabilities. Among children who had public health insurance, significant increases were seen among all the chronic diseases studied.

Lead author Christian D. Pulcini, MD, MEd, MPH, said the findings highlight the importance of studying poverty and its impact on children's health. "Especially with the recent release of the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines suggesting poverty screening as an essential component at every child health visit, we need to be aware that poor children already at greater risk for common childhood illnesses such as asthma, ADHD and autism often face even more medical conditions on top of these."


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American Academy of Pediatrics. "Percentage of US children who have chronic health conditions on the rise: Diseases such as asthma and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have increased at a disproportionate rate among children living in poverty, according to new research being presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies 2016 Meeting." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 April 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160430100357.htm>.
American Academy of Pediatrics. (2016, April 30). Percentage of US children who have chronic health conditions on the rise: Diseases such as asthma and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have increased at a disproportionate rate among children living in poverty, according to new research being presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies 2016 Meeting. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 29, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160430100357.htm
American Academy of Pediatrics. "Percentage of US children who have chronic health conditions on the rise: Diseases such as asthma and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have increased at a disproportionate rate among children living in poverty, according to new research being presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies 2016 Meeting." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160430100357.htm (accessed May 29, 2017).

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