Number of children with chronic health issues on rise

March 1, 2010

Chronic illnesses, including asthma and obesity, affect more than 25% of US children, but many children are able to overcome their conditions as time passes, according to new findings.

Chronic illnesses, including asthma and obesity, affect more than 25% of US children, but many children are able to overcome their conditions as time passes, according to findings published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

For the study, the investigators compiled data from a government survey of 3 cohorts of children aged 2 to 8 years who were then followed for 6 years (1988-1994, n=2,337; 1994-2000, n=1,759; 2000-2006, n=905).

The rate of chronic health issues-obesity, asthma, and mental issues (eg, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder)-doubled to 26.6% in 2006 from 12.8% in 1994.

Only 7.4% of the children had a chronic condition at the study's beginning and end; 9.3% of the children had a chronic condition at the study's start that was not present at the study's close.