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Obesity, chronic conditions up in US children PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 19 February 2010 02:59


Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 11:15

WASHINGTON: Chronic conditions including asthma, obesity and behaviour disorders have become more common among US children in recent years, with environmental changes and more diagnoses partly to blame, a study published yesterday shows.

Researchers led by Jeanne Van Cleave, a doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children in Boston, looked at the prevalence of conditions that lasted a year or longer in three groups of children, starting with a first cohort of more than 2,000 kids in 1988.

That group was tracked for six years, after which a second group was studied between 1994-2000 and finally a third group from 2000- 2006.

Mothers of the children were asked whether their kids had any “physical, emotional or mental condition that prevented him or her from attending school regularly, doing regular school work or doing usual childhood activities, or that required frequent attention or treatment from a doctor or other health professional.”

The information gathered was classified into one of four categories of chronic condition: asthma, behaviour or learning disorders, obesity and other physical conditions.

“We found that prevalence of a chronic condition at any point during the study period was very high and increased over time,” the authors of the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, said.

“Many factors may have contributed, including environmental changes, which may affect rates of chronic respiratory conditions and obesity,” and greater access to health care for children during the study period,  which would have boosted diagnoses of childhood chronic conditions, the study said.


Last Updated on Friday, 19 February 2010 03:02