Prevalence of chronic conditions among children and youth increased from 1988 to 2006

Researchers at MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Harvard School of Public Health in Boston examined the prevalence of chronic health conditions including obesity, asthma, other physical conditions, and behavior/learning problems in three consecutive groups of children, each over a six-year period.  The study was released in the Feb. 17 Journal of the American Medical Association.

Key findings:

  • The prevalence of having a chronic condition during any part of the 6-year study period increased approximately 10% with each group, with 51.5% of the third group (8 – 14 year olds) reporting a chronic condition during the most recent study period. 
  • There were higher rates of chronic health conditions reported among male, Hispanic and black youth.
  • Prevalence of chronic conditions among children and youth increased from 1988 to 2006. However, presence of these conditions was dynamic.

(SOURCES: AHA News Now, http://ahanews.com, February 16, 2010; Journal of the American Medical Association, http://jama.ama-assn.org, February 17, 2010)