The number of children taking medications for chronic conditions significantly increased between 2002 and 2005.
According to a recent study in the journal Pediatrics, the number of children taking medications for conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, asthma, depression, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders significantly increased between 2002 and 2005. The study was based on prescription records of children age 5-19 years who were covered by Express Scripts, and did not take into account the “40% of children who are uninsured or covered by government-sponsored health care plans.” Based on these criteria, researchers reported the following statistics for the studied time period:
Study author Donna Halloran, a pediatrician at St. Louis University, explained that pediatricians have been aware of such trends in their practices but that the sharp increase is most surprising. “There are concerns that we're moving too quickly to drug therapy. We don't know that drug therapy is best for some of these conditions,” said Cox.