Chronic Childhood Disorders

We knew obesity was a growing problem here in the U.S., and we knew that more children were being diagnosed with attention deficits. However, these chronic conditions don't appear to be the only ones on the rise; according to a study published today in JAMA, a number of diseases, including physical ailments such as allergies and other behavioral/learning disorders, are becoming more and prevalent, and in a big way.

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The study, which was designed to analyze rates of chronic conditions over time, whether the incidence was increasing, and if conditions persist or resolve over time, found that increases were substantial between three cohorts of children, rising from 12.8% in the 1994 group (=2,337), to 25.1% in the 2000 group (=1,759), and 26.6% in the 2006 group (=905). Each cohort consisted of children aged 2-8 years and received follow up for 6 years.

The good news is that while about half of children in the 2006 group had a chronic condition at some point during the 6-year study period, the conditions remitted for a period of time or resolved completely in many cases — another tribute to the remarkable resilience of kids. The study results also underscore the importance of primary care and the need to understand how chronic conditions develop.

Via Medgaget, an additional use for gaming systems — an aid to assist clinicians in diagnosing behavioral disorders, such as ADHD. It’s not immediately clear to me the value this provides above and beyond, say, a combination of a traditional ADHD assessment and a psychoeducational evaluation, outside of trying to reduce subjectivity. The website gives you access to one study regarding minimizing placebo response to medication, but much of the information appears to educational, concerning ADHD itself.

Also, as a reminder, USPS 2010 is coming up in March in San Diego, so if you’d like to go, you’ll want to register soon. Here’s a link to view the sessions offered in case you haven’t decided.

We knew obesity was a growing problem here in the U.S., and we knew that more children were being diagnosed with attention deficits. However, these chronic conditions don’t appear to be the only ones on the rise; according to a study published today in JAMA, a number of diseases, including physical ailments such as allergies and other behavioral/learning disorders, are becoming more and prevalent, and in a big way. The entire article can be viewed free of charge, if you’re interested.