54% of Children Chronically Ill, Report Finds

A new report published in Academic Pediatrics suggests that over half of American children suffer from some chronic disease (for example, obesity, asthma, or autism). The study examined data from the 2007 National Survey of Child’s Health, which represented at least 1700 children from each state and DC.

Researchers made some alarming discoveries as to the status of children’s health in America today:

  • 54% of children aged 0-17 have a chronic illness of some kind
  • 31.6% of children aged 10-17 are overweight or obese
  • 26.4% of children under 6 are estimated as having a moderate to high risk of chronic developmental, social, and behavioral problems
  • 49.9% of all children with the health conditions examined in the study had parents who described the conditions as moderate to severe (as opposed to mild)
  • Nearly 1 in 5 of all children assessed experience 2 or more of the health conditions surveyed
  • Publicly insured children are more likely than privately insured children to experience 1 or more of the 20 chronic health conditions examined in the study
  • 23.5% of the children had parents who found their health insurance was never or rarely adequate in terms of coverage, cost and access to the needed health care for their child

Based on these discoveries, two things are clear:

  1. Our children are experiencing high rates of chronic illness. These rates are much higher than in the past. In the 2003 National Survey of Child’s Health, only 7.9% identified their children as having health conditions that were moderate or severe, as opposed to 10.6% in 2007.
  2. Our society is having more and more trouble providing for these children. Put another way, these chronic illnesses prove a high cost for our society. No parent should ever have to face the prospect of denying their children critical healthcare due to financial need. Yet, 23.5% of the parents studied faced just that, every day.

There has to be a reason for the increasing numbers of children with serious health problems, and the reason has to be environmental. As we have often written on this site, there is reason to believe that vaccines may contribute to increasing chronic illness in our children. Don’t be another statistic – stay informed to make the best choices for your child.

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