Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder,Asthma,Poverty,Autism,Emergency department,Primary care,Disease,Child

The poorest kids have the highest rates of asthma and ADHD

February 15, 2017
in Kids

An overall increase in rates of asthma and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder affected the poorest families the most, found a Pediatrics study released online earlier this week. Researchers also studied autism and found these rates also grew during the same period between 2003 and 2011, but did not appear to differ by socioeconomic group. That probably speaks to the genetic and neurological underpinnings of autism, and it appears that broad social factors do not affect the rate. They found the asthma rate grew in all economic groups, but it went up much higher in our poorest families, with the rate now over 17 percent in the lowest income group. The same pattern held for ADHD, with over 12 percent in the lowest income group, higher than other families. The increase seems quite striking for these medical conditions, but obvious to many families with children and those who care for them. A study published last month found that ADHD accounts for a large chunk of health care costs for children, and that asthma accounts for many emergency department visits. This new study, which is based on standard telephone interviews of families, also shows the relationship between poverty and these health problems. As the authors note, poor children are exposed to...

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