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Kids Growing Up on Grown Up Drugs: New Research Shows Treatments for Adult Ailments Rapidly Rising in Children
Date:5/15/2008

Lifestyle Factors Pushing Children's Use of Prescription Drugs for Health

Conditions Once Seen Primarily in Adults

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J., May 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Health problems long considered adult conditions and caused in large part by lifestyle factors are rapidly afflicting children and leading to a surge in pediatric use of prescription drugs to treat these ills.

New research released today by Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) shows that the number of children taking medications to treat type 2 diabetes, sleep problems and gastrointestinal disorders such as heartburn has more than doubled in a seven-year span. Based on this data, there are now approximately 1.2 million children in the U.S. taking these traditionally adult medications.

The analysis, which reviewed prescription claims of about 600,000 insured children ages 19 and under, also reveals that heart disease-related conditions are creeping into childhood. While the prevalence rate is still quite small, the use of medications to treat high cholesterol and high blood pressure in children is on the rise.

"It's a 21st century reality that pediatricians are treating more and more young people suffering from conditions like type 2 diabetes once associated almost exclusively with adults," states Dr. Renee Jenkins, FAAP, President of the American Academy of Pediatrics. "Lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise should always be recommended to patients and evaluated by physicians before they prescribe any medications."

According to the research, use of type 2 diabetes medications saw the greatest spike, rising more than 150 percent from 2001 to 2007; girls led the way with a three-fold increase. The prevalence of chi
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SOURCE Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
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