Navigation Links
Use of Kids' Meds on the Increase

Obesity and its complications driving the trend, researchers say

MONDAY, Nov. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Medication use among children across the United States is dramatically increasing as more kids are being treated for diabetes, asthma and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), researchers report.

Increased prescribing may be due in large part to increasing obesity among children and the health consequences of that trend, researchers say.

"Across all the medication classes we looked at, the rates of use increased -- sometimes dramatically," said study co-author Dr. Donna Halloran, an assistant professor of pediatrics at St. Louis University. "This is particularly concerning, given that several of these diagnoses have been linked to obesity -- diabetes, hypertension, depression, asthma."

The report was published in the November issue of Pediatrics.

For the study, Halloran's team looked at medication use among U.S. children from 2002 to 2005. Using a database of prescription claims from children with private health insurance, they were able to find prescriptions for almost 4 million children.

The researchers found that over four years, prescriptions for children aged 5 to 19 increased significantly. Among two drugs to treat type 2 diabetes, the use doubled. This increase was due to a 166 percent increase in prevalence of the disease among girls aged 10 to 14, and a 135 percent increase in prevalence among girls age 15 to 19.

In addition, the use of drugs to treat asthma rose by 46.5 percent, and the use of drugs to treat ADHD grew by 40.4 percent. The number of prescriptions for cholesterol-lowering drugs rose by 15 percent, the researchers found.

Halloran's group also found more modest increases in the use of blood pressure drugs and antidepressants (1.8 percent).

The increased rate of prescribing was much higher for girls than boys. For example, the use of drugs to treat type 2 diabetes increased 147 percent among girls, but only 39 percent among boys.

The use of drugs to treat ADHD increased 63 percent among girls and 33 percent among boys, and the use of antidepressants rose 7 percent among girls compared with 4 percent among boys.

"Whether the increased use of medications is a good thing really depends on your perspective," said study co-author Emily R. Cox, manager of outcomes research at Express Scripts Inc., in St. Louis. "Most people who would look at these numbers would indicate that these are worrisome trends."

"We need to understand what is driving this increase," Cox said. "Really, these are symptoms of underlying problems."

As the number of obese children increases, the number of children with chronic diseases is also increasing, Cox said. "That they are being treated is a good thing," she said. "The concern is, are doctors more likely to use drug therapy over diet and exercise?"

Dr. Michael Artman, head of the department of pediatrics at the University of Iowa, is concerned that children with chronic health problems who have private health insurance are getting better care than similar children who rely on government programs or who have no health insurance.

"I can imagine that the need is as great or even greater among disadvantaged children," Artman said. "We know the prevalence of those chronic conditions in disadvantaged socioeconomic classes is greater. This is kind of the tip of the iceberg in children's prescribing."

Artman also noted there is more data on prescribing medications to children, which makes doctors more confident in prescribing and means that children are getting better care.

"Now we actually have data on drug effects and side effects and toxicity and efficacy in children that we didn't have two or three decades ago," he said. "This is an important advance in pediatric medicine."

More information

For more about obesity in children, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Emily R. Cox, Ph.D., manager, outcomes research, Express Scripts Inc., St. Louis; Donna Halloran, M.D., assistant professor, pediatrics, St. Louis University; Michael Artman, M.D., professor and head, department of pediatrics, University of Iowa, Iowa City; November 2008 Pediatrics

Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Combo Treatment Best for Anxiety Disorder in Kids
2. Fueling Kids for Sports
3. Halloween Candy: Its Not How Much Kids Eat, Its When
4. Given a Choice, Kids Make Smart Choices
5. and American Dietetic Association Collaborate to Help Parents Avoid Sugar-Induced Halloween Hangover in Kids
6. Neighborhood greenness has long term positive impact on kids health
7. Supersized P.E.: Ten Tips to Help Overweight Kids Get Healthy
8. General Anesthesia Tied to Developmental Woes in Kids
9. Important Information, You Cant Afford to Miss ... NBC 10 and Childrens Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Invite Local Families To Learn About FREE or Low-cost Health Insurance for Uninsured Kids and Teens up to Age 19
10. KidsPeace Awarded Gold Seal of Approval by Joint Commission
11. New EPA Lead Standard Significantly Improved to Protect Kids Health
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Use of Kids' Meds on the Increase
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... ... A team of Swiss doctors has released a report on mesothelioma relapse ... the findings on the website. Click here to read the details now. ... who were treated with chemotherapy followed by EPP surgery. Among the 106 patients who ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... the November 27th edition of USA Today in Atlanta, Dallas, New York, Minneapolis, ... of 750,000. The digital component is distributed nationally, through a vast social media ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... the well-respected Microsoft Dynamics SL User Group (MSDSLUG). Recognized as Microsoft’s official group ... group of Microsoft Dynamics SL software users, partners, industry experts and representatives. Intellitec ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... CBD College is proud to ... Programs (CAAHEP) awarded accreditation to its Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. CBD College is honored ... one of twelve colleges and universities in the state of California make the cut. ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Indosoft ... announces the incorporation of Asterisk 11 LTS (Long Term Support) into its Q-Suite ... LTS brings Q-Suite 5.10 up-to-date with a version of Asterisk that will receive ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... the "2016 Future Horizons and Growth ... Testing Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, ... their offering. --> ) ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 ... the  "2016 Future Horizons and Growth ... Monitoring (TDM) Market: Supplier Shares, Country ...  report to their offering.  --> ... addition of the  "2016 Future Horizons ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... DUBLIN , November 26, 2015 ... has announced the addition of the  ... in the European Cell Surface Marker ... Emerging Opportunities"  report to their offering.  ... announced the addition of the  "2016 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: