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A New Study Shows Social Well Being Plays An Important Part In Childs Health

A nation wide study conducted on more than 57,000 children found that greater the social disadvantage the children have, // like being poor or having a single mother who is a high school dropout, greater are their chances of becoming sick, immaterial of race or health insurance coverage.

Sociologists have always believed for long that growing up in physically or mentally impoverishing conditions is bad for children, but this study is the first to show that increase in social disadvantages increasingly magnifies the health risks children face.

Dr. Ruth Stein, a pediatrician at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Children's Hospital at Montefiore, Bronx, said that the children having three main social disadvantages like poverty, low parental education and single-parent household were four times more likely to be in poor, fair or good health than children with none of these risk factors to be, as opposed to very good or excellent health. She further explained that children with all the three risk factors were twice as likely as children with none to have a chronic health condition such as asthma, diabetes or mental retardation. She also reported in the April issue of Pediatrics, a journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, that children who had two of the risk factors were three times as likely to be in poor, fair or good health than those with none, and youngsters with one risk factor had twice the health risk.

Dr Stein further stated that the children were in rather grave situations because so many of them were under these risk factors and many of them have multiples of these risk factors. Stating that to have healthy kids to growing up to be healthy adults, the need to tackle these problems was important, she explained.

The researchers estimate that about 6.2 million American children have all three risk factors, 9.6 million have two and 18.9 million have one. Paul Newacheck, professor of health policy and pediatri
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