According to a new report published in the November 2008 issue of
Pediatrics, the number of children being medicated for chronic
illnesses in the U.S. is rapidly increasing. The findings come from
medical insurance data collected from 3.5 million insured children aged
5 to 19 years old during 2002 through 2005. During this period,
researchers discovered that all chronic illnesses tracked were
associated with medication increases with most significantly increased.
Those medications tracked included anti-hypertensives,
anti-hyperlipidemics, type-2 anti-diabetics, anti-depressants,
attention-deficit disorder (ADD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity
disorder (ADHD) medications, and asthma-controller therapy. Some of the
significant increases in medications included type-2 anti-diabetic
medications doubling, asthma medications increasing 46.5 percent, ADD
and ADHD medications increasing 40.4 percent, and anti-hyperlipidemic
medications increasing 15 percent. In the report, authors stated, "As
chronic prescription use grows, so too do the risks of drug-related
adverse effects and drug-drug interactions."
Source: Pediatrics, Vol. 122 No. 5 November 2008.