Poverty Status Influences Trends of Chronic Medical Conditions
– Researchers from Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC have shown how poverty status in uences the prevalence of three common chronic medical conditions: asthma, attention de cit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Researchers analyzed data obtained by the National
Survey of Children’s Health for the years 2003, 2007 and 2011-12. They identi ed trends of each condition and other chronic medical conditions that children with these conditions may have. During the study’s time period, the lifetime prevalence of asthma rose 18 percent; ADHD rose by 44 percent; and ASD rose nearly 400 percent. For children with asthma, the rise was most prominent among the poor, at nearly 26 percent. The percent change by poverty status for ADHD was similar, though the rise in ASD was not associated with poverty status. It also was found that children with asthma and ADHD from impoverished households were more likely to have additional chronic medical conditions. “Our study emphasizes the continued need to investigate the impact of poverty on child health, as well as con rms the need for increased awareness of the e ects of poverty on children to inform child health policy,” said Christian Pulcini, M.D., M.Ed., M.P.H., graduate medical resident at Children’s Hospital and rst author of the study.