Trends in the Well-Being of America's Children and Youth, 1997. HC 2.4 Chronic health conditions

04/01/1997

Chronic health problems can cause children to miss school and often require medical assistance and follow-up. Chronic conditions can also create stress for children and their parents, cause parents to lose time from work, and increase a familys medical expenses.

Over the period from 1984 to 1994, respiratory conditions have been the most prevalent chronic health problems experienced by children under age 17, followed by skin conditions, and impairments (see Figure HC 2.4). In general, there are few pronounced patterns of improvement or deterioration among those conditions shown (see Table HC 2.4). Two exceptions, however, are asthma and chronic sinusitis. The prevalence of these two chronic conditions increased incrementally from 1984 to 1993, but declined slightly in 1994. In 1984, asthma affected 43 children per thousand, compared with 69 children per thousand in 1994; chronic sinusitis affected 47 children per thousand in 1984, and 65 children per thousand by 1994.
 
 

Figure HC 2.4  
Selected Chronic Health Conditions per 1,000 Children Ages 0-17: 1994 

HC2_4.GIF

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Current Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey: United States 1994, Vital and Health Statistics, Series 10, No. 193, Table 70.
 
 

Table HC 2.4 
Selected Chronic Health Conditionsa per 1,000 Children 
Ages 0-17: Selected Years, 1984-1994

 
     
number per 1,000
Type of Conditions
1984
1987
1990
1992
1993
1994
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  Respiratory Conditions
    Hay fever, allergic rhinitis without Asthma
61
64
57
71
57
61
    Chronic bronchitis
50
62
53
54
59
55
    Chronic sinusitis
47
58
57
69
80
65
    Asthma
43
53
58
63
72
69
    Chronic diseases of tonsils or adenoids
34
30
23
28
26
23
 
  Skin Conditions
    Dermatitis
39
32
31
41
36
38
    Serious acne
26
26
26
25
28
29
 
  Impairments
    Deformity or orthopedic impairment
35
36
29
33
29
28
    Speech impairment
16
19
14
21
20
21
    Hearing impairment
24
16
21
15
17
18
    Visual impairment
9
10
9
10
7
9
 
  Other Conditions
    Heart disease
23
22
19
19
20
18
    Migraine headache
11
8
14
13
13
16
    Anemia
11
8
10
11
9
12
    Epilepsy
7
4
4
3
5
5
 
Notes: aChronic conditions as defined in the National Health Interview Survey are conditions that either a) were first noticed three months or more before the reference date of the interview; or b) belong to a group of conditions (including heart diseases, diabetes, and others) that are considered chronic regardless of when they began. The prevalence estimates are based on reports by parents or other adult respondents in response to checklists administered in household interviews.  

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, "Current Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey: United States," 1984, 1987, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994; Vital and Health Statistics, Series 10, Nos. 150, 156, 166, 181, 189, 190, and 1993, Tables 57 and 62.

 

 

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