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Chronic Health Conditions

Narrative

In 2007, the parents of 22.3 percent of children reported that their child had one or more of 16 chronic physical or mental health conditions. The five most commonly reported conditions were asthma, learning disabilities, attention deficit or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD), speech problems, and oppositional defiant or conduct disorder. The least commonly reported conditions addressed in the survey were brain injury or concussion and Tourette syndrome.

The proportion of children with one or more conditions varied by race/ethnicity. Nearly 30 percent of non-Hispanic Black children had one or more chronic conditions while the same was true for 18.3 percent of Hispanic children and 22.5 percent of non-Hispanic White children. The proportion of children with chronic conditions was also greater among those living in households with incomes less than 100 percent or between 100-199 percent of the Federal poverty level ($20,650 for a family of four in 2007), with 27.0 and 24.2 percent of poor and near-poor children, respectively, having at least one reported condition compared to 18.9 percent of children living in families with incomes of 400 percent or more of the Federal poverty level.

Among children with at least one of these 16 health conditions, 47.8 percent were reported to have one or more moderate or severe conditions. Of the 9.0 percent of children with asthma, the majority (71.3 percent) had parents who reported the condition to be mild, while 23.1 percent had a condition reported to be moderate and 5.6 percent had a condition reported to be severe. Parent-reported severity of asthma varied by race/ethnicity: 10.3 percent of non-Hispanic Black children were severely affected by their asthma, followed by 6.5 percent of Hispanic children and 3.1 percent of non-Hispanic White children.

Graphs

This image is described in the Data section.

5 common chronic conditions graph

This image is described in the Data section.

children with asthma by race graph

Data

Five Most Common Chronic Conditions* Among Children Aged 0-17 Years, 2007

Percent of Children:

  • Asthma: 9.0
  • Learning Disabilities: 7.8
  • ADD/ADHD: 6.4
  • Speech Problems: 3.7
  • Oppositional Defiant or Conduct Disorder: 3.3

*Based on parent-report that a doctor or other health care provider ever told them that their child had a particular condition.

Source: Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Survey of Children’s Health. Unpublished data.  

Children Aged 0-17 Years with Asthma, by Condition Severity* and Race/Ethnicity, 2007
Condition Severity Percent of Children
Total Non-Hispanic White Non-Hispanic Black Hispanic
*Based on parent-report.
Source: Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Survey of Children’s Health. Unpublished data. 
Mild 71.3 76.7 64.3 64.0
Moderate 23.1 20.4 25.5 29.6
Severe 5.6 3.1 10.3 6.5

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