Researchers in Kansas and Missouri report that chronic medication use in children increased over a three-year period across all therapies studied, with the prevalence rate for type 2 antidiabetic agents doubling. Emily Cox, et al., “Trends in the Prevalence of Chronic Medication Use in Children: 2002-2005,” Pediatrics, November 2008. The study involved a sampling of commercially insured children, ages 5 to 19, and medications for asthma, attention-deficit disorder, depression, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. The researchers suggest that the increasing use of type 2 antidiabetic drugs was driven by 166 percent and 135 percent increases in prevalence among girls aged 10 to 14 and 15 to 19, respectively. Type 2 diabetes was once known as adult-onset diabetes, because it is linked to obesity, but it is appearing more in children. The study concludes with a call for more research into the factors responsible for the trends, “including growth in chronic disease risk factors, greater awareness and screening, and greater affinity toward early use of drug therapy in children.”

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