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Kids Take Pills for Obesity Related Diseases

Posted on Monday, November 3, 2008 at 12:20PM by Registered CommenterPennino Corp. CEO | Comments1 Comment | References3 References

Nov. 3 (Bloomberg) -- More American children are taking pills for diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol than ever before, reflecting a rise in chronic diseases related to obesity, a study found.

Use of drugs for type-2 diabetes, the form of the disease commonly seen in overweight adults, doubled in children ages 5 to 19 and cholesterol-lowering medications rose by 15 percent between 2002 and 2005, according to the report published today by the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

A surge in obesity among children puts them at risk for diabetes, hypertension and other conditions, said researchers from Express Scripts Inc., the Pediatric Research Institute at St. Louis University and the Kansas Health Institute in Topeka who worked on the study. The report supports earlier data published in June by Harvard University researchers that found a fourfold increase in childhood obesity over three decades.

``Ten or 15 years ago we weren't even discussing these conditions, which were mainly in adults,'' said Emily Cox, a senior director of research at St. Louis-based Express Scripts, which provided data for the research. ``Now we are seeing a growing number of children being treated for chronic conditions that they are going to take into adulthood.''

The study tracked the prescription drug records collected by Express Scripts, which manages pharmacy benefits, for about 3 million children a year. Use of drugs for asthma, also linked to obesity, rose 47 percent and high blood pressure medicines rose 2 percent, the report said.

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