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Study: Sharp Spike in Obesity-Linked Diagnosis Among Kids, Teens

Study: Sharp Spike in Obesity-Linked Diagnosis Among Kids, Teens

(AP)

By    |   Monday, 16 January 2017 10:33 PM

Kids and teens have gotten heavier over the last decade, noted by a sharp rise in health insurance claims over the last five years filed on behalf of young people who have high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea and other conditions associated with older adults, a new study finds.

FAIR Health analyzed data from a large national database of health claims paid by about 60 insurers from 2011 to 2015 and found the following:

  • The percentage of infants and toddlers to adults with claims of obesity-related diagnosis increased annually in all age groups.
  • The increase in obesity-related diagnosis claims in age groups 19 to 22 was 154 percent.
  • Claims for Type 2 diabetes more than doubled in the pediatric population (ages 0-22), increasing 109 percent.
  • Females were diagnosed more frequently with obesity than males in most pediatric age groups, but males were more frequently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
  • Two conditions that are obesity-related, obstructive sleep apnea and hypertension, rose in the pediatric population by 161 percent and 67 percent, respectively.

FAIR Health is a national, independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to transparency in healthcare costs and health insurance information.

The findings are "frightening," Dr. Stephen Pont, a pediatrician and medical director of the childhood obesity center at Dell Children's Medical Center in Austin, Texas, told NPR News.

"The vast majority of kids should never have high blood pressure or diabetes or sleep apnea," said Pont. "Now we're seeing those consequences in kids. That will result in shorter lives and lower quality of life."

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Kids and teens have gotten heavier over the last decade, noted by a sharp rise in health insurance claims over the last five years filed on behalf of young people who have high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea and other conditions associated with older adults, a new study finds.
obesity, children, teens, rise
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2017-33-16
Monday, 16 January 2017 10:33 PM
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