Children Have Different Chronic Care Needs
Asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood, affecting an estimated 5 million children. The total number of new cases of children and adults with asthma has more than doubled in the past two decades (increasing from 7 million to 15 million). Children have the highest rates of asthma, and the number of pediatric cases increased by 92% over the past decade, especially among children from poor, urban, and minority communities.
Traditionally, children have been at great risk for developing juvenile diabetes (Type I), a condition of childhood. Now, a growing number of young children are developing Type II diabetes, a disease more typically found in adults. This alarming growth is most likely related to increasing rates of obesity among children. Researchers estimate that between 8% and 45% of all children newly diagnosed with diabetes have Type II.
About 8,600 children under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2001. Because of significant advances in therapy, 75% of these children will survive 5 years or more, an increase of almost 40% since the early 1960s. Despite its rarity, cancer is still the leading cause of disease-related death in children under 15. In 2001, about 1,500 children are projected to die from cancer.