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|In a mere five years, from 1997 to 2002, youngsters ages 5 to 17 restricted by poor health jumped from 7.8 percent to 8.5 percent of their demographic, with the rate for boys skipping from 10 percent to 10.7 percent and for girls from 5.5 percent to 6.2 percent.
"It's frightening to see how chronic conditions are increasing in incidence," said Dr. Alan Cohen, adjunct assistant professor of pediatrics at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. "The (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta) reports the burden of chronic disease is overwhelming, accounting for seven of every 10 deaths."
It also accounts for 75 percent of the $1 trillion the U.S. economy now spends on healthcare each year, including $132 billion for expenses related to diabetes and $100 billion for obesity.
"Last century, we could talk of infectious diseases (as) a major burden; now, in the United States, we have new morbidities to tax us," observed Dr. Charles Prober, associate chair of pediatrics at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
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