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Elderly Kids: Alarming Number of US Children Affected by Adult-Onset Diseases

As kids across the country head back to school, Practice Fusion's Research Division tracks a prevalence of age-related illnesses among children

Aug 23, 2012, 08:00 ET from Practice Fusion

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Children in the United States are showing a high incidence of diseases commonly associated with aging and adulthood, according to Practice Fusion's Research Division, which analyzes public health trends leveraging data from the company's Electronic Health Record (EHR) platform. The study found that obesity-related diseases such as hypertension, type II diabetes and sleep apnea have reached alarming rates among children, in spite of the common misconception that such illnesses are limited to older Americans.


"As an endocrinologist, I've seen firsthand the devastating effect that these conditions can have," said Dr. Michael West of the Washington Endocrine Clinic. "As both a doctor and a user of Practice Fusion, however, it's been exciting to see researchers use secure, electronic health data to increase our understanding of the prevalence of disease. This kind of work has huge potential to affect how we approach and treat these illnesses."

Key findings from the study:

  • 1 in 10 US children between the ages of 10-18 are diagnosed with hypertension (high blood pressure), with obese children three times more susceptible than children with a normal bodyweight
  • About 20,000 children across the US population ages 10-18 (roughly 45 per 100,000) have type II diabetes and another 75,000 have pre-diabetes (over 150 per 100,000)
  • 135 per 100,000 US children suffer from sleep apnea, a condition that, according to the American Heart Association, is associated with high blood pressure, arrhythmia, stroke and heart failure. This number jumps to 350 per 100,000 among obese children

"At Practice Fusion, we have the unique opportunity to evaluate real-time data from one of the largest clinical health datasets in the country," said Ryan Howard, CEO of Practice Fusion. "We can access this data instantly where other organizations, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, require lengthy trials and expensive research operations to attain similar estimates."

The Practice Fusion study used a 400,000-record dataset de-identified from a national sample of patients ages 2 - 18 years. Reporters interested in exploring additional research insights or health datasets are invited to contact

About Practice Fusion's Research Division
Practice Fusion's Research Division provides information from one of the largest, longitudinal clinical databases in the US for the purposes of clinical research and public health analysis. With a focus on real-time insight into adverse drug reactions, disease outbreaks and other national health issues, Practice Fusion's Research Division powers studies that are providing new insight into healthcare and how it is delivered. All research information utilized is fully de-identified and compliant with HIPAA cfr 164.514. For more information, please visit

Press Contact – Margaret Farrell


SOURCE Practice Fusion

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