THURSDAY, Oct. 11, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Children with past and current heart conditions have more special health care needs compared with children without heart conditions, according to research published in the Sept. 29 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Meng-Yu Chen, M.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues used data from the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health to estimate the prevalence of heart conditions among U.S. children aged 0 to 17 years.

The researchers found that 1.3 percent of children have a current heart condition and 1.1 percent had a past heart condition (approximately 900,000 and 755,000 children, respectively). Sixty percent of children with a current heart condition had one or more special health care needs as did 40 percent of children with past heart conditions, compared with 18.7 percent of children without a heart condition (adjusted prevalence ratios, 3.1 and 2.1, respectively). In children with current heart conditions, functional limitations were 6.3 times more common than in children without heart conditions. Among those with current heart conditions, boys, children with lower family income, and children living in households other than a two-parent household had an increased prevalence of special health care needs.

“These findings highlight the importance of developmental surveillance and screening among children with heart conditions for early identification and intervention and could inform public health resource planning,” the authors write.

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