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U.S. Children's Medical Needs, by the Numbers

The Jeff Gordon Foundation focuses on children’s health at a crucial time.
WebMD the Magazine - Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Racing champ Jeff Gordon's focus on children's health comes at a crucial time. The number of U.S. children with chronic health conditions has risen dramatically in the past four decades, according to a study published last June in The  Journal of the American Medical Association. Some of the study's findings:

  • Of 80 million children in America, about 8% (6.5 million) have chronic conditions that interfere with regular daily activity, says study author James M. Perrin, MD, professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
  • The top three problems are obesity, asthma, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
  • A study in the June 2008 Pediatrics reveals that leukemia is the most common childhood cancer. Childhood cancer is rare but is still the leading cause of disease-related deaths for children.

Fortunately, Gordon and his foundation counter with a few stats of their own:

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When Your Child Is Afraid of the Doctor

Marcela Jones, an English professor in Washington, D.C., says her 3-year-old daughter, Amalia, starts screaming as soon as they step into a doctor's office. Her child's white coat-triggered misery started, Jones says, with her two-year checkup -- Amalia had her routine shots and then went upstairs to another office for a lead blood test. "We had to have three people holding her down," says Jones. "It was horrible." What's a parent to do? Jones knew she didn't want a struggle like that again, so...

Read the When Your Child Is Afraid of the Doctor article > >

  • $6 million raised since 1999.
  • Major funding for the Jeff Gordon Children's Hospital in Concord, N.C., and the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.
  • More than 200 children's wishes granted through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Read the complete story about Jeff Gordon's commitment to children's health, his healthy habits on and off the track, and his life as a new father. Also, read more about Jeff Gordon's foundation.

Reviewed on June 30, 2008

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