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Bronchitis and Asthma Most Commonly Treated Conditions Among Children

AHRQ News and Numbers, December 14, 2011

AHRQ News and Numbers provides statistical highlights on the use and cost of health services and health insurance in the United States.

The five most commonly treated medical conditions among children in 2008 were acute bronchitis, asthma, trauma-related disorders, middle-ear infections, and mental disorders, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

More than 40 percent of the Nation's 74 million children age 17 and younger were treated for at least one of those conditions that year.

The Federal agency also found that of the five most commonly treated conditions among children in 2008:

  • Mental disorders represented the fifth most commonly treated condition—5 million children were treated—yet the average expense per child was highest at $2,483.
  • Bronchitis was one of the most widely reported ailments, for which 12 million children received medical care, yet of the top five most commonly treated conditions, the cost of treatment was lowest at an average $226 per child.
  • Private insurance paid the largest share of treatment costs for bronchitis (55 percent), trauma (62 percent), and middle-ear infections (64 percent), while Medicaid paid the largest share for treatment of asthma (51 percent) and mental disorders (46 percent). Expenses included the costs of office doctor visits, prescription drugs, and hospital care.

The data in this AHRQ News and Numbers summary are taken from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), a detailed source of information on the health services used by Americans, the frequency with which they are used, the cost of those services, and how they are paid. For more information, go to Statistical Brief #349: Health Care Expenditures for the Five Most Common Children's Conditions, 2008.

For additional information, or to speak with an AHRQ data expert, please contact Linwood Norman at or call (301) 427-1248.

Current as of December 2011
Internet Citation: Bronchitis and Asthma Most Commonly Treated Conditions Among Children: AHRQ News and Numbers, December 14, 2011. December 2011. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


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