160629 Learning disability is a significant co-morbidity in US children with depression or anxiety

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Maja Altarac, MD, MPH, PHD , Department of Maternal and Child Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birimingham, AL
Background: Learning disability (LD) is common among US children and affects about 1 in 10. Association of depression and LD has been shown in adults, but has not been adequately explored in children and adolescents.

Methods: Data for this study come from 2003 National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH). The NSCH was designed to produce national and state-specific prevalence estimates for a variety of health indicators and measures of health in US children under the age of 18. Data analyses were done by SAS callable SUDAAN in order to account for the complex survey design and to calculate accurate variance statistics.

Results: Prevalence of LD is far greater in children under the age of 18 with depression or anxiety compared to children without. Among children without depression or anxiety the prevalence was 8.2% (95% CI 7.9, 8.5), however it was 42.4% among children with depression or anxiety (OR=8.3, 95% CI 7.3, 9.4). The odds of LD among children with depression or anxiety remain alarmingly high in the adjusted model. The odds of LD among children with depression or anxiety were OR=6.2 (95% CI 5.4, 7.2) compared to those without after adjusting for age, gender, household education, poverty and smoking, and family structure.

Conclusion: LD is strongly associated with depression or anxiety, indicating that it presents as a significant co-morbidity with depression or anxiety in US children under the age of 18.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe prevalence of learning disability in US children with and without depression 2. Recognize the importance of learning disability as co-morbidity of depression among US children

Keywords: Disability, Depression

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.