Over half of Russian children suffer from functional health disorders which may potentially become chronic, according to Russian Deputy Health Minister Olga Sharapova. The figures are the results of a nationwide study of children's health. Sharapova said that 30.4 million children were included in the survey (94.6% of those eligible).
According to Sharapova, the study confirmed a tendency that has been in evidence over the last ten years: a fall in the percentage of healthy children has been accompanied by a rise in the number of children with chronic illnesses. The study divided the nation's children into three groups: 33.89% are healthy and have a low risk factor; 52.05% suffer from functional disorders and are at risk of developing chronic illnesses; 16.1% suffer from chronic illnesses. Sharapova stressed that children's health is generally lower in rural areas.
The minister said that the most common pathological conditions were diseases of the blood and haematogenic organs, mainly due to anaemia (32%), endocrine diseases, mainly due to a malfunctioning thyroid gland and obesity (31%), bone-and-muscle-tissue diseases (26%), diseases of the digestive tract (24.7%), and diseases of the circulation system (24%). Sharapova also mentioned the rise in socially important diseases such as tuberculosis, Aids and alcoholism.