Estimated prevalence of learning disabilities over time was 8.83 percent
By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter
WEDNESDAY, July 12, 2023 (HealthDay News) — The prevalence of learning disabilities among youth aged 6 to 17 years remained steady from 1997 to 2021, according to a research letter published online July 10 in JAMA Pediatrics.
Yanmei Li, from Guangdong Pharmaceutical University in Guangzhou, China, and colleagues estimated the prevalence of learning disabilities and its long-term trend among 188,449 U.S. children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 years using data from the National Health Interview Survey (1997 to 2021).
The researchers found that 8.76 percent of children had a diagnosis of a learning disability from 1997 to 2021. There was a significant difference observed in prevalence by age (12 to 17 years, 9.78 percent; 6 to 11 years, 7.86 percent), sex (female, 6.56 percent; male, 11.00 percent), race and ethnicity (Hispanic, 7.82 percent; non-Hispanic Black, 10.03 percent; non-Hispanic White, 9.25 percent; other, 6.23 percent), family income-to-poverty ratio (<1.00, 13.46 percent; 1.00 to 1.99, 10.39 percent; 2.00 to 3.99, 8.17 percent; â¥4.00, 6.59 percent), and highest educational level of family members (less than high school, 11.62 percent; high school, 10.05 percent; college or higher, 8.04 percent). There was no significant mean annual change in prevalence from 1997-1998 (8.98 percent) to 2021 (8.31 percent), except for Hispanic youth (7.24 percent in 1997-1998 to 8.24 percent in 2021).
“Given that learning disability is a lifelong condition and its prevalence remains high, further investigation is warranted to assess potentially modifiable risk factors and causes of learning disability,” the authors write.
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