The Academy chose to add poverty and child health to the Agenda for Children after much deliberation last year. Since that time, many members across the country and staff in Elk Grove Village, Ill., and Washington, D.C., have been hard at work to think through the clinical, program and policy issues related to poverty among children and youth. The first meeting of the new AAP Poverty and Child Health Leadership Work Group, chaired by Andrew D. Racine, M.D., Ph.D., FAAP, was scheduled for mid-February.

Poverty affects almost all aspects of what we do as pediatricians. Poor children have higher rates of most acute and chronic health conditions. Children with complex chronic conditions such as end stage renal disease, leukemia and cystic fibrosis have higher morbidity and mortality if they’re poor. The high prevalence chronic conditions — asthma, obesity, mental health and neurodevelopmental conditions — are more common and more severe...

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