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CDC finds 20 percent of nation’s kids may be mentally ill

- The Washington Times - Friday, May 17, 2013

Up to 20 percent of America's youth are mentally ill, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds in a new report that looked at the health of adolescents.

"A total of 13 percent to 20 percent of children living in the United States experience a mental disorder in a given year," the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report said, Agence France-Presse reported.

The most common mental health issues were related to anxiety and depression, report authors found. The cost to the nation was significant, at about $247 billion per year to diagnose and treat, AFP said.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder topped the list of ailments, with 6.8 percent of the nation's youth diagnosed with the disorder. Behavioral and conduct disorders followed, with 3.5 percent; anxiety, 3 percent; depression, 2.1 percent; autism-related disorders, 1.1 percent; and Tourette syndrome, 0.2 percent, AFP reported.

The study used data that spanned 2005 to 2011, and found that boys were by and large more at risk than girls, AFP said.

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