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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
3-May-2014

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Contact: Debbie Jacobson
djacobson@aap.org
847-434-7084
American Academy of Pediatrics
@AmerAcadPeds

Poverty threatens long-term health of children

Experts gather at Pediatric Academic Societies meeting to discuss consequences of childhood poverty -- and potential solutions

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - Pediatricians, social scientists, economists and policy experts will come together on Saturday, May 3, to discuss the critical problem that childhood poverty presents in the U.S. - and steps to end poverty.

The group will take part in a state-of the-art plenary session titled 'Childhood Poverty and Its Consequences: Potential Solutions," at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia. National and international experts will discuss ways to address poverty using government economic policy, innovative educational reform, new models for pediatric practice, and provocative social strategies.

Children are the poorest segment of society: 22 percent of U.S. children live below the federal poverty level, a prevalence that has persisted since the 1970s.

"Poverty has a pervasive influence on a child's health," said plenary co-chair James M. Perrin, MD, FAAP, president of the AAP. "Every chronic disease in children is both more common and worse if you are poor, and treatment is less effective if you are poor. It is absolutely critical that we come together and develop ways to break the cycle before another generation of children grows into adulthood suffering the long-term impact of childhood poverty."

Research has shown childhood poverty leads to adult poor health through epigenetics, toxic stress, and the cycle of chronic disease, including obesity.

The session is given in honor of the late Joel Alpert, MD, FAAP, who at various times served as president of both the Academic Pediatric Association (APA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and who was a passionate advocate on behalf of children living in poverty. Both the APA and the AAP have made childhood poverty a priority and focus of their work, building on Dr. Alpert's pioneering contributions.

The plenary will run from 2:45-4:45 p.m. in the Vancouver Convention Center. Topics and presenters include:

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The Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) are four individual pediatric organizations that co-sponsor the PAS Annual Meeting - the American Pediatric Society, the Society for Pediatric Research, the Academic Pediatric Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Members of these organizations are pediatricians and other health care providers who are practicing in the research, academic and clinical arenas. The four sponsoring organizations are leaders in the advancement of pediatric research and child advocacy within pediatrics, and all share a common mission of fostering the health and well-being of children worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.pas-meeting.org. Follow news of the PAS meeting on Twitter at http://twitter.com/PedAcadSoc.



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