Heartburn drug use in kids skyrockets

First diabetes, then high blood pressure, and now heartburn? Kids are turning up with more and more adult ailments these days; consider a new surge in use of heartburn drugs among the 18-and-under set. The most dramatic increase was in kids up to 4 years old; more than half a million children that age were taking heartburn remedies last year, a hike of about 56 percent over 2002 numbers.

Experts theorized a few reasons for the increase. One, growth in obesity, which tends to exacerbate heartburn. Two, heartburn drugs like Prevacid were approved for kids during the time period covered by the study--leading some to speculate that small children are taking these drugs unnecessarily. Though little kids often experience gastric reflux, many outgrow it on their own, they said.

- check out the article in the Washington Post