Over the past decade, more children and young adults in the United States have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a new study finds.
According to researchers, the number of U.S. children diagnosed with ADHD is 43 percent higher than in 2003. About 5.8 million children in the United State ages five to seventeen have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, researcher found.
Sean D. Cleary, author of the study and an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University, said that overall, the rates of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have increased.
For instance, the number of adolescents in the United States ages 15 to 17 who have ADHD, has increased by 52 percent in the past decade, Cleary said.
In the study – published December 8 in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry – the researchers analysed data on the health of approximately 190,000 children and adolescents in the United States, which was collected by a nationally representative survey between 2003 and 2011. The survey asked parents whether health care providers had told them that their child had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
The researchers found that there was a greater increase in girls with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, rather than boys. From 2003 to 2011, the rate of ADHD in girls increased by 55 percent, compared with 40 percent in boys.
Cleary said that the results were quite unexpected, because attention deficit hyperactivity disorder was thought to be more common among males. However, other research suggests that in girls, ADHD may have other symptoms than those that are traditionally thought of as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms. For example, girls with ADHD may be more withdrawn, researchers say.
Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have trouble paying attention both at home and in school, they are more forgetful, impulsive, and usually make careless mistakes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that the condition may cause difficulties at a child’s school if not treated.
Untreated childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may lead to further problems as children become adults, especially when it comes to finding and keeping a job, according to Cleary.
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