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ADHD Can Often Persist Into Adulthood
Date:3/4/2013

By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, March 4 (HealthDay News) -- Children with ADHD often grow up to be adults with ADHD, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that of the 232 young adults in the study who had childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, 29 percent still had it at an average age of 27. What's more, 57 percent had at least one other mental health issue, such as alcohol abuse, depression or chronic anxiety.

"This shows us [ADHD] is a serious, chronic condition that's not being adequately addressed," said lead researcher Dr. William Barbaresi, who directs the Developmental Medicine Center at Boston Children's Hospital.

The findings, published online March 4 and in the April print issue of the journal Pediatrics, give a clearer picture of how often ADHD symptoms persist into adulthood, Barbaresi said.

Past studies have made a wide range of estimates -- partly because they often have focused on specific groups of kids, like boys referred to specialty treatment programs.

But the new study included 600 young adults from Rochester, Minn. -- about 40 percent of whom had ADHD as children. Barbaresi's team evaluated them for symptoms of adult ADHD and other psychiatric disorders.

"This is likely to be a more accurate description of what's happening in the real world," Barbaresi said.

His team found that persistent ADHD often went hand-in-hand with other issues. Of the study participants with adult ADHD, 81 percent had at least one additional mental health condition, compared with 47 percent of those whose ADHD symptoms had faded and 35 percent of those who had never had ADHD.

The study was funded by the U.S National Institutes of Health, but the original pilot work received funds from McNeil Consumer and Specialty Pharmaceuticals, which makes the ADHD drug Concerta.

J. Russell Ramsay, co-director of the Adult ADHD Treatment and Research Program at th
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