THURSDAY, Sept. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are twice as likely to be injured badly enough to need medical attention as other children are, a new study finds.
More than 5 million U.S. children, or about 9.5 percent, have been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2007, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Kids with the condition act impulsively, have difficulty paying attention that often affects their ability to succeed in school and, in some cases, are physically hyperactive.
In the study, researchers analyzed data from questionnaires filled out by the parents of 4,745 fifth graders in Houston, Los Angeles and Birmingham, Ala. that assessed ADHD symptoms.
Though the questionnaires were not official ADHD diagnoses, researchers said that children who scored high on the ADHD assessment are likely to have ADHD.
The parents of children who scored in the 90th percentile for symptoms of ADHD were nearly twice as likely to report their child had been injured in the previous year than the parents of kids in the lowest percentile (10th percentile) for ADHD symptoms.
"ADHD is a disorder that's associated with impulsive behaviors -- children do things without thinking. It's associated with inattention -- they're not really paying attention to risks in their environment. And it's associated with executive function -- planning ahead, thinking ahead and having inhibition when you need it," explained study author David Schwebel, director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Youth Safety Laboratory. "Children with ADHD are poor at those skills, and that combination of things is leading them to take risks and behave impulsively, which leads to getting hurt."
The study is published in the September/October issue of Academic Pediatrics.
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