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ADHD May Raise Girls' Risk for Suicide as Young Adults
Date:8/17/2012

FRIDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Girls diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide as young women, a new study suggests.

Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley also found these girls, particularly those with early signs of impulsivity, were two to three times more likely to hurt themselves later in life, compared to girls who did not have the disorder. They noted that these girls also were more likely to continue to have symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and make much greater use of psychological services.

The study was published online in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

"ADHD can signal future psychological problems for girls as they are entering adulthood," study author Stephen Hinshaw, a psychology professor at Berkeley, said in a journal news release. "Our findings reinforce the idea that ADHD in girls is particularly severe, and can have serious public-health implications."

The researchers recruited 228 girls ranging in age from 6 to 12. Of these girls, 53 percent were white, 27 percent were black, 11 percent were Hispanic and 9 percent were Asian-American.

After extensive testing, the researchers found 140 of the girls had ADHD. Of the girls diagnosed with the condition, 47 were considered ADHD-inattentive, meaning they had a hard time paying attention but they could sit quietly. Meanwhile, 93 of the girls had ADHD-combined, a combination of hyperactive, impulsive and inattentive symptoms.

After the initial assessment, the researchers followed up with the girls five and 10 years later. Of the original group, 95 percent of the girls were still involved in the study after 10 years. By this time, the participants were between 17 and 24 years old.

The researchers asked them about their life problems, including their symptoms of depression, substance use, s
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