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Most ADHD Kids Have Multiple Conditions, Study Says
Date:2/7/2011

By Maureen Salamon
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Two-thirds of American children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder struggle with other mental health and developmental conditions, such as learning disabilities and anxiety, a new study suggests.

Examining data on nearly 62,000 children aged 6 to 17 obtained from the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health, researchers found that those with ADHD had higher odds than others of repeating a grade at school and dealing with strained social and family relationships.

Notably, children from poor families were nearly four times as likely as affluent children to suffer from multiple conditions associated with ADHD, which also include conduct disorder, depression and speech problems, among others, the study said.

"This is a really striking finding that I don't think has been documented before," said study author Kandyce Larson, a research associate at the Center for Healthier Children, Families & Communities at the University of California, Los Angeles.

ADHD, a condition characterized by impulsiveness and difficulty staying focused, is one of the most common cognitive and behavioral disorders diagnosed in school-age children, according to the study reported online Feb. 7 in the journal Pediatrics. It affects about 8 percent of U.S. children, the study authors noted.

The data analyzed by Larson and her team used detailed parent interviews to learn if a health-care provider had ever told them their child had ADHD. An "Aggravation in Parenting" scale measured parental stress by asking how often the child angered them and if the child was much more difficult to care for than others.

In total, 67 percent of youngsters with ADHD had at least one other reported mental health or neurodevelopmental disorder, compared with 11 percent of unaffected American children. Eighteen percent had three or more additional condit
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