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Researchers estimate about 9 percent of US children age 8 to 15 meet criteria for having ADHD
Date:9/3/2007

An estimated 8.7 percent of U.S. children age 8 to 15 meet diagnostic criteria for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, but fewer than half receive treatment, according to a report in the September issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Despite widespread concern that the rate of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is on the rise, the national population-based prevalence of ADHD in U.S. children has not [previously] been firmly established, the authors write as background information in the article. ADHD is characterized by hyperactivity, impulsive behavior and an inability to pay attention to tasks; the condition affects social behaviors and achievement at school and work.

Tanya E. Froehlich, M.D., of Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Medical Center, and colleagues studied a group of 3,082 children designed to represent the entire population of 8- to 15-year-olds in the United States. Between 2001 and 2004, childrens parents or other caregivers were interviewed by phone and provided information about each childs ADHD symptoms, including when they first appeared and any impairment they caused during the previous year. They also reported whether their child had ever been diagnosed with ADHD or taken medicine to treat it, in addition to providing sociodemographic details.

Based on standard diagnostic criteria, 8.7 percent of the children (equivalent to 2.4 million children nationwide) fulfilled criteria for ADHD in the year prior to the survey. Hispanics were less likely than whites to have ADHD and boys were more likely than girls to meet criteria, although girls who did have ADHD were less likely to have their condition recognized. A total of 47.9 percent of the children who met ADHD criteria had previously been diagnosed with the condition.

The poorest one-fifth of children were more likely than the wealthiest one-fifth of children to have ADHD. Reasons for the
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Contact: Jim Feuer
513-636-4656
JAMA and Archives Journals
Source:Eurekalert

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