ADHD Diagnosis on the Rise

The rate of children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder rose dramatically between 2001 and 2010, with non-Hispanic white children having the highest diagnosis rates, according to a new study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. The study also showed there was a 90 percent increase in the diagnosis of ADHD among non-Hispanic black girls during the same nine-year period.

The study also examined increases in the rates of first-time ADHD diagnosis. Researchers found that the incidence of newly diagnosed ADHD cases rose from 2.5 percent in 2001 to 3.1 percent in 2010 — a relative increase of 24 percent. Black children showed the greatest increase in ADHD incidence, from 2.6 percent of all black children 5 to 11 years of age in 2001 to 4.1 percent in 2010, a 70 percent relative increase. Rates among Hispanic children showed a 60 percent relative increase, from 1.7 percent in 2001 to 2.5 percent in 2010. White children showed a 30 percent relative increase, from 4.7 percent in 2001 to 5.6 percent in 2010, while rates for Asian/Pacific Islander children and other racial groups remained unchanged over time.

In addition, the study found that boys were three times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls. Higher family incomes also were associated with the likelihood of ADHD diagnosis; children from families with a household income of more than $30,000 a year were nearly 20 percent more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than children from families making less $30,000.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ADHD is one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders of childhood. The CDC estimates that between 4 percent and 12 percent of school-aged children have the disorder, which generates health care costs of between $36 billion and $52 billion per year. Children with ADHD are more likely to experience learning problems, miss school, become injured and experience troublesome relationships with family members and peers.

For more information regarding the assessment and treatment of ADHD, Keystone encourages you to attend our March 6th Parent Education Series Training, presented by Dr. Andrew Scherbarth. The training begins at 6pm. Childcare and refreshments provided. Please email scheduling@keystonebehavioral.com if you wish to attend. All Parent Education Series are free and open to the public.

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