Study finds childhood diagnosis of ADHD rises over 9-yr period

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A study has found that childhood diagnosis of ADHD has increased dramatically over 9-year period. The rate of children diagnosed with Attention Deficit...

A study has found that childhood diagnosis of ADHD has increased dramatically over 9-year period. The rate of children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has risen dramatically between 2001 and 2010 with non-Hispanic white children having the highest diagnosis rates.

The study also showed that there was a 90% rise in the diagnosis of ADHD among the non-Hispanic black girls during the same nine-year period.

The study also examined the electronic health records of nearly 85,000 ethnically diverse children, aged 5 to 11 years, who got care at Kaiser Permanente Southern California between 2001 and 2010.

It found that among these children, 4.9%, or 39,200, had diagnosed ADHD, with white and black children more likely to be diagnosed with the neurobehavioral disorder than Hispanics and Asian/Pacific Islander kids.  The study also examined increases in the rates of first-time ADHD diagnosis.

Researchers found that incidence of newly diagnosed ADHD cases surged from 2.5% in 2001 to 3.1% in 2010- a relative increase of 24%. Black kids showed the highest increase in ADHD incidence, from 2.6% of all black children 5 to 11 years of age in 2001 to 4.1% in 2010, a 70% relative increase.

Rates among Hispanic children showed a 60% relative increase, from 1.7 % in 2001 to 2.5 % in 2010.

White children showed a 30% relative increase, from 4.7 % in 2001 to 5.6 % in 2010, while rates for Asian/Pacific Islander children and other racial groups remained unchanged over time.

The study also found that boys were three times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls. The study also found that the boys were three times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls. The higher family incomes also were associated with the likelihood of ADHD diagnosis.

Meanwhile, children from families with a household income of more than $30,000 a year were nearly 20% more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than children from families making less $30,000. 

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