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ADHD cases are on the rise. Study finds 7 million children in US have been diagnosed: Shots

ADHD cases are on the rise. Study finds 7 million children in US have been diagnosed: Shots


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders among children.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders among children.

SI Photos/Getty Images



SI Photo/Getty Images

Approximately 1 in 9 children between the ages of 3 and 17 in the United States is diagnosed with ADHD. New reports A call from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder 'A growing public health concern'

The researchers found that 7.1 million children and adolescents were diagnosed with ADHD in the U.S. in 2022, 1 million more than in 2016. Melissa Danielson, a statistician at the CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities and lead author of the study, said the spike in diagnoses isn't surprising given that the data was collected during the pandemic.

She points out that other studies have found that many children have experienced increased stress, depression and anxiety during the pandemic. “A lot of those diagnoses may be the result of a child receiving another diagnosis, such as anxiety or depression, and then the clinician identifying that the child also has ADHD,” Danielson says.

The increase in diagnoses comes amid growing awareness of ADHD and the different ways it manifests in children, which Danielson says may help explain why girls are being diagnosed with ADHD more than boys than in the past. Boys have long been diagnosed with ADHD at about 2.5 times the rate of girls, she said, but the new report finds that the gap is narrowing.

Decades ago, ADHD was thought of as a hyperactivity disorder found in boys, Danielson said. “Boys often have ADHD because they're hyperactive or impulsive, and they run into the road, jump off things, and do things that can put them at risk of injury,” Danielson said.

“Girls tend to exhibit symptoms of ADHD in a more inattentive way: daydreaming, having trouble concentrating, or focusing too much on certain tasks that don't require their concentration,” says Danielle. Mr. Song says.

This research Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, It was based on data from National Child Health Surveyand collect detailed information from parents.

According to the report, the number of children diagnosed with ADHD has increased since 2016, but two-thirds of children taking medication to treat it dropped in 2016. However, only about half of them The data doesn't examine why, but Danielson points out that: Report on shortage of ADHD drugs It started around the time the data were collected.

Dr. Max Wisnitzer, A professor of pediatric neurology at Case Western Reserve University said some parents may be reluctant to put their children on ADHD medications out of misplaced concerns. “There's a myth that it's addictive, but it's actually not,” he says. Studies have shown that people who are treated for ADHD don't have an increased risk of substance abuse, he says.

Wiznitzer says medications are important because they can help children improve their concentration by reducing symptoms such as impulsivity, hyperactivity and inattention. But ADHD treatment also requires therapy that teaches children and their parents behavioral and educational strategies to manage symptoms. “It's always been a two-pronged approach,” Wisnitzer said. Wiznitzer is concerned that the report found that fewer than half of children and youth diagnosed with ADHD receive behavioral treatment.

The report also found that about 78 percent of children diagnosed with ADHD also had at least one other diagnosed disorder, the most common being behavioral or conduct problems, anxiety and developmental delays. Autism and depression were also frequently observed, Danielson said.

Children with ADHD are Increased riskThere are other conditions, such as depression, anxiety and substance abuse, that ADHD can cause if left untreated. Risk of serious health problemsWisnitzer said increasing awareness and diagnosis is important because the risk of diabetes and heart disease increases in adulthood and shortens life expectancy.

Danielson said parents can also find information about treatments and services. CHADD — Children and Adults with ADHDa nonprofit resource organization where Wiznitzer serves on the advisory board.

Parents seeking treatment for their children should start with a conversation with their pediatrician, he said.

This article was edited by Jane Greenhalgh.




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