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Hyperkinetic disorders in children are on the rise, German study suggests

Date:
September 20, 2010
Source:
Deutsches Aerzteblatt International
Summary:
Hyperkinetic disorders among children and adolescents are becoming increasingly common, new research suggests. In a new study, scientists in Germany address the question how this has affected the frequency of prescriptions for methylphenidate, a stimulant drug that is used to treat such disorders.
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FULL STORY

Hyperkinetic disorders among children and adolescents are becoming increasingly common, new research suggests. In the current issue of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, Ingrid Schubert of the PMV Research Group at the University of Cologne and her colleagues address the question how this has affected the frequency of prescriptions for methylphenidate, a stimulant drug that is used to treat such disorders.

The authors analyzed data concerning tens of thousands of persons insured by the AOK health insurance company in the German state of Hesse over the period 2000 to 2007.

In 2007, the overall prevalence of hyperkinetic disorders among persons aged 0 to 18 years was 2.2%. This figure was nearly 50% higher than the corresponding figure for 2000. The authors found the greatest rise in prevalence in the 15- to18-year-old age group. This secular trend was particularly noteworthy for girls: among persons aged 6 to 18 years, the prevalence of hyperkinetic disorders rose by 70% among girls, as compared to 53% among boys.

In 2007, 1.1% of 6- to 18-year-olds received at least one prescription for methylphenidate. This figure corresponded to a 252% increase in daily doses prescribed in comparison to the 2000 level. The authors found that the increase was due to rises not only in the number of persons for whom methylphenidate was prescribed, but also in the average amount of the drug prescribed per patient.


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The above story is based on materials provided by Deutsches Aerzteblatt International. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ingrid Schubert, Ingrid Köster, Gerd Lehmkuhl. The Changing Prevalence of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Methylphenidate Prescriptions. Deutsches Ärzteblatt International, 2010; 107 (36): 615-21 DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.2010.0615

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Deutsches Aerzteblatt International. "Hyperkinetic disorders in children are on the rise, German study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100920101013.htm>.
Deutsches Aerzteblatt International. (2010, September 20). Hyperkinetic disorders in children are on the rise, German study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100920101013.htm
Deutsches Aerzteblatt International. "Hyperkinetic disorders in children are on the rise, German study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100920101013.htm (accessed April 26, 2015).

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