Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

ADHD takes a toll well into adulthood

Date:
March 4, 2013
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
The first large, population-based study to follow children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder into adulthood shows that ADHD often doesn’t go away and that children with ADHD are more likely to have other psychiatric disorders as adults. They also appear more likely to commit suicide and to be incarcerated as adults.

The first large, population-based study to follow children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder into adulthood shows that ADHD often doesn't go away and that children with ADHD are more likely to have other psychiatric disorders as adults. They also appear more likely to commit suicide and to be incarcerated as adults. The findings appear in the March 4 online issue of Pediatrics.

"Only 37.5 percent of the children we contacted as adults were free of these really worrisome outcomes," says lead investigator William Barbaresi, M.D., of Boston Children's Hospital, who started the study when he was at Mayo. "That's a sobering statistic that speaks to the need to greatly improve the long-term treatment of children with ADHD and provide a mechanism for treating them as adults."

The study is unique because it followed a large group of ADHD patients from childhood to adulthood, says Slavica Katusic, M.D., an epidemiologist and Mayo Clinic's lead researcher on the study.

ADHD is the most common neuro-developmental disorder of childhood, affecting about 7 percent of all children and three times as many boys as girls. Most prior follow-up studies of ADHD have been small and focused on the severe end of the spectrum -- such as boys referred to pediatric psychiatric treatment facilities -- rather than a cross-section of the ADHD population.

The study followed all children in Rochester who were born between 1976 and 1982, were still in Rochester at age 5 and whose families allowed access to their medical records. That amounted to 5,718 children, including 367 diagnosed with ADHD. Of this group, 232 participated in the follow-up study. About three-quarters received ADHD treatment as children.

At follow-up, the researchers found:

*29 percent of children with ADHD still had ADHD as adults.

*57 percent of children with ADHD had at least one other psychiatric disorder as adults, as compared with 35 percent of those studied who didn't have childhood ADHD. The most common were substance abuse/dependence, antisocial personality disorder, hypomanic episodes, generalized anxiety and major depression.

*Of the children who still had ADHD as adults, 81 percent had at least one other psychiatric disorder, as compared with 47 percent of those who no longer had ADHD and 35 percent of those without childhood ADHD.

*Seven of the 367 children with ADHD (1.9 percent) had died by the time the study began, three of them from suicide. Of the 4,946 children without ADHD whose outcomes could be ascertained, 37 children had died, five by suicide.

*Ten adults who had childhood ADHD (2.7 percent) were incarcerated when the study started.

"We suffer from the misconception that ADHD is just an annoying childhood disorder that's overtreated," Dr. Barbaresi says. "This couldn't be further from the truth. We need to have a chronic disease approach to ADHD as we do for diabetes. The system of care has to be designed for the long haul."

Dr. Barbaresi thinks the study findings may underestimate the bad outcomes of childhood ADHD. Most of those studied were white and middle class, with good educations and access to health care.

"One can argue that this is potentially a best-case scenario," Dr. Barbaresi says. "Outcomes could be worse in socioeconomically challenged populations."

He advises parents of children with ADHD to ensure that their children are in high-quality treatment -- and remain in treatment as they enter adolescence. Children also should be assessed for learning disabilities and monitored for conditions associated with ADHD, including substance use, depression and anxiety.

The study was supported by Public Health Service research grants #s MH076111, HD29745 and AG034676. Pilot work for a portion of the project was funded by an investigator-initiated grant from McNeil Consumer and Specialty Pharmaceuticals.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. William J. Barbaresi, Robert C. Colligan, Amy L. Weaver, Robert G. Voigt, Jill M. Killian, and Slavica K. Katusic. Mortality, ADHD, and Psychosocial Adversity in Adults With Childhood ADHD: A Prospective Study. Pediatrics, March 4, 2013 DOI: 10.1542/peds.2012-2354

Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "ADHD takes a toll well into adulthood." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130304104758.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2013, March 4). ADHD takes a toll well into adulthood. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130304104758.htm
Mayo Clinic. "ADHD takes a toll well into adulthood." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130304104758.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins