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ADHD On the Rise

August 19, 2011

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the diagnoses of children with ADHD increased from 7% to 9% from 1998-2000 through 2007-2009.

Dr. Lara J. Akinbami, lead author of the study told ABCNews.com, “ADHD continues to increase and that has implications for educational and health care because kids with ADHD disproportionately use more services, and there are several co-morbid conditions that go along with it.”

ADHD prevalence varies by race and ethnicity. Non-Hispanic whites saw the largest increase, compared with all other racial groups, whereas Mexican children had the lowest prevalence.

ADHD prevalence varies by geographical region, with the largest gains happening in the South from 8.1% to 10.3%. The midwest also showed gains from 7.1% to 10.2%

Even though both boys and girls saw a gain in the number of cases reported, boys still outnumber girls. For boys the number increased from 9.9% to 12.3% while girls rose from 3.6% to 5.5%.

According to the CDC, ADHD is one of the most common mental health disorders for children. The symptoms include inattention, impulsive behavior, and hyperactivity. The symptoms begin in childhood and persist into adulthood. ADHD can lead to functional impairment in academic, family, and social settings.

Diagnosis of ADHD involves several steps starting with a medical exam, then a checklist for rating ADHD symptoms based on reports from parents, teachers, and sometimes the child, then an evaluation for coexisting conditions.

According to Health.com 4% of adults have ADHD and many others have never been diagnosed. A few of the symptoms include restlessness, you have a child with ADHD, had academic problems as a child,  always procrastinate, have job trouble, and a quick temper.

ADHD, according to Health.com, can be medically treated at any age. Prescription medication is the foundation for treating ADHD. The medications most commonly used are Adderall and Concerta. Ritalin is not officially approved for adults but is often prescribed to them off-label.

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