(HealthDay)—More than one in 10 children and adolescents are diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), an increase of 42 percent in less than a decade, according to a study published online Nov. 25 in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.
Susanna N. Visser, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues utilized 2011 National Survey of Children's Health data to estimate prevalence of parent-reported ADHD diagnosis, current ADHD, current medication treatment, ADHD severity, and mean age of diagnosis for U.S. children/adolescents aged 4 to 17 years. This data was compared to historical data from surveys conducted from 2003 to 2007.
The researchers found that, in 2011, 6.4 million children/adolescents (11 percent) had ever received an ADHD diagnosis. Of the children with current ADHD, 69 percent were taking medication for ADHD (3.5 million children). From 2003 to 2011, a parent-reported history of ADHD increased by 42 percent. Based on 2007 estimates, the prevalence of a history of ADHD, current ADHD, medicated ADHD, and moderate/severe ADHD increased significantly in 2011. From 2007 to 2011, the prevalence of medicated ADHD increased by 28 percent.
"Efforts to further understand ADHD diagnostic and treatment patterns are warranted," Visser and colleagues conclude.
Explore further: Can breastfeeding protect against ADHD?
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)