Does psychostimulant use increase cardiovascular risk in children with ADHD?

June 26, 2014

Psychostimulant use to treat children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is increasing worldwide, and the evaluation of the cardiovascular safety of stimulant medication used in treatment has been a recent topic of concern. The results of the first nationwide study of the cardiovascular safety of stimulants in children and adolescents are published in Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology (JCAP).

Søren Dalsgaard, MD, PhD, and coauthors, Aarhus University and iPSYCH (Denmark), University of Southern Denmark, Hospital of Telemark (Norway), and Yale University School of Medicine (New Haven, CT), conducted a prospective study of more than 700,000 children in Denmark; 8,300 had ADHD. The researchers compared stimulant use and cardiovascular events in the entire population and in children with ADHD and found a small but statistically significant risk associated with treatment; they also report on the relationship between specific stimulant dose and risk of a . Their results appear in the article "Cardiovascular Safety of Stimulants in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder—A Nationwide Prospective Cohort Study."

"This study confirms the small but real risk we have understood for some time through prior reports and clinical experience," says Harold S. Koplewicz, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology and President, Child Mind Institute, New York, NY. "But Dalsgaard et al.'s excellent design and the robust sample size make it abundantly clear that treating clinicians cannot ignore existing guidelines concerning the assessment of cardiac risk prior to treatment and monitoring key vital signs during the course."

Explore further: Five-fold increase in ADHD medication use in children and adolescents

More information: The article is available free on the JCAP website.

Related Stories

Five-fold increase in ADHD medication use in children and adolescents

September 10, 2013
Use of stimulant medications to treat Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents has increased significantly over the past several years. This trend toward increased use of prescription stimulants ...

Antipsychotic drug use among ADHD-diagnosed foster care youth is increasing

April 7, 2014
Antipsychotic medications are often used for unlabeled indications, such as treatment of children and adolescents with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The results of a study of "atypical antipsychotic" drug ...

Stimulant treatment for ADHD not associated with increased risk of cardiac events in youth

February 8, 2012
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects 5-9% of youth and is frequently treated with stimulant medications, such as methylphenidate and amphetamine products. A recent safety communication from the US Food ...

ADHD treatment associated with lower smoking rates

May 12, 2014
Treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with stimulant medication may reduce smoking risk, especially when medication is taken consistently, according to an analysis led by researchers at Duke Medicine.

Stimulant, antipsychotic combo improves aggressive behavior

January 24, 2014
(HealthDay)—For children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and aggressive disorders, the addition of risperidone to a combination of parent training and psychostimulant is associated with moderate improvement ...

MRI technique may help prevent ADHD misdiagnosis

June 17, 2014
Brain iron levels offer a potential biomarker in the diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and may help physicians and parents make better informed treatment decisions, according to new research published ...

Recommended for you

ADHD medication tied to lower risk for alcohol, drug abuse in teens and adults

July 13, 2017
The use of medication to treat attention deficient hyperactivity disorder is linked to significantly lower risk for substance use problems in adolescents and adults with ADHD, according to a study led by researchers at Indiana ...

Video game promotes better attention skills in some children with sensory processing dysfunction

April 6, 2017
A video game under development as a medical device boosts attention in some children with sensory processing dysfunction, or SPD, a condition that can make the sound of a vacuum, or contact with a clothing tag intolerable ...

Children with ADHD often live in chaotic households

March 9, 2017
Researchers often observe inadequate parenting, a negative emotional climate and household chaos in families of children with ADHD. A research group at Goethe University Frankfurt and the universities of Bremen, Heidelberg, ...

ADHD a 'brain disorder', not just bad behaviour: study

February 16, 2017
People with ADHD have slightly smaller brains than those without the condition, according to a study released Thursday which insisted it is a physical disorder and not just bad behaviour.

Could the 'Mediterranean' diet help prevent ADHD?

January 30, 2017
(HealthDay)—Kids who follow a Mediterranean diet—high in fruits, vegetables and "good" fats—may be less likely to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a small study suggests.

Data scientists find causal relation in characteristics of ADHD

December 2, 2016
Hyperactivity seems to be the result of not being able to focus one's attention rather than the other way around. This was proposed in an article in PLOS ONE, written by researchers at Radboud university medical center and ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.