Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

ADHD Rate Jumps Dramatically

The rate at which children are diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (known as ADHD) jumped dramatically over the past ten years. That's the conclusion of a study conducted by researchers from Kaiser Permanente, the West Los Angeles Medical Center and the University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey School Public Health, and published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. ADHD is officially classified as aneurobehavioral disorder. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ADHD affects between 4 and 12 percent of all school-aged children in the United States, making it one of the most common childhood disorders.

Yet, both the rate at which children are diagnosed with ADHD and even the existence of the disorder itself are quite controversial. Many critics allege that doctors are too quick to slap the children with the label. The implications are significant: treatment of children with ADHD runs between $36 billion and $52 billion per year in the United States. Those children are more likely to miss school, have trouble learning, suffer injury and have troubled relationships with family and peers.

In general, boys are three times more likely to receive an ADHD diagnosis than girls, while children from families making more than $30,000 a year were 20 percent more likely to be children from families making less than that. The diagnosis was most common among non-Hispanic white children. Black children had the second-highest rate, and Hispanics ranked third.

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