ADHD prevalence in US adults on the rise

  • Chung W & al.
  • JAMA Netw Open
  • 01.11.2019

  • von Kelli Whitlock Burton
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • The prevalence of ADHD among US adults increased from 0.43% in 2007 to 0.96% in 2016, with the highest rates in white adults; the increased prevalence among children was smaller during the same period, going from 2.96% to 3.74%.
  • The rate of ADHD detection among racial and ethnic groups was low, which could be the result of a reluctance to seek treatment or a lack of access to care.

Why this matters

  • Studies suggest that ADHD in adulthood is associated with increased rates of motor vehicle crashes, relationship failure, unemployment, substance use, sexually transmitted infections, and suicide.

Study design

  • Cohort study of 5,282,877 patients who received care at Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC).
  • Funding: KPNC.

Key results

  • 59,371 individuals (1.12%) were diagnosed with ADHD.
  • ADHD prevalence increased from 0.43% to 0.96% among adults and from 2.96% to 3.74% among children (age, 5-11 years).
  • The highest increase in annual adult ADHD prevalence was noted among white individuals (0.67%-1.42%).
  • The rate of ADHD detection was low among nonwhite racial/ethnic groups (P<.001 style="list-style-type:circle;">
  • Asian (aOR, 0.215),
  • Pacific Islander (aOR, 0.247),
  • black (aOR, 0.341),
  • Hispanic (aOR, 0.313),
  • American Indian or Alaska Native (aOR, 0.712), and
  • other (aOR, 0.282).

Limitations

  • Single-center study.

Coauthored with Chitra Ravi, MPharm