A study that followed children diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) into adulthood found nearly 30 percent of them continued to have ADHD at age 27, and more than half had another psychiatric disorder.
The study, “Mortality, ADHD, and Psychosocial Adversity in Adults With Childhood ADHD: A Prospective Study,” published in the April 2013 Pediatrics (published online March 4), evaluated 232 adults from Rochester, Minn., who were diagnosed with ADHD as children and compared them to adults who did not have a childhood ADHD diagnosis.
Of the 232 adults with childhood ADHD, 68 (29.3 percent) met the criteria for adult ADHD at age 27. Nearly 57 percent of adults with childhood ADHD had another psychiatric disorder as adults; among the adults who did not have childhood ADHD, 35 percent of adults had a psychiatric disorder. Mortality due to suicide was nearly 5 times higher among childhood ADHD cases compared to controls from the same birth cohort.
Study authors conclude that ADHD should no longer be viewed as a disorder primarily affecting the behavior and learning of children, but as a major health condition with lifelong implications and need for effective treatment.
Healthy Children Radio: Does ADHD Last Into Adulthood?
Pediatrician William Barbaresi, MD, lead author of the study in Pediatrics, comes on the Healthy Children Radio show on RadioMD to talk about the study findings and what it means for children diagnosed with ADHD.
Segment 1: Does ADHD Last Into Adulthood?