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Childhood ADHD May Persist Into Adulthood


Children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are likely to carry the disorder with them into adulthood, according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics (March 4).

Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital and Mayo Clinic looked at 379 cases of ADHD identified in 5,718 kids born from 1976 to 1982 in Rochester, Minnesota. From that group of 379, the researchers were able to track down 232 to participate in the study.

Of the group, 29% still had the disorder, 81% had at least one additional psychiatric disorder, and 47% of those who no longer had ADHD had at least one other psychiatric disorder.

"We suffer from the misconception that ADHD is just an annoying childhood disorder that's overtreated," researcher William Barbaresi, MD, of Boston Children's Hospital, says in a prepared statement. "This couldn't be further from the truth. We need to have a chronic-disease approach to ADHD as we do for diabetes. The system of care has to be designed for the long haul."

The researchers believe their results, drawn from a suburban, white middle class demographic, may, in fact, undersell the seriousness of the problem.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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