US survey: 1 in 10 kids has ADHD, awareness cited

Nov 10, 2010 By MIKE STOBBE , AP Medical Writer

(AP) -- A government survey says 1 in 10 U.S. children has ADHD, a sizable increase from a few years earlier that researchers think might be explained by growing awareness and better screening.

ADHD, or , makes it hard for kids to pay attention and control impulsive behavior. It's often treated with drugs, , or both.

The new study found that about two-thirds of the children who have are on medication.

The estimate comes from a survey released Wednesday that found an increase in ADHD of about 22 percent from 2003 to the most recent survey in 2007-08. The interviewed parents of children ages 4 through 17 in both studies.

In the latest survey, 9.5 percent said a doctor or had told them their child had ADHD. The earlier study found that fewer than 8 percent of kids had been diagnosed with it.

Researchers calculate about 5.4 million kids have been diagnosed with ADHD, which suggests that about 1 million more children have the disorder than a few years earlier.

Scientists don't have clear answers about why there was such a significant increase. Study lead author Susanna Visser of the CDC suggests greater awareness and stepped-up screening efforts as part of the explanation.

"Regardless of what's undergirding this, we know more parents are telling us their children have ADHD," Visser said.

One expert found it hard to believe that so many kids might have ADHD. "It sounds a little high," said Howard Abikoff, a psychologist who is director of the Institute for Attention Deficit and Behavior Disorders at New York University's Child Study Center.

Other studies have suggested more like 5 percent of kids have ADHD, and there are no known biological reasons for it to be on a recent increase, he added.

Abikoff noted the CDC study is based on parents saying that a health care provider told them their child had ADHD, but it's not known who the health-care provider was or how thorough the assessment was.

ADHD diagnosis is a matter of expert opinion. There's no blood test or brain-imaging exam for the condition. Sometimes reading disabilities or other problems in the classroom cause a teacher or others to mistakenly think a child has ADHD, he said.

The CDC study noted an increase in diagnoses was seen in kids of all races and family income levels, and across all regions of the country except the West. The survey covered 73,000 children.

Of those who had ADHD at the time of the latest survey, about half had a mild form.

The research appears in the CDC publication, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Explore further: New book examines shortcomings in US mental health system

More information: APHA: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr

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User comments : 6

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getgoa
1 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2010
Science cannot label these children yet as mentally ill since they have not matured yet.

The latest research shows anything more than 75mg is useless to the body and yet Children's aspirin is higher than this dosage?

The safest drugs are the most harmful, processed foods, caffeine, etc.
http://www.physor...524.html

scidog
5 / 5 (1) Nov 11, 2010
kids will be kids,trying to make them fit into the adult world and then putting a ADHD label on them when they don't is pure woo.
A2G
1 / 5 (4) Nov 11, 2010
The new study found that about two-thirds of the children who have ADHD are on medication.

i.e profits for who??? Research that continues the supposed need for pharma products will always get through...Try and get some through that shows we need less pharma products... I am a researcher in the medical area and I could tell you stories that you wouldn't believe...But they are completely true..Anything, repeat anything, that goes against the Big Pharma guys has to be done very carefully and hidden until the research is completed and published, otherwise is gets shut down.
freethinking
3 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2010
ADHD = TBS, TBS= Typical Boy Syndrome. When the schools and parents allow kids to be kids ADHD will drop. It's a whole lot easier to drug kids than to discipline kids, its a whole lot easier for teachers to have kids drugged than to adapt to the way the kids learn.

How about instead of drugging kids we do the following.
1. Have parent discipline their kids
2. Have teachers adapt to the way kids learn
3. Quite labeling normal behavior

Simonsez
not rated yet Nov 11, 2010
1 in 10 kids do not get their ass whooped enough.
Arkaleus
5 / 5 (1) Nov 11, 2010
Separate young boys from female dominated educational systems, and these "symptoms" will vanish. ADHD is quackery and pill-pushing to a generation of people who never learned how to raise children. Giving psychotropics to young children should be banned.

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