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More ADHD in older children

28th July 2008

More older children are being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) while the rate is unchanged for children under 12, a US government report said, although it didn’t investigate why.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found ADHD diagnoses among children aged 12-17 rose an average 4% yearly from 1997-2006. But it found no significant change in the percentage of children aged 6-11 diagnosed with ADHD in the same period.

Some experts say this increase may reflect a growing trend among health-care professionals in the United States to consider an ADHD diagnosis for older children who have difficulty concentrating or controlling their behaviour. Drug companies are also now marketing ADHD medications to teens and adults.

Confirming earlier studies, the researchers also found that boys were more than twice as likely as girls to be diagnosed with ADHD.

 

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