01/23/2013

Childhood diagnoses of ADHD on the rise

NEWS

Thirty years ago, ADHD was first defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, which identifies the psychological conditions in the world.  Since then, diagnosis rates have increased significantly, including a dramatic rise in the last 10 years.  In a study of 850,000 health records by Kaiser Permanente, researchers found that there was a 24 percent increase in ADHD diagnoses between 2001 and 2010. 

The study looked at the records of an ethnically-diverse lot of children aged 5 to 11 who received care at Kaiser Permanente's Southern California care center.  Most significantly, there was a 90 percent increase in diagnoses among black girls, where white and black children were generally more likely to be diagnosed with the condition as compared to Hispanic or Pacific Islander children.  Diagnoses among all black children increased 70 percent over this time period, white children had a 30 percent increase and Hispanic children a 60 percent increase. 

Boys are three times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls, and families with an income over $30,000 were 20 percent more likely to be diagnosed than those below that income line.