ADHD Increases STI Risk in Teens and Young Adults
A study conducted in Taiwan and published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP) suggests the risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is about three times higher in adolescents and young adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than in young people without ADHD. According to researchers, the short-term use of ADHD medication reduces subsequent STI risk by 30 percent and long-term medical treatment reduces the risk by 41 percent in young people with ADHD.
Researchers from Taipei Veterans General Hospital and the College of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei used information from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, which includes medical claims and health care data from more than 99 percent of the Taiwanese population for this study. The study involved 17,898 adolescents and young adults with ADHD and 71,592 young people without ADHD who did not have a sexually transmitted infection prior to enrollment in the study.
The researchers followed the study participants from 2001 through 2009 and tracked data related to STI risk and medical treatment for ADHD. They discovered that young people with ADHD had a higher risk (1.2 percent compared to 0.4 percent) of any STI, including HIV, syphilis, genital warts, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis, and developed STIs at a younger age (20.5 years compared to 21.9 years, on average).