Percentage of Kids with ADHD Keeps Rising

More than one out of 10 U.S. kids now have been diagnosed with ADHD, reflecting a dramatic surge in recent years.

That's the conclusion of a new study at George Washington University, which found that roughly 5.8 million children aged five to 17 years have been diagnosed with ADHD, which is characterized by social and behavioral problems, as well as challenges in school.

The researchers said they found surprising spikes in ADHD diagnoses among girls, Hispanics and older kids. One possible explanation for the jump in diagnoses for girls, according to one of the scientists, is a greater recognition of ADHD symptoms (e.g. withdrawn, internalizing) that in the past hadn't been considered a sign of the condition,

Diagnosis rates jumped 43 percent overall during the study period, from 8.4 percent of children in 2003 to 12 percent by 2011\. Over that time, diagnoses among girls jumped a startling 55 percent -- from 4.7 percent in 2003 to 7.3 percent in 2011, though the condition is still more prevalent among boys. 

While white children continue to make up the majority of cases, diagnosis rates climbed much more for black and Hispanic children.

Over the study period, diagnoses among Hispanic children spiked 83 percent, and for blacks, 58 percent. Previous research raised concerns that children from minority groups may have been underdiagnosed in the past.

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Sourced from: Reuters Health, More than one in 10 U.S, kids have ADHD as diagnosis rates surge