ADHD Diagnosis rates up, especially among blacks

More and more children are being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, with the highest rates in white children and the fastest-growing rates in black girls, according to a new Kaiser Permanente study.

Researchers examined the medical records of 843,000 children ages 5 through 11 and found that overall rates of ADHD diagnosis went from 2.5 percent in 2001 to 3.1 percent in 2010. For white children, the diagnosis rate went from 4.7 to 5.6 percent.

But the rate that increased the fastest was among black children – it went from 2.6 percent in 2001 to 4.1 percent in 2010, an uptick of 70 percent. The study’s authors said the increase stemmed mostly from much higher diagnosis rates in black girls in particular.

The rates of ADHD diagnosis in 2010 were 2.5 percent for Hispanic children and 1.2 percent for Asian/Pacific Islander children. Researchers found that 4.9 percent of all the children in the sample had an ADHD diagnosis.

The study was published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics.

Drew Joseph




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