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Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, appears primarily in childhood, with the median age of onset at 6 years old. This disorder affects millions of children across the United States and may even extend into adulthood.

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Prevalence Of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

  • As of 2011, approximately 11 percent of children in the United States between the ages of 4 and 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD by a healthcare provider.
  • The frequency of ADHD diagnoses among children aged 4 to 17 increased by 42 percent from 2003 to 2011.
  • Approximately one-third of children diagnosed with ADHD will continue to experience symptoms into adulthood.
  • Among adolescents aged 13 to 18 years, the lifetime prevalence of this disorder is approximately 8.7 percent.
  • Among adults between the ages of 18 and 44, the lifetime prevalence of ADHD is 8.1 percent.
  • Among adults between the ages of 18 and 44, the prevalence of active ADHD is 4.4 percent.

ADHD In Men And Women

  • ADHD affects males approximately three times as often as females.
  • Over an eight-year period, male children between the ages of 4 and 17 had a consistently higher incidence of ADHD diagnosis than female children. In one year alone, the percentage of diagnosis for males was 15.1 percent. For females, it was 6.7 percent.
  • Among adults aged 18 to 44, 5.4 percent of males have active ADHD, while only 3.2 percent of females have active ADHD.

ADHD In Specific Populations

  • The lifetime prevalence of ADHD among different minority groups is similar to that of whites.
  • Among adolescents, the lifetime prevalence of ADHD is 9.3 percent for blacks, 8.9 percent for whites, 8.5 percent for Hispanics, and 5.6 percent for adolescents identifying as a racial or ethnic minority.
  • According to American Psychiatric Association, the disparity among different ethnicities grew as patients aged. Among adults aged 18 to 44, 5.4 percent of whites have an active ADHD diagnosis. For blacks, the incidence is only 1.9 percent. For Hispanics, the incidence is 2.1 percent.
  • The consequences of ADHD can be more severe and long-lasting for minority groups.
  • People from racial and ethnic minority groups are less likely to receive needed mental healthcare services.
  • Racial and ethnic minority adolescents are more likely to be referred to the juvenile justice system when presenting with behavioral problems than their white peers.

ADHD And The Rate Of Co-Occurring Conditions

  • Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) reports that children with ADHD are more likely to have other issues as well.
  • Among children with ADHD, the rate of learning disabilities was 45 percent, compared to a rate of only 5 percent in the general population.
  • 27 percent of children with ADHD have a conduct disorder, compared to only 2 percent of children without ADHD.
  • The rate of anxiety among children with ADHD is approximately 18 percent, compared to 2 percent in children without ADHD.
  • Approximately 15 percent of children with ADHD suffer from depression, compared to only 1 percent of children without ADHD.
  • Speech problems affect 12 percent of children with ADHD and only 3 percent of children without ADHD.

Global Impact Of ADHD

  • Among children aged 18 and under, the prevalence of ADHD is estimated at 7.2 percent.
  • As of 2013, the number of children affected by ADHD globally was approximately 129 million.
  • Among adults, the worldwide prevalence of ADHD is estimated at 3.4 percent.

ADHD Treatment Facts

  • Nearly half of all ADHD cases diagnosed among adolescents show severe impairment.
  • Treatments used for ADHD include medication and behavioral therapy.
  • Among children, medication is the most effective treatment for reducing symptoms of ADHD.
  • As of 2011, approximately 69.3 percent of children living with an ADHD diagnosis was taking prescribed medication.