Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

ADHD in Children Health Center

Font Size

CDC: Nearly 1 in 10 Kids Has ADHD

Increases Greatest Among Teens, Hispanics
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

Nov. 10, 2010 -- Nearly one in 10 children in the U.S. has a diagnosis of ADHD, with rates rising by 22% in just four years, government health officials said Wednesday.

The CDC estimates that between 2003 and 2007, a million children and teens were diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which is characterized by problems with attention, hyperactivity, and/or impulse control.

In 2007, 5.4 million children between the ages of 4 and 17 were estimated to have ever been diagnosed with ADHD, up from 4.4 million four years earlier.

Two out of three children in this age group with a current ADHD diagnosis -- 2.7 million children in all -- were taking medication for the disorder.

The figures come from nationally representative surveys of parents conducted by CDC researchers in 2003 and again in 2007, but it is not clear if the dramatic increase is solely due to greater awareness and more aggressive diagnosis of the disorder.

CDC epidemiologist Susanna Visser, MS, who led the study, says regardless of the reasons, the increase has major public health implications.

“This tells us that one in 10 children and their families are dealing with ADHD in America,” she says. “That is a very significant number.”

Big Increases Seen for Hispanics, Older Teens

The highest increases were seen in older teenagers and Hispanic children, possibly reflecting a shift in attitudes about diagnosis.

In the 1990s, ADHD was disproportionately diagnosed in white children from more affluent families. Today, more children living in poverty are diagnosed and ADHD rates are comparable among African-American and white children, Visser says.

Hispanic children have historically had the lowest ADHD diagnosis rates, but this appears to be changing. While ADHD diagnosis among Hispanics remained lower than non-Hispanics, the rate increased by 53% from 2003 to 2007. The increase may reflect better access to health care or changing attitudes about ADHD within the Hispanic community.

The survey also showed a 42% increase in the diagnosis of ADHD among 15- to 17-year-olds.

ADHD Trends State by State

The state with the lowest percentage of children diagnosed with ADHD in 2007 was Nevada, with a total of 5.6% of children having ever been diagnosed. Illinois and California had the next lowest rate, with 6.2% of children diagnosed in each state.

Today on WebMD

doctor writing on clipboard
mother with child
disciplining a boy
daughter with her unhappy parents
preschool age girl sitting at desk
Child with adhd
father helping son with homework
children in sack race