Who Is Affected by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Estimates vary about how many people are affected by attention
deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The accepted standard for diagnosing ADHD is the DSM-IV
criteria from the American Psychiatric Association.1 A
child's dominant symptoms (inattention, impulsiveness, and/or hyperactivity)
are determined and categorized. The condition affects about 3 to 7 out of 100 school-age children in the United States.1
Boys are diagnosed with ADHD more often than
girls, with a varying ratio of 2:1 to 9:1 depending on the specific
Inattention is the most common
type of ADHD diagnosed in girls. This type is the least likely to
be noticed in the early school years. It may not be detected until late
childhood.1 Many girls may not be diagnosed and
properly treated for the disorder until later in life.
It is not
clear how many adults are affected by ADHD. But overall estimates are that
about half of children with ADHD continue to have symptoms
into adulthood.2 More research is needed in this
American Psychiatric Association (2000).
Attention-deficit and disruptive behavior disorders. In Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th
ed., text rev., pp. 85–103. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric
McGough JJ (2005). Adult manifestations of
attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder section of Attention-deficit
disorders. In BJ Sadock, VA Sadock, eds., Kaplan and Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 8th ed., vol. 2, pp. 3198–3204.
Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
Primary Medical Reviewer
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics
February 2, 2012
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
February 02, 2012
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