ADHD in Children Increased

Attention disorders detected in children have increased over the last decade

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Chris Galloway, M.D.

(RxWiki News) The number of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has risen over the last 10 years. Stimulants, like Ritalin (methylphenidate), are the most common medicines prescribed for the treatment of ADHD in children.

A new study looked at the rates of ADHD diagnosed in doctor’s offices along with the types of treatments used. The number of children with an ADHD diagnosis has risen 66% over the last decade, and 96% of the children were treated with stimulants.

"Talk to your child’s pediatrician about treatment options for ADHD."

A study led by Craig F. Garfield, MD, at Northwestern University looked at the number of children diagnosed with ADHD while visiting their doctor’s office between 2000 and 2010. They also looked at the types of medicines that were prescribed as treatment and the type of doctors that were treating the disorder. 

The number of children diagnosed with ADHD by their doctor increased by 4.2 million between 2000 and 2010. Stimulants, like Ritalin, are the most prescribed treatment for ADHD, and this has not changed over the last ten years.  The doctors that are treating children with ADHD have changed.  More and more, children are being treated by psychiatrists instead of by pediatricians.

The authors stated in their recent abstract, “The effects of these changing treatment patterns on children’s health outcomes and their families are unknown.”

Male children are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than female children, and this trend has not changed over the last decade.

This study was published in the March issue of Academic Pediatrics.

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Review Date: 
March 31, 2012
Last Updated:
October 3, 2012