Kids with ADHD may face a lifetime of challenges
Contrary to popular belief, kids don’t always outgrow the condition, scientists say. In fact, children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) face a lifetime of challenges as they age and are more likely to have other psychiatric problems as adults according to recent research.
The findings from researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital were published in the journal Pediatrics.
The study is the first to follow kids with ADHD into their adult years. The symptoms of the condition were still apparent as children aged and raises questions about treatment.
“Only 37.5 percent of the children we contacted as adults were free of these really worrisome outcomes,” said study leader, Dr. William Barbaresi, of Boston Children’s Hospital, in a news release. “That’s a sobering statistic that speaks to the need to greatly improve the long-term treatment of children with ADHD and provide a mechanism for treating them as adults.”
ADHD is a childhood disorder that causes inattentiveness, impulsive behavior and hyper-activity. It affects 3-7 percent of children according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It affects boys more than girls.
Researchers followed 5,718 children that included almost 400 who had ADHD. Nearly 30 percent of the children with ADHD carried that condition into adulthood. Making matters worse, research showed 57 percent those children with ADHD had additional disorders as adults including anxiety, depression and substance abuse compared with 35 percent of those without ADHD.
“People who have ADHD need to be treated by a physician that looks at the condition in a comprehensive way and goes beyond just prescribing medication,” she says. “Patients need to be given the right tools to help them with organizational skills, time management techniques and other ways of managing the symptoms. This is especially important for adult patients.”
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