ADHD Diagnoses Up 24% in 10 Years

Rates increased most in minority children

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 22, 2013 6:48 AM CST

(Newser) – In just a decade, the percentage of children diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder jumped by a big percentage itself: 24%, per a new study. It reviewed the health records of some 840,000 kids in California, and found that 2.5% received an ADHD diagnosis in 2001; by 2010, that rate was 3.1%, reports USA Today. Among white children, in whom rates are the highest, rates rose from 4.7% to 5.6%. But the highest increase was seen in minority children: Rates rose almost 70% in black children (and 90% for black girls) and 60% in Hispanic kids.

Overall, almost three-quarters of children diagnosed with ADHD live in families earning more than $50,000 a year, NBC News reports. "Higher rates of ADHD observed in affluent, white families likely represent an effort by these highly educated parents to seek help for their children who may not be fulfilling their expectations for schoolwork," notes the study. The lead author says the large jump could be due to parents, teachers, and doctors being more aware of ADHD, which is a positive for children who need treatment. Notably, this study relied on health records indicating ADHD, rather than parents' reports.

  (Shutterstock)
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