About Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is a disease of inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. Furthermore, adults with ADHD frequently experience executive dysfunction and emotional dysregulation (rage, mood swings).

ADHD HAS SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES
Barkley RA. Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Handbook for Diagnosis and Treatment, 1998. Barkley RA, et al. JAACAP. 1990;29:546-557. Biederman J, et al. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1996;53:437-446. Weiss et al. J Am Acad Child Psychiatry. 1985;24:211-220. Satterfield, Schell. JAACAP. 1997;36:1726-1735. Biederman J, et al. Am J Psychiatry. 1995;152:1652-1658.
Barkley RA. Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Handbook for Diagnosis and Treatment, 1998. Barkley RA, et al. JAACAP. 1990;29:546-557. Biederman J, et al. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1996;53:437-446. Weiss et al. J Am Acad Child Psychiatry. 1985;24:211-220. Satterfield, Schell. JAACAP. 1997;36:1726-1735. Biederman J, et al. Am J Psychiatry. 1995;152:1652-1658.

Over 75% of adults with ADHD have comorbid conditions including executive dysfunction, emotional dysregulation, comorbid depression and anxiety.

Other research shows an increased risk of substance abuse with ADHD and a marked increase in other problems, ranging from being fired from a job to STDs, teen pregnancies, accidents and arrests.

Learn more about adult ADHD from the organization ADHD in ADULTS at www.ADHDinadults.com.

For additional information, please visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Growing Medical Need

Adult ADHD is among the most rapidly growing diagnoses affecting Americans. According to a recent report, the use of ADHD medications in the US rose 36% in the five years ending 2012. This growth has resulted in the number of privately-insured individuals treated with these medicines to approach 5 million in 2012. While the number of female children on ADHD medications is less than half of male children, adult women outnumber adult men in their use of these drug therapies. (Turning Attention to ADHD, U.S. Medication Trends for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, an Express Scripts Report, March 2014)

Important Medical Need

In an article published in 2015 Dalsgaard and colleagues followed nearly 2 million children, adolescents and adults in Denmark based on national registries. The mortality rate ratio (MRR) per 10 000 person-years was greater than twice (2.07) among those with ADHD vs. those without the disorder; p<0·0001. Accidents were the most common cause of death. Compared with individuals without ADHD, the fully adjusted MRR for individuals diagnosed with ADHD at ages younger than 6 years was 1.86, and it was 1.58 for those aged 6–17 years, and 4.25 for those aged 18 years or older. The authors also showed higher mortality associated with ADHD was higher in girls and women (2.85) than in boys and men (1.27). Dalsgaard S., et al. Mortality in children, adolescents, and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a nationwide cohort study. Lancet. 2015 May 30;385(9983):2190-6. In a follow-up study published this year, the same investigators showed that in children aged 5 to 10 years, the prevalence of injuries in children with ADHD who were treated with ADHD drugs decreased from 19% to 14%, compared with a prevalence of about 17% in non-treated children with ADHD. This corresponded to an adjusted difference-in-difference reduction in prevalence of injuries at age 10 years of 31.5% and 43·5% at age 12 years due to treatment. Pharmacological treatment also reduced the prevalence of emergency ward visits at age 10 years by 28.2% and age 12 years by 45·7%.

Dalsgaard S., et al. Effect of drugs on the risk of injuries in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a prospective cohort study. Lancet Psychiatry. 2015 Aug;2(8):702-9.