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April 11, 2012

Cardiovascular Events in Adults Taking Medications for ADHD

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Georgia Poison Center, Atlanta (jjdevli@emory.edu).

JAMA. 2012;307(14):1485-1486. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.448

To the Editor: We have several questions about the investigation by Dr Habel and colleagues1 regarding the cardiovascular risks of medications for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in young and middle-aged adults.

The authors used prescription records as a surrogate for exposure. This is an accepted practice in many epidemiological studies. However, in the United States, 16% to 29% of ADHD medication prescriptions are diverted, and up to 68% of young adult ADHD medication users report receiving the drugs from peers instead of physicians.2 Do the authors consider the stimulant diversion problem a significant confounder?

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