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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
February 12, 2014

Steep Increase in ADHD Diagnoses

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2014 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2014;311(6):565. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.244

A recent analysis indicates that the proportion of children having a history of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) increased by 42% in less than a decade.

Investigators used data from the National Survey of Children’s Health, a random-digit-dialed telephone survey, to compare the differences between 2003 and 2011 in how many parents say a health professional had ever diagnosed their child with ADHD. Results, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, showed that in 2003, 7.8% of children and teens aged 4 to 17 years had ever been diagnosed with ADHD. The figure increased by 22%, to 9.5%, in 2007 and by another 16%, to 11%, in 2011. The 2011 prevalence rate represented more than 6.4 million children and teens nationally.