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Comment & Response
April 2017

Child vs Adult Onset of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, New York
  • 2Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine, New York
JAMA Psychiatry. 2017;74(4):421. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.2741

To the Editor Two longitudinal studies of epidemiological cohorts published in JAMA Psychiatry—one conducted in Brazil1 and the other in the United Kingdom2—have found evidence for adult-onset attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in substantial proportions of adults with ADHD. These studies, plus an earlier one from New Zealand,3 challenge the longstanding conceptualization of ADHD as a disorder necessarily beginning in childhood. The strengths of these studies include large sample sizes and longitudinal prospective birth cohort designs. Thus, the childhood diagnostic data were collected in childhood and not dependent on retrospective (and possibly biased) reports.

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