Significant Rise Observed in ADHD over the Last Decade

First Posted: Nov 25, 2013 06:04 AM EST

A significant rise in the number of ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) cases among U.S. children has been observed over the last decade.

The finding was revealed with the help of data accumulated by the third National Survey of Children's Health on school children aged between 4 and 17 years in 2011-2012, reports CBC.

It was found 6.4 million children suffered from ADHD, which was 2 million more compared to the number of children diagnosed with the disorder in 2003, a 42 percent rise was observed in the number of ADHD cases being reported by the parents.

"This finding suggests that there are a large number of young children who could benefit from the early initiation of behavioral therapy, which is recommended as the first-line treatment for preschool children with ADHD," Susanna Visser, a researcher from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and lead author of the study, said in a statement.

Child suffering from ADHD portrays difficulty in paying attention and/or impulsive behavior. This syndrome can be controlled with the help of medicines and counselling.

"Behavioral therapy should be the first treatment for preschool-aged children diagnosed with ADHD," Visser said.

About 11 percent school children from the U.S. are diagnosed with this most common childhood neurobehavioral disorder, ADHD. One out of 11 high school girls and one out of five high school boys were diagnosed with the disorder by physicians.

The CDC mentions that a variation was observed in the number of children with this disorder across the U.S. For example 4 percent children were diagnosed with this disorder in Nevada and 15 percent in Arkansas.

 "The number of U.S. households impacted by childhood diagnoses of ADHD is growing. When children diagnosed with ADHD receive proper treatment, they have the best chance of thriving at home, doing well at school, and making and keeping friends," Visser said.

It was found that around one out of 15 or 19 percent of children with ADHD were not treated with medicines or counseled in 2011-2012, which resulted in severe or moderate ADHD in one-third of these children. The CDC aims at curbing this syndrome completely.

"CDC is committed to working with the medical and educational systems to make a difference in these children's and their family's lives today and into the future," Visser stated.

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