New Study Unveils Alarming Rise in ADHD Cases Among American Youth

ADHD Cases Among American Youth
ADHD Cases Among American Youth. Credit | Shutterstock

United States – New research reveals that one in nine children in the United States have received an ADHD diagnosis at some point; numbers are a bit higher than children who rightfully can be taking the drug today.

Key Statistics

Close to one million children, or 11.4% of students, were reported to be at risk of flunking based on the survey. The survey, which was conducted and published in the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology on May 23, shows that 4% of them have ever been diagnosed with ADHD, as reported by HealthDay.

Rising Incidence and Treatment Patterns

Incidence appears to be rising: Experts found out that based on the childhood population of 3-17 years, one million more children were diagnosed with ADHD in 2022 than in 2016.

The study reveals that at present, there are 6.5 million children with ADHD, or 10.5% of present children who were found to have ADHD at some time in their lives.

Studies reveal that 58% of children who are still struggling with ADHD have moderate to severe symptoms of the said disorder, and 78% of them have other disorders as well.

Among current ADHD patients, 53.7% have taken medication for the disorder, and 43.9% have received any behavioral therapy in the past year, the authors said.

A third of the children (30%) have not been prescribed any treatment related to ADHD, the survey indicates.

Specifically, the study showed that ADHD is more prevalent in the United States than in other nations.

In the study, the authors used data gathered from over 45,000 child interviews that were part of an NSCH survey conducted in 2022.

Evolving Awareness and Diagnosis Patterns

“Public awareness of ADHD has changed over time,” the researchers said.

“With increased awareness of symptoms related to attention regulation, ADHD has been increasingly recognized in girls, adolescents, and adults,” they added in a journal news release. “Moreover, ADHD has previously been diagnosed at lower rates among children in some racial and ethnic minority groups. With increased awareness, such diagnosis gaps have been narrowing or closing.”

For instance, some studies showed that Asian and Hispanic children had less of diagnosed ADHD than white children.

Socioeconomic and Demographic Disparities

The study also revealed that children growing in homes with lower education, and income displayed a higher rate of ADHD than kids in homes, which were more affluent and educated.

In addition, children with Medicaid or some other form of public health insurance were diagnosed with ADHD more often than children with private health insurance.

It was discovered that major geographical regions of the country with significant differences in childhood ADHD prevalence included the Northeast, Midwest, and South as opposed to the West. Also, there is evidence that patients with ADHD are more widespread in rural or suburban areas compared to urban areas.

Such differences also apply to the attitude towards ADHD, too, researchers said, as reported by HealthDay.

Children insured through the public sector are more likely to be taking medication than those in private insurance, and children in the Midwest/South are more likely to have been prescribed medicines than those in the West.