Children with ADHD tend to be a bit messier with their work and have difficulty keeping things in order. They can also be easily distracted and appear constantly "on the move". ( Vincent Van | Pixabay )
New federal data shows that in recent years, more children with attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have been diagnosed than 20 years ago.
Although the reasons for the increase is unknown, it is possible that increased awareness and less stigma have contributed to the increase in diagnoses.
Federal Data on ADHD
Researchers in a new study on ADHD prevalence in US children analyzed data from Prevention Centers for Disease Control and the National Health Survey (NHIS). Parents of children between the ages of 4 and 1
Researchers in the new study found that 10.2 percent of US children were diagnosed with ADHD in 2015-2016, compared with 6 percent of children diagnosed between 1997-1998. The researchers observed the increase in ADHD diagnoses over demographics, but also significant discrepancies in the new data.
Increased attention or environmental factors?
For example, in 2015-2016, there were more ADHD diagnoses in boys at 14 percent compared to the 6.3 percent diagnoses in girls, and there were also more diagnoses in older children between 12 and 17 years at 13.5 percent compared to the younger children between 4 and 11 years at 7.7 percent. There were also more ADHD diagnoses in black children, followed by white children, followed by Hispanic children at 12.8, 12 and 6.1 percent, respectively.
Researchers suggest that changing diagnostic criteria and heightened awareness may have contributed to the increase in diagnoses as well as better access to health care and less stigma related to mental health, especially among minorities.
However, other recent studies have shown that environmental factors such as increasing use of digital media, placental pregnancy complications, and even the effects of an outdated pregnancy drug may have contributed to the increase in diagnoses. According to the researchers, the findings suggest that the causes of the increase in ADHD diagnoses need to be better understood.
The study was published in JAMA Network Open
ADHD is a childhood disorder of the brain that is characterized by hyperactivity, inattention and impulsivity. Children with ADHD often have difficulty paying attention to play, conversation and tasks, following instructions and organizing things, and it can be difficult to concentrate because they can easily be distracted even by small stimuli or distractions  They are also hyperactive and appear "on the go" as they tend to speak nonstop, yowling about even in inappropriate situations, having difficulty waiting for their turn, wriggling and squirming in their seats when they remain silent have to.
There is no cure for ADHD, but therapies, medications, and education and training can help reduce symptoms and help both the person with ADHD and their families cope with the disorder.
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