The number of reported cases of ADHD jumped by 24% in just 9 years
According to a study recently published in the scientific journal JAMA Pediatrics, the period between the years 2001 and 2010 witnessed an increase in the number of children diagnosed as suffering with ADHD.Thus, 24% more cases of ADHD were reported within said time frame than in the previous years.
For those unaware, ADHD (i.e. attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is a neurobehavioral disorder whose symptoms are inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.
Interestingly enough, the specialists who looked into this issue found that, all things considered, this spike in the number of reported and recorded cases of ADHD was mainly caused by white and black children, PsychCentral reports.
Despite the fact that they took into consideration the medical records of 850,000 ethnically diverse children, the scientists reached the conclusion that Hispanics and Asian/Pacific Islander children were less likely to be diagnosed with this neurobehavioral disorder.
It is the researchers' belief that the latter fail in being diagnosed with ADHD because both this disorder and its being properly diagnosed are influenced by cultural aspects.
Therefore, these children are often left with no choice except make head and tail of the situation they find themselves in on their own.
As Darios Getahun, M.D., Ph.D., puts it, “Our study findings suggest that there may be a large number of factors that affect ADHD diagnosis rates, including cultural factors that may influence the treatment-seeking behavior of some groups.”
“While the reasons for increasing ADHD rates are not well understood, contributing factors may include heightened awareness of ADHD among parents and physicians, which could have led to increased screening and treatment,” Darios Getahun went on to add.
Therefore, it can sometimes happen that children who are experiencing the same problem end up being given either different treatments or maybe even no treatment at all, depending on what their school teachers and their families expect of them.
“This variability may indicate the need for different allocation of resources for ADHD prevention programs, and may point to new risk factors or inequalities in care,” Darios Getahun wished to emphasize.