One in 10 U.S. School-Age Kids Have ADHD: Report

PLUS: When an ADHD Diagnosis May Cause More Harm Than Good

U.S. News & World Report — About 1 in every 10 U.S. children ages 5 to 17 has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to the latest government statistics.

The data from the National Health Interview Survey covers the years 2020 through 2022 and came from in-person or phone interviews involving a representative sample of American homes.

It found that 11.3% of school-age children have been diagnosed with ADHD, with boys more likely to have this diagnosis (14.5%) than girls (8%), according to report authors Cynthia Reuben and Nazik Elgaddal, of the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

ADHD is diagnosed more often among white children (13.4%) than Black youngsters (10.8%) or Hispanic (8.9%) kids, the survey also showed …

“The total annual societal excess costs associated with ADHD were estimated at $19.4 billion among children ($6,799 per child) and $13.8 billion among adolescents ($8,349 per adolescent). Education costs contributed to approximately half of the total excess costs in both populations ($11.6 billion in children; $6.7 billion in adolescents).

“Other major contributors to the overall burden were direct healthcare costs ($5.0 billion in children; $4.0 billion in adolescents) and caregiving costs ($2.7 billion in children; $1.6 billion in adolescents).” – Journal of Medical Economics

When an ADHD Diagnosis May Cause More Harm Than Good

Kenny Lin, MD, MPH, April 4, 2023

American Academy of Family Physicians – Over the past few decades, U.S. children have become increasingly likely to receive a diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to multiple national surveys.

...article continued below
- Advertisement -

This unexplained rise in prevalence may be partly due to overdiagnosis, suggested a Lown Right Care article by Dr. Elizabeth Wolf and colleagues in the March issue of American Family Physician.

They noted that the characteristic traits of ADHD—hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and impulsiveness—“exist on a continuum with normal behavior” and that disease cutoffs have been gradually lowered, culminating in the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria, which “lowered the percentage of criteria needed for diagnosing ADHD in older adolescents and increased the age by which behaviors must have first appeared (from seven to 12 years).”

Evidence of situational ADHD overdiagnosis includes wide variations in stimulant prescriptions across states, higher rates in children who are young for their school grade, and comorbid learning and psychiatric disorders that may be mistaken for ADHD.

Although children diagnosed with ADHD can qualify for individualized education plans, and those with moderate to severe symptoms who take stimulant medications show improvements in math and reading performance, the benefit of diagnosing a child with mild symptoms is less clear …


- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -


- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -