According to a new CDC report, more teenagers are being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) while the number of children ages 12 and under diagnosed with the disorder remains the same. The percentage of teenagers being diagnosed with ADHD has increased 4 percent each year from 1997 to 2006. Government researchers went door-to-door to ask parents of between 35,000 and 40,000 U.S. households if a doctor or health professional had ever diagnosed their children with the disorder.
The CDC also says in its report that more ADHD drugs are being used in the United States. During 2005, Ritalin was prescribed or given to children under age 15 in 3.2 million visits to the doctor, up from 1.9 million prescriptions during doctor visits in 1993. Experts like Scott Kollins, director of Duke University Medical Center's ADHD Program, point to the increased marketing of drugs like Aderall XR and Strattera to adults and older kids as a possible cause for the increase in ADHD drug use in those age groups.
To learn more about this trend:
- read this Associated Press article