Adult ADHD Frequently Goes Undetected
Condition often linked to other DSM-IV disorders
WEDNESDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- An estimated 4.4 percent of adults in the United States have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but the majority of cases go undetected and untreated, according to a study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.
Ronald C. Kessler, Ph.D., of Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues screened 3,199 adults aged 18 to 44 who were respondents in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication, a nationally representative household survey, for ADHD. The survey also screened for a wide range of DSM-IV disorders.
The 4.4 percent prevalence of ADHD was significantly correlated with being male, non-Hispanic white, previously married and unemployed. The condition was found to be highly comorbid with many other DSM-IV disorders. While many respondents with ADHD had received treatment for other comorbid mental and substance-related disorders, their ADHD usually went untreated, the survey found.
"Efforts are needed to increase the detection and treatment of adult ADHD. Research is needed to determine whether effective treatment would reduce the onset, persistence and severity of disorders that co-occur with adult ADHD," the authors conclude.