Written by in section: Health > Common Conditions
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Aj Thomas MS, MBA & Updated on Apr 19, 2016
7 surprising facts about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
A child with ADHD being restless

What is Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?

ADHD is the current name (terminology) for a very specific common childhood developmental disorder that can continue through teenage and adulthood.

It was previously known under various others names like Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) with or without hyperactivity, hyperactive child syndrome etc.

 

The common symptom of ADHD includes:

  • Difficulty in staying focused at a given task (easily distracted, frequent daydreaming)
  • Difficult in controlling behavior
  • Being more active than usual or being restless (hyperactivity)
  • Physical aggression, inattentiveness, impulsivity (Boys)
  • Verbal aggression, anxiety, low self-esteem (Girls)

 

Fact 1: Common childhood developmental disorder

The overall occurrence of ADHD in children is around 3 to 7 percent. In the adult population, the prevalence is around 2 to 5 percent. With improving diagnosing guidelines, the number of diagnosed ADHD cases is expected to greatly increase in the coming years. The average age of being diagnosed with ADHD is age 7.

ADHD is found virtually in every part of the world. The symptoms of ADHD in male and female varies greatly.

 

Fact 2: Boys are three times more likely to get diagnosed with ADHD

In children, Boys are almost three times more likely to have ADHD. In the adult population men are twice more likely to have ADHD than women.

Boys tend to externalize the symptoms and are more likely to act out. There symptoms easily stand out. On the contrary girls tend to internalize the symptoms and are more likely be withdrawn. It is therefore very easy to overlook the symptoms in girls.

It is believed by experts that these differences in the way both genders display symptoms towards ADHD may be the main reason why boys are likely to be diagnosed with ADHD.

 

Fact 3: No known cure for ADHD

There is no known cure for treating this disorder. However, existing treatment options are able to manage the condition effectively.

There is a big focus on educating the family and school staff about managing children with ADHD. There are also various medications available to manage the condition.

 

Fact 4 No link to sugar consumption

It was widely popular notion that refined sugar could case ADHD. It was also believed that sugar could increase the symptoms of ADHD. There has been more research done lately to dismiss these assumptions. Researchers say that there is strong data to support that there is no proven link to sugar intake and ADHD.

 

Fact 5: Hereditary risk of developing ADHD

Research supports the claim that 75% of the ADHD cases have been due to hereditary factors. It is also believed that smoking, use of alcohol and various recreational drugs during pregnancy has been linked to prevalence of ADHD in the offspring.

 

Fact 6: Environmental risk of developing ADHD

Children that are exposed to higher amounts of lead during their early years are more likely to develop ADHD.

Children could be exposed to lead through various sources from the environment. Lead based paints used to be very popular till the late 70s. A lot of older houses could still have it.

Some cheap quality imported toys for children were also reported to be contaminated with lead. Old Plumbing from very old houses could also contaminate water with lead.

 

Fact 7: Higher chances of getting injured.

Children with ADHD were more likely to injure themselves (4.5 %) when compared with healthy children (2.5 %) as reported by their parents

Data from hospital emergency rooms also suggests that children with ADHD had a higher risk of major injuries. International data suggests that young people with ADHD were more likely to be involved in serious motor vehicle accidents and were also more likely to be involved in risky behaviors like drinking and driving or other traffic violations.

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  • Last Reviewed on:Apr 19, 2016
  • Medically Reviewed by:Dr. Aj Thomas MS MBA
  • References:

     

    1. Data and Statistics | ADHD | NCBDDD | CDC. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/data.html
    2. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Fact Sheet | Psych Central. http://psychcentral.com/lib/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-fact-sheet/
    3. Dr. Russell A. Barkley - Dedicated to Education and Research on ADHD. http://www.russellbarkley.org/index.html
    4. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/index.shtml
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