Sat. May 18th, 2024

Some 11 percent of U.S. children have been diagnosed with ADHD

More than 1 in 10 children in the United States — about 11 percent of those ages 5 to 17 — have been diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a report from the National Center for Health Statistics.

The report data was drawn from interviews, conducted in person and by phone from 2020 through 2022, with members of a representative sample of U.S. households.

ADHD is a medical condition characterized by differences in brain development and activity that can lead to children being inattentive, overactive and impulsive. For instance, a child might not listen when spoken to, have trouble organizing tasks and activities, fidget and squirm while seated and talk excessively. Although most children occasionally struggle with these issues, the struggle is harder and more frequent for those with ADHD.

The condition usually begins in childhood, but it can extend into adolescence and adulthood, with symptoms often changing as the child ages. The researchers found that ADHD was more prevalent among boys than girls (14.5 vs. 8 percent) and that youths 12 and older were more likely to have an ADHD diagnosis than were those younger than 12.

Although no single cause has been found for all cases of ADHD, medical experts often point to genetics, noting that children with ADHD frequently have a parent or relative with the condition. No cure has been found for ADHD, but treatment — which may include medication, therapy (family, psychological or behavioral), parental coaching and classroom accommodations for the child — may reduce symptoms and improve the child’s ability to function.

This article is part of The Post’s “Big Number” series, which takes a brief look at the statistical aspect of health issues. Additional information and relevant research are available through the hyperlinks.

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