Monday, January 25, 2010

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Girls Complications

We have known for a long time that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in boys has been associated with increased risk of several psychiatric problems in young adulthood but a recent study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry shows for the first time thst the same applies to girls with ADHD.

The study was a very good one in that it that it was a prospective longitudinal study that used a full follow-up assessment after an average of 11 years after enrollment in the study. There were 96 girls with ADHD who were compared to 91 girls without ADHD. 92% of the girls with ADHD had received medication treatment sometime in the intervening 11 years with 42% receiving treatment in the year preceeding the follow-up.

The researchers found that girls with ADHD had almost a seven times higher risk for developing depression or antisocial disorders, and over twice the risk of developing substance abuse problems, anxiety disorders or eating disorders. There are probably many reasons why this is the case such as general impulsivity and risk taking behavior. The rates of depression were high. Whether this represents genetic factors or the chronic demoralization that comes from problems in school,problems with peers, and problems within the families or some combination of factors.

It is discouraging to see that girls with ADHD have as many psychiatric problems in young adulthood as do boys. Hopefully some information will become available to see if early treatment can prevent these complications but for now we don't know.

Thought for the day

"From my first cry to my final breath God holds my destiny".

The Newsboys

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