California data shows ADHD cases rising

California ADHD Cases RisingIn 10 years, diagnoses of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) increased 24% in southern California, according to a study published Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Doctors reviewed anonymized medical records for children treated at the Kaiser Permanente Southern California physicians group between 2001 and 2010 – 842,830 children in all, according to the research.

Overall, in 2001, 2.5% of children aged 5 to 11 were diagnosed with ADHD, but that number crept up to 3.1% by 2010.

Researchers believe the study’s method, reviewing actual medical records within a defined group, gives a more accurate picture of ADHD in Southern California than other estimates.

For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates a much higher rate of ADHD – about 9.5% of U.S. children aged 4 to 17 in 2007 – but that estimate relies on parents responding to telephone surveys, a relatively inaccurate method.

Also, the vast majority of ADHD diagnosis in the study were by specialists using a strict definition of ADHD, as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). One study cited in the new research found that only 38% of primary care physicians actually used the DSM-IV for diagnosing ADHD, further complicating other estimates of the condition.

Full story of California ADHD cases rising at CNN Health

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Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

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Quantum Units Continuing Education provides online CEU training's to licensed professional mental health therapists, counselors, social workers and nurses. Our blog provides updates in the field of news and research related to mental health and substance abuse treatment.