Recent studies provide clinically relevant information related to the course and treatment outcomes of ADHD in children and adolescents.
In the longest controlled prospective study of childhood ADHD, Klein and colleagues1 examined clinical and functional outcomes in adulthood. Study participants were boys aged 6 to 12 years (mean age 8.3 years) who had ADHD at the start of the study. The control group consisted of boys without ADHD; 135 men with ADHD in childhood (65.2% of original sample) and 136 men without ADHD (76.4% of original sample) participated in the follow up study. The follow up period was 33 years with a mean age of 41 years.
Study results showed that compared with men without childhood ADHD, men with childhood ADHD had higher rates of ongoing ADHD (22.2% vs 5.1%), antisocial personality disorder (16.3% vs 0%), substance use disorders (14.1% vs 5.1%), and psychiatric hospitalizations (24.4% vs 6.6%). There were no differences between these groups in prevalence of alcohol disorders, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders.
Men with childhood ADHD also had:
• lower educational levels (mean 2.5 less years)
• lower occupational achievement
• lower socioeconomic status
• lower social functioning
• higher divorce rates
• more incarcerations
• higher mortality lower educational levels (mean 2.5 less years)
Based on these long-term outcomes, the investigators emphasize the importance of monitoring and treating children with ADHD.
For more information on ADHD, please see "Course and Treatment Outcomes of ADHD," by Karen Dineen Wagner, MD, PhD, on which this infographic is based.
1. Klein RG, Mannuzza S, Olazagasti MAR, et al. Clinical and functional outcome of childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder 33 years later. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2012;69:1295-1303.