|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 4, 2002
| NIEHS Contact:
Tom Hawkins (919) 541-1402
Impact of Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity May Be Underestimated
- About five percent of the girls were diagnosed with ADHD, compared to 15 percent of the boys. Also three times as many boys as girls take medication to treat the condition.
- Overall, over nine percent of all fourth and fifth grade children in Johnston County were taking medication to treat ADHD. In these two grades, parents reported over 15 percent of white boys were taking stimulant medication.
- The percentage of children diagnosed with ADHD was similar among African-American children and white children, but eight percent of white children in the sample were receiving medication treatment compared to five percent of African-American children. Only two percent of Hispanic children were taking medication to treat ADHD.
The study utilized parental and teacher reports of 6,099 children in 17 public elementary schools in the semi-rural county. Because Johnston County has a racial/ethnic and educational profile similar to North Carolina as a whole, the authors of the study said they feel that medication treatment rates are probably similar in many other counties in North Carolina and elsewhere. The researchers said similar data needs to be collected nationally to better understand ADHD medication treatment patterns.
Authors of the study are Andrew S. Rowland, Ph.D.; Dale P.Sandler, Ph.D.; and David M. Umbach, Ph.D., of NIEHS, which is part of the National Institutes of Health but located in Research Triangle Park, N.C., near Johnston County; A. Jack Naftel, M.D., of the department of psychiatry, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill; and Lil Stallone, M.P.H., and E. Michael Bohlig, both of the private research firm CODA/Westat of Durham, N.C.
The research appears online in the February issue of the American Journal of Public Health, a publication of the American Public Health Association. The journal is accessible at www.APHA.org.
The principal investigator, Dr. Rowland, may be reached for interviews at (505) 272-1391.
Dr. Sandler, the senior investigator, is available at (919) 541-4668. (Dr. Rowland is now with the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center.)
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.