ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is one of the most common childhood development disorders in the US. It is also a diagnosis that can stretch into adulthood. 6.4 million children in the United States alone have been diagnosed with ADHD and that number continues to grow.
The average age of an ADHD diagnosis right now in the US is 7 years of age.
There has been a 42% increase in ADHD prevalence in the US over the past 8 years, yet this is still a condition that can be difficult to actually diagnose. Sometimes children who are hyperactive, struggle to pay attention during school, or cause other difficulties are thought of as problem children, but what they might really have is undiagnosed ADHD.
5 Fast Facts About ADHD
- Boys are 3x more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD when compared to girls.
- 12.9%. That’s the percentage of all men who will be diagnosed with ADHD at some point in their lifetime.
- The first symptoms of ADHD typically appear between the ages of 3-6, but they may appear at any time.
- The percentage of adults in the US who are believed to be living with ADHD every day: 4%.
- Children who are living below the established poverty line in any country are 2x more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD.
ADHD is one of the few developmental disorders that have demographic risks that are directly associated to it. When families speak English as their main language at home, for example, then the children are 4x more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. This may be because of better access to care, having this disorder as a point of emphasis, or concerns about a child not thriving in a learning environment which causes parents to take a proactive approach. Whatever the case may be, the cases of ADHD are increasing.
How ADHD Affects Its Demographics
- From 2001-2010, the ADHD rates for African-American girls without a Hispanic background increased by 90%.
- Caucasian children are affected by ADHD the most at 9.8%. Hispanic children [5.5%] have the lowest diagnosis rate. African-American children are diagnosed at just 0.3% lower than Caucasian children.
- The severity of ADHD causes an earlier diagnosis. For mild cases of ADHD, the average age at diagnosis is 8. For severe cases of ADHD, the average age of diagnosis is 5.
- The CDC rates of ADHD [11%] are more than 2x the rates that are listed by the American Psychiatric Association [5%].
- Nevada has the lowest rates of ADHD diagnosis in the US [4.2%]. Kentucky has the highest rates of ADHD diagnosis [14.8%].
If all of the diagnosis percentages are set aside for a moment, there is one point of common ground that all demographics have. About half of those who are diagnosed with ADHD are treated with medication for their condition in some way. Another 30% of people diagnosed with ADHD are receiving treatment, but not taking medication. It is believed that 1 out of every 5 people with ADHD, including children, are attempting to manage their condition on their own. Although this disorder isn’t contagious or make some susceptible to disease, there are several co-existing conditions that typically occur when ADHD is present. This is why early identification is necessary.
The Costs of ADHD
- The average cost of treating ADHD is over $14,000 per person. That translates to a US cost of $42.5 billion annually.
- 21%. That’s the percentage of parents with at least one child diagnosed with ADHD who state that their child has peer problems.
- Children with a history of ADHD are almost 10x more likely to have difficulties that interfere with friendships than children without ADHD.
- Parents lose 3x the amount of money in salary losses compared to the actual medical costs of treating ADHD because of time they must take away from work.
- Across 10 countries, it has been projected that ADHD is associated with 143.8 million lost days of productivity each year.
ADHD isn’t a harmless condition. It isn’t something that will just go away for many children either. It isn’t always something that can be handled without medical care. If children are acting out, not following the rules, struggling to make friends, or taking unnecessary risks while playing, then there may be the possibility that ADHD is affecting the child. It affects all racial demographics, all socioeconomic classes, and all ethnicities in some way. By identifying these traits early, the right treatment plan can be implemented – and it doesn’t necessarily even need to include medication.