ADHD Diagnoses Influenced By Race, Socioeconomic Status

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New data from the Center for Diseases Control and Prevention indicates that a child’s likelihood of being diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be strongly influenced by their race and socioeconomic status.

Between 2011 and 2013, 9.5% of children between the ages of 4 and 17 received an ADHD diagnosis, according to a data brief the center’s National Center for Health Statistics. Boys were twice as likely than girls to receive a diagnosis (13.3% vs. 5.6%).

However, a child’s race was closely related to the rate of ADHD diagnosis. For example, for children between the ages of 6 and 17, diagnosis was highest among white children at 11.5%. But it was lowest among Hispanic children at 6.3%. For black children, the figure was 8.9%.

Based on a child’s insurance status, the ADHD prevalence rate was high among those on public insurance (11.7%) and highest among those without insurance (5.7%). Among privately insured kids, 8.9% were diagnosed.

For children who came from families with an annual income of less than 200% of the federal poverty level, the prevalence of ADHD was higher (10.4%) than kids from families with above the 200% threshold (8.8%).

The data was analyzed and compiled by Patricia N. Pastor, PhD, and colleagues at NCHS’ Office of Analysis and Epidemiology, based on patient-reported data from the National Health Interview survey.

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ADHD Diagnoses Influenced By Race, Socioeconomic Status

Insurance and socioeconomic status as well as race/ethnicity seem to influence whether a child is diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a new data brief from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

Patricia N. Pastor, PhD, and colleagues with the NCHS Office of Analysis and Epidemiology analyzed parent-reported data from the National Health Interview Survey.

This report adds to existing research by examining the relationship between selected demographic and socioeconomic characteristics and diagnosed ADHD in children, they say.

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