HealthDay News — Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) stimulant treatment in children is not associated with significant changes in growth, according to a study published online in Pediatrics.

Elizabeth B. Harstad, MD, MPH, from Boston Children’s Hospital, and colleagues examined the correlation between stimulant treatment and growth using data from a 1976 to 1982 birth cohort that included 5,718 children.

Medical records were used to determine height and stimulant treatment information for 340 childhood ADHD cases and 680 controls in a prospective adult follow-up study.

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The researchers found that there was no association between ADHD itself or treatment with stimulants and differences in magnitude of peak height velocity (PHV) or final adult height. There was a positive correlation between duration of stimulant usage before PHV and age at PHV (P=0.01) among boys treated with stimulants. Duration of treatment was not significantly correlated with change in height z scores.

A clinically insignificant decrease in mean z score was seen from beginning to end of treatment (P=0.06) among the 59 ADHD cases treated for at least three years.

“Our findings suggest that ADHD treatment with stimulant medication is not associated with differences in adult height or significant changes in growth,” the authors write.


  1. Harstad EB, et al. Pediatrics. 2014; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2014-0428