A new study has found that children in foster care are three times more likely than others to have a diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

For the study, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) examined 2011 Medicaid outpatient and prescription drug claims from multiple states across the United States.

What they found is that:

  • More than one in four children between the ages of two and 17 who were in foster care had received an ADHD diagnosis, compared to about one in 14 of all other children in Medicaid;
  • Children with ADHD who were in foster care were also more likely to have another disorder, with roughly half also diagnosed with conditions such as oppositional defiant disorder, depression, or anxiety. This is compared to about one in three children with ADHD in Medicaid who were not in foster care.

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