London (PRWEB UK) 1 January 2014
It is estimated that ADHD affects 2% to 5% of school-aged children and young people. Common symptoms of ADHD include inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. Symptoms tend to emerge at an early age but is not defined as "abnormal“ until the child reaches the age where their peers have outgrown this behaviour and the child in question has not.
Children are diagnosed with ADHD between the ages of three and seven and they can typically outgrow this condition, although some teenagers and adults may still display symptoms. Early recognition and treatment of ADHD can improve your child's chances for long-term social and academic success. 1
The definitions of ADHD in doctors’ guidelines have broadened in recent years and this has contributed to a steep rise in diagnosis of and drug prescriptions for ADHD, particularly among children. The prescriptions for drugs used in ADHD, such as Ritalin, have increased 50% in five years and in the UK the estimated drug costs for the disorder are now £200m. 2
A study by the University of Exeter Medical School and led by Dr Ginny Russell, discovered strong evidence that ADHD is also associated with a disadvantaged social and economic background. A greater percentage of children with ADHD came from families below the poverty line than the UK population as a whole, with average family incomes for households whose study child was affected by ADHD at £324 per week, compared with £391 for those whose child was not.
The Exeter team analysed data from the Millennium Cohort Study, a database of more than 19,500 UK children born between 2000 and 2002. Information was gathered from surveys when the cohort children were nine months old, and at the ages of three, five, seven and 11.
The study, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, was funded by the Economic Social Research Council's secondary data analysis initiative. The findings support those of studies previously carried - but the findings show that the link between ADHD and socio-economic status exists in the UK.
The study found the odds of parents in social housing having a child with ADHD were roughly three times greater than for those who owned their own homes. The team also found that the odds of younger mothers having a child with ADHD were significantly higher than for other mothers. Mothers with no qualifications were more than twice as likely to have a child with ADHD as those with degrees, and lone parents were more likely to have a child with ADHD diagnosis than households with two live-in parents. 3