The study, published in Monday’s issue of JAMA Pediatrics, examined health records from California and found that rates of ADHD have jumped by 24% since 2001.
“That is a very significant increase,” says Darios Getahun, a research scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Medical Group who conducted the study.
Many experts theorize that the rise in diagnoses can possibly be attributed by growing awareness of the condition. If one were cynical, one could also point out the increased rate of marketing for ADHD medications. Let’s not be blind; ADHD is a multi-billion dollar business to the pharmaceutical industry.
Kaiser Permanente reviewed the health records of more than 840,000 children, ages 5-11, and also found that boys were three times more likely to be diagnosed than girls. The cynic might say that boys are more boisterous than girls. They display greater signs of hyperactivity.
“I don’t agree with the language about ‘epidemic’ proportions [in the study] and ‘dramatic’ increases,” says Paul Hammerness, an ADHD expert at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. “It is my impression that absolute rates are fairly stable over time, from country to country as well.”
One must always question whether we are allowing children to be children or trying to mold them through medication.
Suggested reading: The Last Normal Child: Essays on the Intersection of Kids, Culture, and Psychiatric Drugs (Childhood in America) [Lawrence H. Diller M.D.] on Amazon.com.