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CDC: ADHD Diagnoses Rise Sharply Among U.S. Children, Treatment Lags

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June 18, 2024About 1 in 9 U.S. children received an ADHD diagnosis in 2022, contributing to an increase of 1 million new pediatric diagnoses since 2016, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The total number of children aged 3 to 17 diagnosed with ADHD increased from 6.1 million in 2016 to 7.1 million in 2022. 1Nearly 60% of newly diagnosed children experienced moderate or severe ADHD, the CDC says.

Further, 78% reported having at least one co-occurring condition (behavioral problems, anxiety, depression, or learning disorders), corroborating previous research on the prevalence of ADHD comorbidities.

23“Co-occurring conditions with ADHD are so common that “we might say this is the rule rather than the exception,” said Theresa Cerulli, M.D., during the June 2021 ADDitude webinar “Complex ADHD: The New Approach to Understanding, Diagnosing, and Treating Comorbidities in Concert.” “ADHD’s heterogeneous presentation, as well as the parts of the brain implicated in ADHD, may explain why comorbidities are not only frequent but also wide-ranging.”Boys are likelier to receive an ADHD diagnosis than are girls, but that gap is narrowing.

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