There are numerous statistics with Attention Deficit Disorder and while not every result is the same for each study, there are definite trends and common traits that seem to emerge over this condition.
Earlier studies indicated that over 20% of school-age children were affected with this disorder, although there seems to now be a more conservative estimate of 3-5% that is accepted. In addition, approximately 1 in 82 (or 1.21% or 3.3 million) people overall in the United States alone have been diagnosed. The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) put out a report that suggested 1.6 million elementary school aged children had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is considered to be one of the most common mental disorders in children. (1)
Studies also demonstrate that almost half the number of children who receive an ADD/ADHD diagnosis will have some other form of learning disability as well.
Another common finding, is the fact that a diagnosis is more common in boys than in girls, with results showing anywhere from 3 – 10 times more likely for boys to be diagnosed. In addition, White non-Hispanic children seem to be more than twice as likely as Hispanic and black non-Hispanic children to be diagnosed with ADHD.
The next finding that seems to be fairly common is the role that health care plays in an ADD and ADHD diagnosis. Children who belong to families with good health care coverage report far higher numbers of ADHD diagnosis than those without health insurance. Obviously, the children with good coverage will be having more doctor visits and more contact with a mental health care professional than someone without coverage.
These findings have led to much discussion over whether or not cases of ADD and ADHD are being over-diagnosed among those who have regular and proper health insurance coverage. And, in that light, perhaps the children who do not receive the adequate health care are being under-diagnosed.
Whatever the findings, the statistics with Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder show that it is a condition that is on the rise. It can be hard to get a real understanding of how accurate much of the statistics are due to the fact that many people in the world do not having access to proper medical care.
Not only that, but perhaps the medical profession may be adding to the confusion of the statistics by giving an ADD/ADHD diagnosis too easily. In the end, the statistics that are available give enough answers to realize that it is a condition that society needs to continue researching.
(1) Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Attention Deficity/Hyperactivity Disorder
National Institute of Mental Health: Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Among Adults
MedlinePlus: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
NHS Choices: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
American Journal of Clinical Medicine: ADD