Last Decade Saw Fourfold Increase in AD/HD Diagnoses

New cases of AD/HD nearly quadrupled in the 1990s.

Friday April 1st - 8:00pm

New cases of AD/HD nearly quadrupled in the 1990s, according to a study published in Psychiatric Services. A considerable increase in diagnoses was widely thought to be occurring, but there was no proof that it was true until this published report.

The increase has led some researchers to claim that AD/HD is often diagnosed erroneously. Others say it shows that AD/HD cases really are growing, or that professionals are getting better at identifying it.

The study also looked at recent diagnoses of autism and substance abuse. Autism cases rose at about the same rate as AD/HD. Although many more kids were diagnosed with substance abuse than with either autism or AD/HD, substance abuse cases rose by only 39 percent in the same period. The study analyzed hospitalization records, which may reflect only severe cases of each disorder.

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