Children with ADD More Likely to Develop Bipolar Disorder as Adults

Friday June 1st - 3:40pm

Children with ADD are more likely to develop bipolar disorder (BD) in adulthood, than are children without ADD, according to researchers at University of Buffalo, in New York.

In the longitudinal study, investigators, led by Dr. James Waxmonsky, assistant professor of psychiatry, found that about 6.5 percent of subjects with ADD went on to develop bipolar disorder compared with 1 percent of controls. "The prevalence of bipolar disorder was greater than that seen in other longitudinal ADD studies, but far less than the 15% to 20% reported in child psychiatry clinics," said Dr. Waxmonsky.

Investigators followed 364 children with ADD for eight years after they had participated in an ADD summer camp to determine the prevalence and predictive factors of bipolar disorders. They also followed 225 demographically similar non-ADD controls. Both the subjects and their parents were interviewed annually during the study period.

In addition to having a prevalence for BD, subjects with ADHD were more likely to develop major depressive disorder (MDD), and among ADD subjects with bipolar disorder, a family history of mood disorders was more likely than among those ADD subjects without a mood disorder.

The findings were presented at the 2007 annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA).

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