ADHD News & Research

Study: Several Physical Diseases More Prevalent in Children with ADHD

It’s well known that patients with ADHD have a higher-than-average incidence of comorbid psychological conditions like anxiety, depression, and bipolar mood disorder. New research now suggests the children with ADHD are also more likely than their neurotypical peers to have comorbid somatic disorders of the body such as kidney failure, diabetes, and asthma.

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August 22, 2019

At least 86% of children with ADHD have at least one ADHD comorbidity — or related, co-occurring condition — compared to just 40% of children without ADHD. This finding, from a new German study1, confirms existing research on the prevalence of comorbid psychological disorders among patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD). But the study, fielded by the Central Research Institute of Ambulatory Health Care in Germany, also makes a surprising new discovery: Of 864 comorbid disorders studied, 370 (43%) were associated with ADHD — including the following somatic diseases not commonly connected to ADHD:

  • metabolic disorders
  • viral pneumonia
  • disorders of white blood cells
  • kidney failure
  • hypertension
  • obesity
  • type 2 diabetes
  • type 1 diabetes
  • migraine
  • asthma
  • atopic dermatitis
  • juvenile arthritis
  • glaucoma

Researchers compared 258,662 German children with ADHD aged 5 to 14 years to a control group of 2,327,958 children matched by gender, age, and region of residence, looking for the presence of 864 comorbid diseases. At least 86% of children with ADHD had at least one comorbid disease compared with 40% in the control group.

Researchers concluded that, in addition to psychiatric diseases, non-psychiatric conditions like those listed above were more common in children with ADHD. These findings indicate the need for a multidisciplinary approach to patient care.

Sources

1 Akmatov, M. K., Ermakova, T., & Bätzing, J. “Psychiatric and Nonpsychiatric Comorbidities Among Children With ADHD: An Exploratory Analysis of Nationwide Claims Data in Germany.” Journal of Attention Disorders. (Jul. 2019). https://doi.org/10.1177/1087054719865779

Updated on August 21, 2019

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