NEW YORK — More than one-tenth of school-age children and nearly one-fifth of high school boys in the United States have received a diagnosis for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to published reports.
The New York Times reported that the dramatic rise in the number of children diagnosed with ADHD over the last decade could lead to concern of over-diagnosis of the condition, as well as overuse of medications to treat it. The Times based its report on an analysis of raw data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC's study was based on telephone interviews with more than 76,000 parents from between February 2011 and June 2012. According to the figures, about 6.4 million children ages 4 years through 17 years had been diagnosed with ADHD at some point, with the figure increasing by 16% since 2007 and 53% over the last decade. About two-thirds of children diagnosed had received a prescription for a drug to treat it. A map included with the Times story showed most of the diagnoses to be concentrated in the South and Midwest.