Rates of ADHD Diagnosis: Age, Gender, and Race


Dr. David Rabiner offers a helpful summary of trends in ADHD diagnoses.

The short version: rates of diagnosis continue to increase.

The longer version: depending how you analyze the categories, you get very different results. For children younger than 5, the rates are — in fact — falling. For adults over 65, however, the rate rose 348% from 2008-9 to 2012-13.

(That is not a typo: 348%).

One important point as you review these data: percentages are interesting, but so too are the absolute numbers. Diagnoses among those over 65 can increase so much as a percentage because the absolute numbers are relatively low.

By the way: analysis by gender shows an interesting pattern. Among adults, both diagnosis and medication are increasing faster for men than women. Among children, however, that pattern is reversed.

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