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Boys Diagniosed With ADHD Perform Worse in Life Compared to Those Without it

Update Date: Oct 16, 2012 09:12 AM EDT

A new study suggests that men, who were diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as children, seemed to perform significantly bad on the educational, occupational, economic and social front.

The study which was conducted in a span of 33-year years compared men with ADHD and those without the disorder.

According to the back ground of the study, the prevalence of ADHD around the world is about 5 percent and the long-term effects of the disorder is still a concern.

Rachel G. Klein, Ph.D., of the Child Study Center at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York, and colleagues report the adult outcome (follow-up at average age of 41 years) of boys who were diagnosed as having ADHD at an average age of 8 years, Medical Xpress reported.

For the study, the researchers analyzed the reports of 135 white men with ADHD in childhood, free of conduct disorder (probands), and compared them to a group of 136 men without childhood ADHD.

"On average, probands had 2½ fewer years of schooling than comparison participants ... 31.1 percent did not complete high school (vs. 4.4 percent of comparison participants) and hardly any (3.7 percent) had higher degrees (whereas 29.4 percent of comparison participants did). Similarly, probands had significantly lower occupational attainment levels," the authors note.

"Given the probands' worse educational and occupational attainment, their relatively poorer socioeconomic status at [follow-up at average age of 41 years] is to be expected. Although significantly fewer probands than comparison participants were employed, most were holding jobs (83.7 percent). However, the disparity of $40,000 between the median annual salary of employed probands and comparisons is striking."

The further findings of the comparison revealed that men with ADHD in childhood had more divorces (currently divorced, 9.6 percent vs. 2.9 percent, and ever been divorced 31.1 percent vs. 11.8 percent); and higher rates of ongoing ADHD, antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) and substance use disorders (SUD).

Also, men had ADHD in childhood were also found to be very likely to have ASPD and SUDs in their life time, but not mood or anxiety disorder.

The authors note that the findings of their study cannot be generalized to women population or to all ethnic and social groups because the probands were white men of average intelligence who were referred to a clinic because of combined-type ADHD, the report said.

"The multiple disadvantages predicted by childhood ADHD well into adulthood began in adolescence, without increased onsets of new disorders after 20 years of age. Findings highlight the importance of extended monitoring and treatment of children with ADHD," the study concludes.

The report was published Online First by Archives of General Psychiatry.

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