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ADHD diagnoses rising among U.S. kids

Staff writer |
A growing number of U.S. children have been diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Girls and Hispanic children are showing the biggest increases of all, a new study shows.

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Researchers found that in 2011, an estimated 12 percent of U.S. kids aged 5 to 17 had ever been diagnosed with ADHD. That was up 43 percent from 2003.

Historically, ADHD has been most often diagnosed in boys, particularly white boys. But Cleary's team found that the trends are shifting.

ADHD is still almost twice as common among white kids compared with their Hispanic peers - 14 percent versus less than 8 percent.

But between 2003 and 2011, the prevalence among Hispanic children rose by 83 percent, compared with a 46 percent increase among white children, the study found.

Similarly, boys still have more than double the rate of ADHD compared to girls. But the prevalence among girls increased by 55 percent during the study period: By 2011, slightly more than 7 percent of girls had ever been diagnosed with the disorder.


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