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Saturday, December 21, 2013

ADHD More Prevalent Among the Poor

From Smart Kids with LD

December 16, 2013

We know that health and wealth are inextricably intertwined: the lower you are on the socio-economic ladder, the more likely you will die prematurely from heart disease and some cancers or suffer from chronic diseases such as diabetes and respiratory ailments.

But can income status also impact a child’s risk for ADHD? According to researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School, more children with ADHD come from low-income families than from families living above poverty levels.

Analyzing a large database that included nearly 20,000 children, the researchers found that children who live in social housing in the UK, were approximately three times more likely to have ADHD than children whose families owned their own homes. In addition ADHD was more prevalent among single-parent families and mothers who did not have a university degree.

Research in the U.S. has also found a link between income and ADHD, with increasing diagnoses among children in families earning less than 200% of the poverty level.

Implications

In an article on
PsychCentral, lead researcher Dr. Ginny Russell explains the importance of these findings:

"There is a genetic element to ADHD, but this study provides strong evidence that ADHD is also associated with a disadvantaged social and economic background.

Some people believe that ADHD in children causes disadvantage to the economic situation of their family, but we found no evidence to support that theory. It’s important to discover more about the causes of this disorder so that we can look towards prevention, and so that we can target treatment and support effectively."

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