Table 18KQ3. A sample of summary data for clinical diagnostic prevalence of ADHD among adults in the United States

Prevalence (%)
AgeSexData SourceSocioeconomic StatusComment
Castle, L. (2007)258

2005 data: 0.8% of adults

Prevalence defined as one or more prescriptions for ‘ADHD medications’ received during the year
NationalNRAdult: over 20y

Use was more common among older children, ages 10 to 19y
Adult Male/ Female: 0.8%

Tx prevalence increased more rapidly for women than men
Prescription benefit plans with Medco Health Solutions between 2000 to 2005Patients identified for study if eligible for prescription drug benefitsStudy done by and for Medco Health Solutions
Eyestone, L.L. and Howell, R.J. (1994)107

25.5% ADHD & 25.5% major depression
Utah PrisonIncarcerated16 to 69yMalesSelf report and DSM-III-RNR10%(p <.001) = dual diagnosis of ADHD & major depression
Fayyad, J. (2007)8 WMH-NCSR

National data as reported in an international studyNR18 to 44ybothProbability sample

Interview with trained personnel
NR12m treatment for ADHD
Kessler (2005) 190

36.3% of adults with current ADHD were retrospectively assessed to have had childhood ADHD
NationalN = 3,197 total With current ADHD: n = 346

Diagnosed with adult ADHD:
White: 37.8% (OR 1.0)
Black: 29.6% (OR 0.7, 0.3–1.7)
Hispanic: 28.0% (OR 0.7, 0.2–2.0)
Other: 48.6% (OR 1.7, 0.4–7.2)

Diagnosed with adult ADHD:
18–24y: 39.1% (OR 1.1, 0.5–2.5)
25–34y: 31.9% (OR 0.8, 0.4–1.7)
35–44y: 37.8% (OR 1.0)
Of total population:
Male: 64.3%
Female: 35.7%

Diagnosed with adult ADHD:
Male: 39.7% (OR 1.4, 0.7–2.7)
Female: 31.5% (OR 1.0)
National Comorbidity Survey-Replication (NCS-R)NRChildhood ADHD severity and childhood treatment significantly predicted persistence.
Kessler, R.C. (2006)5 NCSR study

NationalLow prevalence among Hispanics and non-Hispanic African-Americans18 to 44yMen >Women OR 1.6 (p <0.05)

Significantly higher proportion of women than men with adult ADHD had received Tx for mental or substance related problems in 12 months before interview (53.1% vs. 36.5%, p = 0.02), but only 25.2% of treated respondents had received Tx for ADHD (22.8% women and 27.7% men)
Adult ADHD Clinical Diagnosis Scale for screening

Clinical reappraisal with DSM-IV interview

Abbreviations: ADHD = Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder; AMP = Amphetamine; DSM = Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders; DSM-III-R = Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (version 3) revised; NCSR = National Comorbidity Survey Replication; NR = Not reported; OR = odds ratio; Tx = treatment; WMH = World Mental Health; y = year

From: Results

Cover of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Effectiveness of Treatment in At-Risk Preschoolers; Long-Term Effectiveness in All Ages; and Variability in Prevalence, Diagnosis, and Treatment [Internet].
Comparative Effectiveness Reviews, No. 44.
Charach A, Dashti B, Carson P, et al.

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