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Br J Psychiatry. 2002 Nov;181:416-21.

Conduct problems, gender and adult psychiatric outcome of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

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  • 1Psychiatric Hospital for Children and Adolescents, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark.



Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common childhood condition, and is more prevalent in boys. The adult outcome of girls with ADHD has never been studied.


To identify predictors for adult psychiatric outcome of children with ADHD, including gender and comorbidity.


Children aged 4-15 years, referred for hyperactivity/inattention and treated with stimulants were included (n=208). The Psychiatric Case Register provided follow-up data on psychiatric admissions in adulthood until a mean age of 31 years.


A total of 47 cases (22.6%) had a psychiatric admission in adulthood. Conduct problems in childhood were predictive (hazard ratio HR=2.3; 95% CI 1.22-4.33). Girls had a higher risk compared with boys (HR=2.4; 95% CI 1.1-5.6).


Girls with ADHD had a higher risk of adult psychiatric admission than boys. Conduct problems were also associated with a higher risk. Girls with ADHD with conduct problems had a very high risk of a psychiatric admission in adulthood.

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