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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2006 Nov;45(11):1304-1313. doi: 10.1097/01.chi.0000235075.25038.5a.

Stimulant-related reductions of growth rates in the PATS.

Author information

1
Drs. Swanson, S. Wigal, and T. Wigal, and Ms. Stehli are with the University of California, Irvine; Dr. Kollins is with Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC; Drs. Greenhill and Posner, and Ms. Chuang, Ms. Skrobala, and Mr. Davies (retired) are with New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia University, New York; Drs. Abikoff and Oatis are with New York University Child Study Center, New York; Drs. McCracken and McGough are with the University of California, Los Angeles; Dr. Riddle is with Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore; Dr. Ghuman is with the University of Arizona, Tucson; Dr. Vitiello is with the National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, MD; and Dr. Cunningham is with McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.. Electronic address: jmswanso@uci.edu.
2
Drs. Swanson, S. Wigal, and T. Wigal, and Ms. Stehli are with the University of California, Irvine; Dr. Kollins is with Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC; Drs. Greenhill and Posner, and Ms. Chuang, Ms. Skrobala, and Mr. Davies (retired) are with New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia University, New York; Drs. Abikoff and Oatis are with New York University Child Study Center, New York; Drs. McCracken and McGough are with the University of California, Los Angeles; Dr. Riddle is with Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore; Dr. Ghuman is with the University of Arizona, Tucson; Dr. Vitiello is with the National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, MD; and Dr. Cunningham is with McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate growth of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the Preschool ADHD Treatment Study (PATS) before and after initiation of treatment with methylphenidate at titrated doses (average, 14.2 mg/day) administered three times daily, 7 days/week for asymptotically equal to1 year.

METHOD:

The heights and weights of 140 children with ADHD were measured up to 29 times in the PATS protocol, starting at an average age of 4.4 years. The relationship between standard (z) scores and time on medication was examined using mixed-effect regression to estimate change in relative size (slope).

RESULTS:

Average relative size at baseline was significantly (p<.0001) greater than zero for z height (+0.45) and z weight (+0.78), indicating greater than expected height (by 2.04 cm) and weight (by 1.78 kg). During treatment, slopes were significantly (p<.0001) less than zero for z height (-0.304/yr) and z weight (-0.530/yr), indicating reduction of growth rates. For 95 children who remained on medication, annual growth rates were 20.3% less than expected for height (5.41 cm/yr-6.79 cm/yr=-1.38 cm/yr) and 55.2% for weight (1.07 kg/yr-2.39 kg/yr=-1.32 kg/yr).

CONCLUSIONS:

Risks of reduced growth rates should be balanced against expected benefits when preschool-age children are treated with stimulant medication.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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