CDC Report Looks at Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, May 21, 2002
Contact: NCHS Press Office
CDC Office of Media Relations (404) 639-3286
Disorder and Learning Disability: United States, 1997-98. Series 10, No.
206. 18 pp. (PHS) 2002-1534. View/download PDF
According to a new
report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),
approximately 1.6 million elementary school-aged children have been
diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a
condition also known as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). In a national
survey, the parents of 7 percent of children 6-11 years of age reported
ever being told by a doctor or health professional that their child had
"Prevalence of Attention Deficit Disorder and Learning
Disability," based on 1997-98 data from CDCs National Health
Interview Survey, shows that about one-half of children diagnosed with
ADHD have also been identified as having a learning disability.
serves as a snapshot of a condition that has important consequences for
the development of school-age children," said David Fleming M.D.,
Acting CDC Director. "However, much more needs to be learned about
ADHD and about the spectrum of impairments associated with ADHD."
The report details many
of the characteristics of children with ADHD, learning disability, and
children with both conditions. Among children with a diagnosis of only
ADHD, boys were nearly three times as likely as girls to have this
diagnosis. White non-Hispanic children were more than twice as likely as
Hispanic and black non-Hispanic children to report a diagnosis of ADHD.
In addition, access to
health care plays an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of
ADHD. Children with health insurance coverage were more often reported to
have a diagnosis of ADHD than children without health insurance coverage.
The study shows that
children with ADHD use more health care services than children without
this diagnosis. Children with ADHD were more likely to have contact with a
mental health professional and to have frequent health care visits.
"There has been
concern in some circles that ADHD has been over-diagnosed among those with
regular access to health care," said Fleming. "And there is
equal concern that the problem may be under-diagnosed among those who have
limited or no access to care. It’s clearly important to accurately
identify children with ADHD and ensure that they have appropriate health
report "Prevalence of Attention Deficit Disorder and Learning
Disability" was prepared by CDCs National Center for Health
Statistics and can be found at the CDC/NCHS
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