Mortality, ADHD, and psychosocial adversity in adults with childhood ADHD: A prospective study

William J. Barbaresi, Robert C. Colligan, Amy L. Weaver, Robert G. Voigt, Jill M. Killian, Slavica K. Katusic

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

171 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: We examined long-term outcomes of attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in a population-based sample of childhood ADHD cases and controls, prospectively assessed as adults. METHODS: Adults with childhood ADHD and non-ADHD controls from the same birth cohort (N = 5718) were invited to participate in a prospective outcome study. Vital status was determined for birth cohort members. Standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were constructed to compare overall and cause-specific mortality between childhood ADHD cases and controls. Incarceration status was determined for childhood ADHD cases. A standardized neuropsychiatric interview was administered. RESULTS: Vital status for 367 childhood ADHD cases was determined: 7 (1.9%) were deceased, and 10 (2.7%) were currently incarcerated. The SMR for overall survival of childhood ADHD cases versus controls was 1.88 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.83-4.26; P = .13) and for accidents only was 1.70 (95% CI, 0.49-5.97; P = .41). However, the cause-specific mortality for suicide only was significantly higher among ADHD cases (SMR, 4.83; 95% CI, 1.14-20.46; P = .032). Among the childhood ADHD cases participating in the prospective assessment (N = 232; mean age, 27.0 years), ADHD persisted into adulthood for 29.3% (95% CI, 23.5-35.2). Participating childhood ADHD cases were more likely than controls (N = 335; mean age, 28.6 years) to have ≥1 other psychiatric disorder (56.9% vs 34.9%; odds ratio, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.8-3.8; P < .01). CONCLUSIONS: Childhood ADHD is a chronic health problem, with significant risk for mortality, persistence of ADHD, and long-term morbidity in adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)637-644
Number of pages8
JournalPediatrics
Volume131
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013

Keywords

  • Adult outcomes
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Mortality
  • Persistence of ADHD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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    Barbaresi, W. J., Colligan, R. C., Weaver, A. L., Voigt, R. G., Killian, J. M., & Katusic, S. K. (2013). Mortality, ADHD, and psychosocial adversity in adults with childhood ADHD: A prospective study. Pediatrics, 131(4), 637-644. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2012-2354