• Masood Ali Shaikh
  • Irshad Ali Shaikh


Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) ischaracterized by inattention, hyperactivity andimpulsiveness1. Learning disabilities have beenreported in up to 30% of children with this disorder2.Annually some $3.3 billions are spent on itshealthcare cost in the United States3. We describegender, race, poverty level and educationalattainment in the family associated with ADHD inunder-eighteen year old children in the United Statesof America, using data from the National Survey ofChildren’s Health, 2003 (NSCH)4.The NSCH was conducted from January 2003 to July2004; by the National Center for Health Statistics,and funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureauof the Health Resources and Services Administration.NSCH was designed to produce national and statespecific estimates, using random-digit-dial sample ofhouseholds with under-18 children. The respondentwas either the parent or a family member of the child,and interviews were conducted using a computerassisted telephone interviewing system. Affirmativeresponse to the question “Has a doctor or healthprofessional ever told you that the child has AttentionDeficit or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder thatis ADD or ADHD?” was used to identify ADHDcases. Design-based analysis with STATA release 9.1was done using Logistic Regression, and Odds Ratios(OR) were computed for the association of ADHD,with various socio-demographic variables; data wasdownloaded from the website of National Center ForHealth Statistics4.The overall prevalence of ADHD was 6.8% with95% Confidence Interval (CI) 6.5% - 7.1% (n =90226). In males prevalence was 9.6% (95% CI 9.1%- 10.1%), while in females it was 4.0% (95% CI 3.6%- 4.2%). Compared to males, females were much lesslikely to be diagnosed with ADHD (OR 0.36, 95% CI0.33 – 0.40). Race was assessed in the categories ofWhite, Black, Multiple and Other. Compared toWhites, Black children were less likely to bediagnosed with ADHD (OR 0.79, 95% CI 0.68 –0.92) as well as children in the Other racial group(OR 0.45, 95% CI 0.32 – 0.64), while no statisticallysignificant association found with Multiple race.Highest level of education attained by anyone in ahouse of the child was assessed in terms of less thanhigh school, high school, and more than high schooleducational attainment. No statistically significantassociation was found with educational attainmentand a child in the family diagnosed with ADHD.Poverty level of the household was assessed in threecategories; less than 150%, 150% to less than 300%,and 300% plus, based on Department of Health andHuman Services guidelines. Compared to children inhouseholds with the base category of less than 150%poverty level, children in the 150% to less than 300%and 300% plus category were less to be diagnosedwith ADHD; i.e. (OR 0.79, 95% CI 0.69 – 0.90) and(OR 0.65, 95% CI 0.57 – 0.74), respectively.In conclusion, male children were more likely, whilechildren in families living in 150% or above povertylevels were less likely to have been told by a doctoror health professional that they have Attention Deficitor Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder.


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