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Comorbidity of mental and medical disorders among adolescents with ADHD from the U.S. population

Thursday, November 07, 2013 — Poster Session II

12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

FAES Academic Center (Upper-Level Terrace)




  • N. Jameson
  • B.S.
  • S. Gau
  • M.D.
  • Ph.D.
  • J.P. He
  • M.S.
  • T. Lateef
  • M.D.
  • K.R. Merikangas
  • Ph.D.


Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most prevalent mental disorders in youth and is associated with considerable functional impairment. However, ADHD is highly heterogeneous both etiologically and phenotypically. One of the most important sources of heterogeneity is comorbidity with other developmental, emotional and behavioral disorders. This study examines the comorbidity and impact of ADHD in the NCS-A, a nationally representative face-to-face survey of 10,123 youth aged 13-17 years. ADHD and other DSM-IV mental disorders were assessed using a structured interview for DSM-IV criteria. Results indicated that 11.3% of adolescents met criteria for lifetime ADHD (4.8% predominantly inattentive type, 4.6% predominantly hyperactive type, and 4.6% combined type). 71% of youth with ADHD also manifest another emotional (43.5% mood or anxiety) or behavioral disorder (50.8%), or substance use disorder (33.2%). In addition, 90% of youths with ADHD also suffer from other medical conditions such as learning disabilities, allergies, and migraine. Investigation of specific patterns of comorbidity revealed differences in the age at onset, clinical correlates and impact of ADHD. These results highlight the importance of comprehensive evaluation of ADHD across medical, educational and family contexts to maximize the effectiveness of intervention and prevention.

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