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ADHD Diagnoses Jump 24 Percent in a Decade

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The number of children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has increased by 24 percent between 2001 and 2010, a new study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics is reporting.  That brings the number of American children affected by the disorder in 2010 to 3.1 percent, up from 2.5 percent in 2001.  More from MSNBC.com:

Rates rose most among minority kids during the study period, climbing nearly 70 percent overall in black children, and 60 percent among Hispanic youngsters, according the study published in JAMA Pediatrics. Among black girls, ADHD rates jumped 90 percent.

Rates remained highest in white children, climbing from 4.7 percent to 5.6 percent during the study period.

The biggest factor driving this increase may be the heightened awareness of ADHD among parents, teachers, and pediatricians, says the study's lead author Dr. Darios Getahun, a scientist with Kaiser Permanente. For kids who need help, that's a good thing, Getahun says.

"The earlier a diagnosis is made, the earlier we can initiate treatment which leads to a better outcome for the child," he says.

Image: Distracted child, via Shutterstock

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