ADHD-child 29228

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study this month reporting a marked increase in the number of American children between the ages of 5 and 17 who have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Overall, the diagnosis rate went from 7 percent in the 1998-2000 period to 9 percent in the 2007-2009 period. The Midwest and South experienced a higher jump--a 10 percent rise between 1998 and 2009.

Economic status appeared to have a correlation with ADHD diagnosis rates, with 10 percent of children living at the poverty level receiving diagnoses.  And ethnicity also played a role, with Mexican children consistently receiving fewer diagnoses than other ethnic groups.

According to the CDC, "Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common mental health disorders of childhood. The symptoms of ADHD (inattention, impulsive behavior, and hyperactivity) begin in childhood and often persist into adulthood. The causes and risk factors for ADHD are unknown, but genetic factors likely play a role. Diagnosis of ADHD involves several steps, including a medical exam; a checklist for rating ADHD symptoms based on reports from parents, teachers, and sometimes the child; and an evaluation for coexisting conditions."