How common is ADHD? Diagnostic rates in adults, women

ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is a neurological disorder that affects the parts of the brain that help us plan, focus, and perform tasks.

Nearly 1 in 22 American adults have ADHD, which is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention, hyperactivity, and/or impulsivity that interferes with and affects work, family life, and relationships, especially if left untreated. 1

Historically, it was considered a childhood condition, but ADHD is now recognized as a lifelong condition that persists well into adulthood. In fact, according to research published in american journal of psychiatry and JAMA Open Network, ADHD diagnoses among adults are growing four times faster than ADHD diagnoses among children in the US (26% increase among children vs. 123% among adults from 2007 to 2016). 1,2

However, less than 20% of adults with ADHD are accurately diagnosed and treated.3, 4

In this download, you will learn the following:

  • How many adults around the world have ADHD?
  • How many adults with ADHD are accurately diagnosed and treated?
  • How many adults diagnosed with ADHD have a comorbid condition?
  • The most prevalent comorbid conditions among adults with ADHD
  • ADHD diagnosis rates among adults of all races and ethnic groups
  • And much more!

NOTE: This resource is for personal use only.

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1 Kessler, RC, Adler, L., Barkley, R., Biederman, J., Conners, CK, Demler, O., Faraone, SV, Greenhill, LL, Howes, MJ, Secnik, K., Spencer, T., Ustun, TB, Walters, EE, & Zaslavsky, AM (2006). The prevalence and correlates of adult ADHD in the United States: results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. American Journal of Psychiatry. 163(4). doi:10.1176/ajp.2006.163.4.716

2 Chung, W., Jiang, SF, Paksarian, D., Nikolaidis, A., Castellanos, FX, Merikangas, KR, and Milham, MP (2019). Trends in the prevalence and incidence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder among adults and children of different racial and ethnic groups. JAMA Open Network. 2(11), e1914344. doi:10.1001/jamannetworkopen.2019.14344

3Barkley, RA, Brown, TE (2008). Unrecognized attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in adults with other psychiatric disorders. Spectra of the CNS. 13(11):977–984. doi: 10.1017/S1092852900014036

4Katzman, MA, Bilkey, TS, Chokka, PR, Fallu, A., & Klassen, LJ (2017). ADHD in adults and comorbid disorders: clinical implications of a dimensional approach. BMC Psychiatry. doi: 10.1186/s12888-017-1463-3