Treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), along with the associated health issues it includes, like depression, can add nine to 13 years to the lifespan of children and adults diagnosed with ADHD, according to a research study conducted by Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D., who evaluated the connection between ADHD and 14 critical health factors.
Dr. Barkley summarized his findings in his keynote address at the 2018 Annual International Conference on ADHD in St. Louis, Missouri. The complete study, Hyperactive Child Syndrome and Estimated Life Expectancy at Young Adult Follow-Up: The Role of ADHD Persistence and Other Potential Predictors, was recently published in the Journal of Attention Disorders.
“Our research shows that ADHD is much more than a neurodevelopmental disorder, it’s a significant public health issue,” says Dr. Barkley.
“In evaluating the health consequences of ADHD over time, we found that ADHD adversely affects every aspect of quality of life and longevity. This is due to the inherent deficiencies in self-regulation associated with ADHD that lead to poor self-care and impulsive, high-risk behavior. The findings are sobering, but also encouraging, as ADHD is the most treatable mental health disorder in psychiatry.”
Dr. Barkley and his team used data from a longitudinal study in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, that followed a group of patients with ADHD from childhood to adulthood, and analyzed the data using an actuarial-based life expectancy calculator, which was created at the University of Connecticut by the Goldenson Center for Actuarial Research.