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CDC: ~14 Percent of Children Have ADHD, Learning Disability

Likelihood of having ever been diagnosed with ADHD, learning disability highest for non-Hispanic blacks

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Nearly 14 percent of children aged 3 to 17 years had ever been diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or a learning disability in 2016 to 2018, according to a March data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics.

Benjamin Zablotsky, Ph.D., and Josephine M. Alford, from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, used data from the National Health Interview Survey 2016 to 2018 to describe the prevalence of ADHD and learning disabilities by race and ethnicity.

The researchers found that nearly 14 percent of children aged 3 to 17 years were reported as ever having been diagnosed with either ADHD or a learning disability in 2016 to 2018, with the likelihood of diagnosis highest for non-Hispanic black children (16.9 percent). Among children aged 3 to 10 years, the likelihood of having ever been diagnosed with ADHD or a learning disability was increased for non-Hispanic blacks compared with non-Hispanic white or Hispanic children. For children in all racial and ethnic groups, diagnosis of ADHD and learning disability differed by federal poverty level. Among non-Hispanic white children only, diagnosis of ADHD or a learning disability differed by parental education.

“The percentage of children diagnosed with ADHD or a learning disability decreased with higher incomes for all racial and ethnic groups,” the authors write. “However, this pattern was not seen for parental education for all racial and ethnic groups.”

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