Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Swedes play numbers game with ADHD

Researchers from Sweden have been looking into the risk factors for ADHD. Sweden could be described as the ultimate database state with the authorities keeping large amounts of information on its citizens. Despite the civil-liberties implications this is very useful for medical researchers. The scientists, from the Karolinska Institute and Stockholm University, identified 7,960 Swedish children, aged between six and 19, who had been given a prescription for ADHD medication. The children's records were then tracked through other registers using the unique ten-digit reference number all Swedish residents are given at birth. The study found that boys were three times more likely than girls to be on medication with the highest rate being in boys between 10 and 15. Poorly-educated women were 130% more likely to have a child on ADHD medication than women with university degrees and children were 54% more likely to be on medication if they came from a single-parent family. Coming from a family on welfare benefits increased the risk of ending up on ADHD medication by 135%.

You can find out more about this research at

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