School entry age may impact risk of ADHD diagnosis

Posted on March 12, 2016

Photo: flickr

Dr. Mu-Hong Chen, of the National Yang-Ming University in Taipei, Taiwan, and colleagues suggest a diagnosis of ADHD may be related to the age at which they start school.

The researchers assessed the prevalence of ADHD diagnosis among the children and whether they were prescribed medication for the condition.

They also looked at what age the children were enrolled in school, taking into account the annual cut-off date for school entry in Taiwan: August 31st.

The researchers found that preschool and elementary school children born in August were more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD and receive medication for the disorder, compared with those born in September.

Adolescents who were born in August, however, were at no higher risk of an ADHD diagnosis than those born in September.

"This result may imply that as age and maturity level increased in teenage years, the influence of birth month would have less of an impact on ADHD diagnosis and treatment," say the authors.

This prompts the question: are many schoolchildren being misdiagnosed with ADHD because they are displaying immature behaviors relative to their older classmates?

Category(s):Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Source material from National Yang-Ming University

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