Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Psychiatry

Prevalence of Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (Adult ADHD): Tabriz

Academic journal article Iranian Journal of Psychiatry

Prevalence of Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (Adult ADHD): Tabriz

Article excerpt

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioral pattern manifesting in childhood and is a developmental disproportional combination of Attention deficit/hyperactivity and impulsivity.

Initially, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder was known as a childhood behavioral developmental retardation disappearing through adulthood, but several documents have shown that ADHD is persistent through adulthood (1, 2). ADHD has been known as an important adulthood disease with diurnal variations. Diagnostic problems in adults are changing the pattern of symptoms during the time resulting in the difficult evaluation of the disease, and also the symptoms of ADHD may be misdiagnosed with other psychopathologies (3). It is forecasted that the frequency of this disorder would be increased in the future. On the other hand, previous studies have shown that adults with ADHD would often have different psychiatric and social function problems, (4, 5) such as substance abuse (6, 7), more frequent changes in employment and multiple marriages (7), unemployment (8) and lower career ability (1, 9, 10). Also, ADHD is a heterogeneous disorder accompanying multiple disorders (10, 11, 12).

Epidemiological studies have shown that ADHD is a common disorder seen in 5% to 10% of school-age children. Longitudinal studies have reported that ADHD symptoms would persist through adolescence years in 70% and through adulthood in 50% (3). In a study on 18-44 year old American workers, the prevalence of ADHD was reported to be 4.2% according to DSM-IV. The prevalence rate was 4.9% in men and 3.3% in women. The prevalence rate was 3.4% among those aged between 18 and 29 years and 4.7% among those aged 30 to 44 years. The prevalence of Adult ADHD did not differ across different educational levels and career skills in the workers (9). Another study was performed by WHO to determine the prevalence rate and career effects of Adult ADHD in ten countries. This study showed that 1.3% to 4.9% (3.5% on average) of the workers had Adult ADHD; these subjects had 22 days more missed role performance compared with healthy subjects annually (1). Also, a study in a national American Sample showed that the prevalence rate of Adult ADHD is 4.4% (4).

In a cross-sectional study about the prevalence and correlations of Adult ADHD among 11422 subjects aged 18 to 44 years from ten countries in America, Europe and Middle East, the mean prevalence rate of Adult ADHD was 3.4% (minimally, 1.21 in Spain and 7.32 in France). The prevalence rate was lower in countries with poor economic status (1.9%) compared to those with high economic status (4.2%). The authors concluded that adult ADHD is often accompanied by other DSM-IV disorders and would result in major disability. Only small percentage of patients with ADHD referred to psychiatrists to seek treatment for ADHD symptoms and also those who referred for treatment mainly had emotional and behavioral problems. The authors recommended more attention to adult ADHD studies in epidemiological and clinical issues (13).

The study about the prevalence rate of Adult ADHD may develop basic information in the estimation of the disease burden and essential programs to confront the disease effects. However, there are scarce descriptive data about the prevalence of Adult ADHD. As no previous study has been performed on the prevalence of adult ADHD in Iran and most Middle-East countries, this study was performed to determine the prevalence of ADHD in Tabriz, NorthWest of Iran, for better development and improvement of the health and treatment management in Iran.

Material and Methods

This was a descriptive cross-sectional study. The sample population included 18 to 45 year old subjects living in Tabriz, North-West of Iran in 2009. A sample size of 400 subjects was estimated prior to the study according to the Cochrane Formula considering P as 0.04, d as 0.02, and ? as 0.05. A two stage cluster sampling method with a probability proportional to size basis was used. …

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