Prevalence of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in older adults in The Netherlands

M. Michielsen, E.J. Semeijn, H.C. Comijs, P.M. van de Ven, A.T.F. Beekman, D.J.H. Deeg, J.J.S Kooij

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Background: Little is known about the prevalence of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among older adults. Aims: To estimate the prevalence of the syndromatic and symptomatic DSM-IV ADHD diagnosis in older adults in The Netherlands. Method: Data were used from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA). At baseline, 1494 participants were screened with an ADHD questionnaire and in 231 respondents a structured diagnostic interview was administered. The weighted prevalence of ADHD was calculated. Results: The estimated prevalence rate of syndromatic ADHD in older adults was 2.8%; for symptomatic ADHD the rate was 4.2%. Younger elderly adults (60-70 years) reported significantly more ADHD symptoms than older elderly adults (71-94 years). Conclusions: This is the first epidemiological study on ADHD in older persons. With a prevalence of 2.8% the study demonstrates that ADHD does not fade or disappear in adulthood and that it is a topic very much worthy of further study. Declaration of interest A.T.F.B. has received an unrestricted research grant from Eli Lilly and AstraZeneca and has been a speaker for Lundbeck and Eli Lilly. J.J.S.K. is a speaker for Eli Lilly, Janssen and Shire and has received unrestricted research grants for this study from Shire, as well as for another study from Janssen.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-305
JournalBritish journal of psychiatry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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