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The epidemiology of pharmacologically treated attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, adolescents and adults in UK primary care.

McCarthy S, Wilton L, Murray ML, Hodgkins P, Asherson P, Wong IC - BMC Pediatr (2012)

Bottom Line: Prevalence (per 1000 persons in the mid-year THIN population) increased within each age category from 2003 to 2008 [6-12 years: from 4.8 (95% CI: 4.5-5.1) to 9.2 (95% CI: 8.8-9.6); 13-17 years: from 3.6 (95% CI: 3.3-3.9) to 7.4 (95% CI: 7.0-7.8); 18-24 years: from 0.3 (95% CI: 0.2-0.3) to 1.1 (95% CI: 1.0-1.3); 25-45 years: from 0.02 (95% CI: 0.01-0.03) to 0.08 (95% CI: 0.06-0.10); >45 years: from 0.01 (95% CI: 0.00-0.01) to 0.02 (95% CI: 0.01-0.03).Whilst male patients aged 6-12 years had the highest prevalence; the relative increase in prescribing was higher amongst female patients of the same age - the increase in prevalence in females aged 6-12 years was 2.1 fold compared to an increase of 1.9 fold for their male counterparts.Incidence (per 1000 persons at risk in the mid-year THIN population) was highest for children aged 6-12 years.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Pharmacy, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. s.mccarthy@ucc.ie

ABSTRACT

Background: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by the symptoms of inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. ADHD was once perceived as a condition of childhood only; however increasing evidence has highlighted the existence of ADHD in older adolescents and adults. Estimates for the prevalence of ADHD in adults range from 2.5-4%. Few data exist on the prescribing trends of the stimulants methylphenidate and dexamfetamine, and the non-stimulant atomoxetine in the UK. The aim of this study was to investigate the annual prevalence and incidence of pharmacologically treated ADHD in children, adolescents and adults in UK primary care.

Methods: The Health Improvement Network (THIN) database was used to identify all patients aged over 6 years with a diagnosis of ADHD/hyperkinetic disorder and a prescription for methylphenidate, dexamfetamine or atomoxetine from 2003-2008. Annual prevalence and incidence of pharmacologically treated ADHD were calculated by age category and sex.

Results: The source population comprised 3,529,615 patients (48.9% male). A total of 118,929 prescriptions were recorded for the 4,530 patients in the pharmacologically treated ADHD cohort during the 6-year study. Prevalence (per 1000 persons in the mid-year THIN population) increased within each age category from 2003 to 2008 [6-12 years: from 4.8 (95% CI: 4.5-5.1) to 9.2 (95% CI: 8.8-9.6); 13-17 years: from 3.6 (95% CI: 3.3-3.9) to 7.4 (95% CI: 7.0-7.8); 18-24 years: from 0.3 (95% CI: 0.2-0.3) to 1.1 (95% CI: 1.0-1.3); 25-45 years: from 0.02 (95% CI: 0.01-0.03) to 0.08 (95% CI: 0.06-0.10); >45 years: from 0.01 (95% CI: 0.00-0.01) to 0.02 (95% CI: 0.01-0.03). Whilst male patients aged 6-12 years had the highest prevalence; the relative increase in prescribing was higher amongst female patients of the same age - the increase in prevalence in females aged 6-12 years was 2.1 fold compared to an increase of 1.9 fold for their male counterparts. Prevalence of treated ADHD decreased with increasing age. Incidence (per 1000 persons at risk in the mid-year THIN population) was highest for children aged 6-12 years.

Conclusions: A trend of increasing prescribing prevalence of ADHD drug treatment was observed over the period 2003-2008. Prevalence of prescribing to adult patients increased; however the numbers treated are much lower than published estimates of the prevalence of ADHD. This study has added to the limited knowledge on ADHD prescribing in primary care, particularly in the area of drug treatment in adulthood.

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Prevalence of pharmacologically treated attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (methylphenidate, dexamfetamine or atomoxetine) in patients aged 6-years and over in UK general practice (with 95% confidence intervals).
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Figure 1: Prevalence of pharmacologically treated attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (methylphenidate, dexamfetamine or atomoxetine) in patients aged 6-years and over in UK general practice (with 95% confidence intervals).

Mentions: There was a trend for the annual prevalence estimates to increase year on year from 2003 to 2008 (Table 2). Figure 1 demonstrates this increase in prevalence estimates over the study period and also that the prevalence estimates decreased with increasing age. The prevalence estimates approximately doubled between 2003 and 2008, in children and adolescents and those patients over 45 years old; however the largest increase was observed in adults aged 18–24 years and 25–45 years, with an approximate 4-fold increase in prevalence estimates.


The epidemiology of pharmacologically treated attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, adolescents and adults in UK primary care.

McCarthy S, Wilton L, Murray ML, Hodgkins P, Asherson P, Wong IC - BMC Pediatr (2012)

Prevalence of pharmacologically treated attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (methylphenidate, dexamfetamine or atomoxetine) in patients aged 6-years and over in UK general practice (with 95% confidence intervals).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3472167&req=5

Figure 1: Prevalence of pharmacologically treated attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (methylphenidate, dexamfetamine or atomoxetine) in patients aged 6-years and over in UK general practice (with 95% confidence intervals).
Mentions: There was a trend for the annual prevalence estimates to increase year on year from 2003 to 2008 (Table 2). Figure 1 demonstrates this increase in prevalence estimates over the study period and also that the prevalence estimates decreased with increasing age. The prevalence estimates approximately doubled between 2003 and 2008, in children and adolescents and those patients over 45 years old; however the largest increase was observed in adults aged 18–24 years and 25–45 years, with an approximate 4-fold increase in prevalence estimates.

Bottom Line: Prevalence (per 1000 persons in the mid-year THIN population) increased within each age category from 2003 to 2008 [6-12 years: from 4.8 (95% CI: 4.5-5.1) to 9.2 (95% CI: 8.8-9.6); 13-17 years: from 3.6 (95% CI: 3.3-3.9) to 7.4 (95% CI: 7.0-7.8); 18-24 years: from 0.3 (95% CI: 0.2-0.3) to 1.1 (95% CI: 1.0-1.3); 25-45 years: from 0.02 (95% CI: 0.01-0.03) to 0.08 (95% CI: 0.06-0.10); >45 years: from 0.01 (95% CI: 0.00-0.01) to 0.02 (95% CI: 0.01-0.03).Whilst male patients aged 6-12 years had the highest prevalence; the relative increase in prescribing was higher amongst female patients of the same age - the increase in prevalence in females aged 6-12 years was 2.1 fold compared to an increase of 1.9 fold for their male counterparts.Incidence (per 1000 persons at risk in the mid-year THIN population) was highest for children aged 6-12 years.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Pharmacy, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. s.mccarthy@ucc.ie

ABSTRACT

Background: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by the symptoms of inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. ADHD was once perceived as a condition of childhood only; however increasing evidence has highlighted the existence of ADHD in older adolescents and adults. Estimates for the prevalence of ADHD in adults range from 2.5-4%. Few data exist on the prescribing trends of the stimulants methylphenidate and dexamfetamine, and the non-stimulant atomoxetine in the UK. The aim of this study was to investigate the annual prevalence and incidence of pharmacologically treated ADHD in children, adolescents and adults in UK primary care.

Methods: The Health Improvement Network (THIN) database was used to identify all patients aged over 6 years with a diagnosis of ADHD/hyperkinetic disorder and a prescription for methylphenidate, dexamfetamine or atomoxetine from 2003-2008. Annual prevalence and incidence of pharmacologically treated ADHD were calculated by age category and sex.

Results: The source population comprised 3,529,615 patients (48.9% male). A total of 118,929 prescriptions were recorded for the 4,530 patients in the pharmacologically treated ADHD cohort during the 6-year study. Prevalence (per 1000 persons in the mid-year THIN population) increased within each age category from 2003 to 2008 [6-12 years: from 4.8 (95% CI: 4.5-5.1) to 9.2 (95% CI: 8.8-9.6); 13-17 years: from 3.6 (95% CI: 3.3-3.9) to 7.4 (95% CI: 7.0-7.8); 18-24 years: from 0.3 (95% CI: 0.2-0.3) to 1.1 (95% CI: 1.0-1.3); 25-45 years: from 0.02 (95% CI: 0.01-0.03) to 0.08 (95% CI: 0.06-0.10); >45 years: from 0.01 (95% CI: 0.00-0.01) to 0.02 (95% CI: 0.01-0.03). Whilst male patients aged 6-12 years had the highest prevalence; the relative increase in prescribing was higher amongst female patients of the same age - the increase in prevalence in females aged 6-12 years was 2.1 fold compared to an increase of 1.9 fold for their male counterparts. Prevalence of treated ADHD decreased with increasing age. Incidence (per 1000 persons at risk in the mid-year THIN population) was highest for children aged 6-12 years.

Conclusions: A trend of increasing prescribing prevalence of ADHD drug treatment was observed over the period 2003-2008. Prevalence of prescribing to adult patients increased; however the numbers treated are much lower than published estimates of the prevalence of ADHD. This study has added to the limited knowledge on ADHD prescribing in primary care, particularly in the area of drug treatment in adulthood.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus