Epidemiology and etiology

O This disorder usually begins by 3 years of age but must occur prior to 7 years of age to meet diagnostic criteria. In the United States, ADHD is the most common neurobe-havioral disorder that affects children.1-3,6 ADHD has been estimated to oc-

cur in 4.3% to 12% of school-aged children. , ADHD tends to occur at a greater incidence in males than in females by approximately 3:1 in school-aged children.7

Although ADHD generally is considered a childhood disorder, symptoms can persist into adolescence and adulthood. The prevalence of adult ADHD is estimated to be 4%, with 60% of these adults having manifested symptoms of ADHD from childhood.8,9 Further, problems associated with ADHD (e.g., social, marital, academic, career, anxiety, depression, smoking, and substance-abuse problems) increase with the transition of patients into adulthood.

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