During the 2017 U.S. Psych Congress, a study was shared that yielded startling results about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the United States. Results from the study showed that almost two-thirds of adults in the U.S. who self-reported ADHD were not pharmacologically treated, even though they were highly affected by their symptoms.
Studying Adult ADHD
Alexandra Khachatryan, MPH, and her colleagues invited individuals who completed the 2012 or 2013 National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS) to participate in their study about the symptom burden of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Eligible participants were adults 18 years or older who either self-reported experiencing ADHD or attention deficit disorder (ADD) in the past 12 months or self-reported ADHD or ADD that was diagnosed by a physician.
Of the 22,297 adults surveyed, 465 reported a diagnosis of ADHD. Adults with ADHD were more likely to report comorbidities compared to patients who did not, including depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, heartburn, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Individuals who reported an ADHD diagnosis also were more likely to screen positive for bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder on the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 that was provided.
From these individuals, over 62% reported not using a prescription medication. The researchers concluded that there is an unmet need for better treatment to manage adult ADHD symptoms. They highlighted the importance of screening for symptoms to assist with a proper diagnosis for adult ADHD.
Clinicians can also use genetic testing to provide patients with a streamlined treatment plan for conditions like anxiety, depression, and ADHD. Genomind’s Genecept Assay® identifies patient-specific genetic markers that can indicate which treatments are likely to work to help patients feel better.
Learn more about this adult ADHD study here.