How common is attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder? Towards resolution of the controversy: results from a population-based study

Acta Paediatr Suppl. 2004 May;93(445):55-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2004.tb03058.x.


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) is a common behavioral disorder among children, yet there is uncertainty about many aspects of AD/HD, including its precise frequency of occurrence, presence of comorbid conditions, long-term outcomes and the impact of treatment on long-term outcome. The objectives of the studies described in this paper were to address these important questions about AD/HD. The study subjects were from a population-based birth cohort, and included all children born in Rochester, Minnesota, from 1976 to 1982, who remained in the community after the age of 5 y (n = 5718). Complete medical and school records were available for all members of the birth cohort, including detailed information about AD/HD symptoms, psychometric test and questionnaire results, medical and non-medical treatments, and long-term academic and psychosocial outcomes. This information was used to identify 375 subjects from the birth cohort with AD/HD, based on well-defined research criteria. The estimated cumulative incidence of AD/HD at the age of 19y was 7.5% (95% confidence interval 6.5-8.4). Data from these 375 subjects with AD/HD will be used in ongoing studies of this disorder.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / epidemiology*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Minnesota / epidemiology
  • Sex Distribution
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants