Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in a prebariatric surgery sample

Eur Eat Disord Rev. 2012 Jan;20(1):e103-7. doi: 10.1002/erv.1128. Epub 2011 Jul 27.


Background: Research suggests that obese children, adolescents and adults frequently suffer from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The aim of the current study was to estimate the prevalence of adult ADHD in a group of patients with grade 3 obesity (body mass index ≥40 kg/m(2)) prior to bariatric surgery.

Method: We assessed 116 patients for childhood and adult ADHD, co-occurring psychiatric disorders, severity of depression and daytime sleepiness.

Results: Fourteen participants (12.1%) screened positive for adult ADHD. Even though this rate is higher compared with prevalence rates in representative population samples, it was not elevated compared with a group of morbidly obese individuals in a German general population sample (14.3%). Adult ADHD was associated with greater severity of depressive symptoms and more psychotherapy contact in the past but not with binge eating disorder or daytime sleepiness.

Conclusion: As ADHD appears to be a common condition in morbidly obese individuals, the impact of adult ADHD on postsurgical weight loss needs to be examined. Besides, the causal link between obesity and ADHD in adults should be further investigated.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / epidemiology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / surgery
  • Bariatric Surgery / psychology*
  • Bariatric Surgery / statistics & numerical data
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / psychology*
  • Obesity / surgery
  • Obesity, Morbid / epidemiology
  • Obesity, Morbid / psychology*
  • Obesity, Morbid / surgery
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / diagnosis
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / surgery