Background: Several studies have suggested that iron deficiency may be related to the pathophysiology of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) due to the role of iron in the production of dopamine and noradrenaline.
Objectives: To evaluate the status of iron deficiency in ADHD children, using ferritin levels, a reliable measure of iron storage in body tissue, as an iron status marker, and to investigate a possible correlation between ferritin levels and the diagnosis of ADHD.
Methods: The study group included 113 newly referred ADHD children aged 5-15 years (mean age 8.8 +/- 2.7).
Results: Ferritin levels were below 20 ng/ml in 67 children (59%) and above 20 ng/ml in 46 (41%). There was a very low inverse statistical correlation between scores on Conners' Rating Scale and ferritin levels, probably without clinical significance.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that low iron stores may be related to ADHD pathophysiology; therefore, ferritin should be included in the overall evaluation of children with ADHD.