Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common mental health disorders of childhood. The symptoms of ADHD (inattention, impulsive behavior, and hyperactivity) begin in childhood and often persist into adulthood. These symptoms frequently lead to functional impairment in academic, family, and social settings. The causes and risk factors for ADHD are unknown, but genetic factors likely play a role. Diagnosis of ADHD involves several steps, including a medical exam; a checklist for rating ADHD symptoms based on reports from parents, teachers, and sometimes the child; and an evaluation for coexisting conditions. Recent national surveys have documented an increase in the prevalence of ADHD during the past decade. This report presents recent trends in prevalence and differences between population subgroups of children aged 5-17 years.
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