Aim: To estimate prevalence and incidence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents in Slovenia using different epidemiological models.
Methods: Data from the National Institute of Public Health of the Republic of Slovenia for the period 1997-2012 were analyzed. The database includes the annual number of newly diagnosed outpatients with ADHD in Slovenia. The evaluation for ADHD diagnoses was done in accordance with the Tenth Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) outpatient data codes. In model 1, a linear increase was proposed to fit the data in the period from 1997 to 2003 in order to extrapolate the data before 1997. In model 2 and 3, an exponential increase in the annual incidence rate was proposed.
Results: The incidence rate of ADHD diagnosis in 1997 was 0.032% and in 2012 it increased to 0.082%. Mean prevalence rate was 750 (95% confidence interval: 660-840) per 100 000 children and adolescents. It was estimated that the prevalence rate in 2020 would be 1% (95% confidence interval: 0.875-1.125), which is 6.3-fold higher than in 1997.
Conclusions: ADHD is a common mental health disorder among Slovenian children and adolescents, but it remained underdiagnosed compared with Western countries. Our results indicated a need for improved timely interventions in Slovenia, not only in child and adolescent psychiatry but also in primary settings and adult psychiatry, where ADHD should be more efficiently recognized.