Hyperactive Child Syndrome and Estimated Life Expectancy at Young Adult Follow-Up: The Role of ADHD Persistence and Other Potential Predictors

J Atten Disord. 2019 Jul;23(9):907-923. doi: 10.1177/1087054718816164. Epub 2018 Dec 10.


Objective: We examined if ADHD Combined Type or Presentation (ADHD-C) reduced estimated life expectancy (ELE) at young adulthood and if the persistence of ADHD to adulthood further adversely affected ELE.

Method: A young adult follow-up of 131 hyperactive and 71 control cases was used to derive 14 variables that were entered into a life expectancy calculator to generate ELE scores. Both ratings of executive function (EF) in everyday life and tests of EF and IQ were measured along with comorbid psychopathologies.

Results: Childhood ADHD-C was associated with a 9.5-year reduction in healthy ELE, and a 8.4-year reduction in total ELE relative to control children by adulthood. The persistence of ADHD to adulthood was linked to a 12.7-year reduction in ELE. Several background traits accounted for more than 39% of variation in ELE.

Conclusion: Childhood ADHD-C predicts a significantly reduced ELE by adulthood, which is further reduced by the persistence of ADHD to adult follow-up.

Keywords: ADHD; behavioral inhibition; estimated life expectancy; young adult follow-up.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / epidemiology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / physiopathology*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / psychology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Conduct Disorder / epidemiology
  • Conduct Disorder / psychology*
  • Executive Function / physiology*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Inhibition, Psychological*
  • Life Expectancy*
  • Male
  • Young Adult