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.