ADHD as a Risk Factor for Infection With Covid-19

J Atten Disord. 2021 Nov;25(13):1783-1790. doi: 10.1177/1087054720943271. Epub 2020 Jul 22.


Background: ADHD limits the ability to comply with Covid-19 prevention recommendations. We hypothesized that ADHD constitutes a risk factor for Covid-19 infection and that pharmacotherapy may lower that risk. Methods: Study population included all subjects (N = 14,022) registered with Leumit Health Services between February 1st and April 30, 2020, who underwent at least one Covid-19 test. Data were collected from the electronic health records. Purchasing consecutively at least three ADHD-medication-prescriptions during past year was considered drug-treatment. Results: A total of 1,416 (10.1%) subjects (aged 2 months-103 years) were Covid-19-positive.They were significantly younger, and had higher rates of ADHD (adjOR 1.58 (95% CI 1.27-1.96, p < .001) than Covid-19-negative subjects. The risk for Covid-19-Positive was higher in untreated-ADHD subjects compared to non-ADHD subjects [crudeOR 1.61 (95% CI 1.36-1.89, p < .001)], while no higher risk was detected in treated ones [crudeOR 1.07 (95% CI 0.78-1.48, p = .65)]. Conclusion: Untreated ADHD seems to constitute a risk factor for Covid-19 infection while drug-treatment ameliorates this effect.

Keywords: ADHD; Covid-19; prevalence; stimulants.

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity* / drug therapy
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity* / epidemiology
  • COVID-19*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants* / therapeutic use
  • Drug Prescriptions
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants