Over the last decade, the number of ADHD cases among young women has jumped 344%, a CDC report shows. CDC researchers underlined that when these women get pregnant, it may be unsafe to continue taking the ADHD medication, as there is little research on any side effects affecting pregnancy.
The new report couldn’t tell why exactly the ADHD rates have soared in recent years, but some experts tie the numbers to a greater public awareness about the condition.
The good news is that adult women are finally getting diagnosed,
noted ADHD expert Dr. Edward Hallowell.
Hallowell also said that the women who finally manage to get treated literally burst into tears after seeing how much their lives have improved.
According to another CDC statistics, the number of prescriptions for ADHD medication given to women has also climbed from 1 percent in 2003 to 4 percent of the population 12 years later.
Currently, around 5% of the adult population lives with ADHD, so the increased rates of ADHD in women may not be tied to higher diagnosis rates. What’s more, women are no longer behind the most cases of ADHD. Men are catching up fast.
Other Factors Influenced Spike in ADHD Rates in Young Women
ADHD diagnoses during childhood have also contributed to the recent increases in young women. As ADHD kids grow up they are taking their condition with them into adulthood. For instance, in 2003 some kids were in the fourth grade and now they’re 24 years old and still on pills.
Another factor contributing to the spike in ADHD rates among young women is increased awareness among moms after their child is diagnosed. Many new moms learn that they too may be having the condition after their kid gets the diagnosis.
ADHD expert Dr. Patricia Quinn said that this is the most common way that parents realize they may have ADHD as well. Fortunately, more and more doctors are now warning patients or patients’ caretakers that ADHD is inherited.
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