Use of medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by women more than doubled in the past decade, according to a new report published by Medco Health Solutions.
One in 50 adults between the ages of 20 and 44 took ADHD medications in 2010
- a 250 percent increase for women compared to 10 years before and a 150 percent increase for men. The findings were based on trend analysis of 2.5 million insured Americans between 2001 and 2010.
All five ADHD medications were approved for use in the treatment of ADHD in the past decade, which may account for the rise in adult use of the meds.
The significant rise in use among women may indicate that girls' ADHD is more likely to go undiagnosed until adulthood, says Dr. Lenard Adler, director of psychiatry and neurology adult ADHD program at the New York University School of Medicine. For every child diagnosed with ADHD, he said, there is a 30 to 40 percent chance their parent has it, too.
"Many times for a parent, what will bring them in to be diagnosed is they have a child who's been diagnosed," said Dr. Adler.