Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder casts a long shadow: Findings from a population-based study of adult women with self-reported ADHD

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Child Care, Health and Development, 42(6), 918–927
Background: To develop a sociodemographic and health profile of women with self-reported attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in comparison to women without.

Methods: Chi-square tests and logistic regression analyses were conducted on data from the nationally representative Canadian Community Health Survey-Mental Health (2012) comparing 107 women aged 20 to 39 years (inclusive) with ADHD to 3801 without ADHD. Depression, generalized anxiety disorder and substance abuse were measured using the WHO-CIDI.

Results: Women with ADHD had triple the prevalence of insomnia, chronic pain, suicidal ideation, childhood sexual abuse and generalized anxiety disorder and double the prevalence of substance abuse, current smoking, depressive disorders, severe poverty and childhood physical abuse in comparison with women without ADHD (all P < 0.001). Even after adjustments for age, race, education and income, women with ADHD had substantially higher odds of a wide range of problems.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that women with ADHD are particularly vulnerable to early adversities, health and mental health problems.
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Canadian CW research
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