Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and adverse health outcomes – Innovita Research

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and adverse health outcomes

Shihua Sun has investigated the associations between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and specific adverse outcomes including asthma and premature death. In his thesis, Shihua included four studies to clarify the magnitude and aetiology of the associations, as well as potential effects from medication treatment that may prevent poor prognosis.

Image credit: Alex Proimos via Wikimedia (CC BY 2.0)

ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorder, characterized by persistent inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that are inappropriate for one’s developmental stage. Individuals with ADHD also suffer from adverse outcomes including somatic and psychiatric comorbidities.

In his studies, Shihua found that individuals with ADHD are at increased risk of adverse outcomes including somatic conditions such as asthma and severe adversities such as premature death. Shared genetic factors largely explained the association between asthma and ADHD, indicating the significance of detecting within-individual and family history of either disorder for preventing a delayed diagnosis of the other condition.

Moreover, psychiatric comorbidities and medication treatment play crucial roles in understanding the mechanisms of ADHD associated with mortality risks and in preventing premature deaths among individuals with ADHD.

Source: Karolinska Institutet