Persistence of ADHD into adulthood is an important predictor of car crash risk — ScienceDaily

A new study reports that the risk of being involved in car crashes increases for those diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The study was published in Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry(JAACAPElsevier published a paper titled “Car crashes by age adulthood” that looked at those with ADHD in childhood. This was 1.45x higher than the rate for adults without ADHD.

The authors also found no increase in car crashes among children with ADHD symptoms.

Arunima, MBBS and PhD, lead author, is a research fellow at the Royal Institute of Mental Health Research, University of Ottawa. She stated that ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder. Between 5 and 75 percent can continue to have ADHD into adulthood. Research shows that ADHD is associated to more traffic violations and speeding violations, license suspensions, risky driving behaviors, and more traffic violations.

“Persistence of ADHD symptoms in childhood can increase the likelihood of driving risky behavior into adulthood.” Research by our group and others has also shown that ADHD can lead to impairments in other domains. These domains include occupational performance, educational attainment and emotional functioning.

These findings are based on the Multimodal Treatment Study of ADHD (a multisite study that included six centers in the United States as well as one in Canada). The MTA is one the largest studies of ADHD treatment strategies. It also includes a 16-year-old follow up arm.

Between 7 and 25 years old, a study was done on a group of 441 ADHD-prone children and 231 ADHD-free comparison children from the same schools.

Researchers collected data on ADHD symptoms, driving outcomes, and a number of comorbid disorders, including conduct disorder, antisocial personality disorder and oppositional disorder.

Researchers found that licensure rates and ages to licensure were similar between adults with ADHD and those without. The rates of car crashes in adulthood varied between the two groups. Importantly, those with ADHD continue to have the highest rates of car accident involvement (1.81 times more than those with no ADHD history). The rates of car accidents did not differ between adults with ADHD symptoms and those who have never had it.

Dr. Roy concluded, “Clinicians should keep in mind the long term effects of childhood ADHD on quality life while attending patients and take an holistic approach to treatment.

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