Birth date of a child could play an important role in determining the chances of being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The Journal of Pediatrics
In a recent study, researchers from Taiwan considered 378881 subjects in the age range of 4 to 17 years during the study period from September 1, 1997 to August 31, 2011. Those subjects in the study were enrolled from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. Researchers evaluated the prevalence of diagnosis of ADHD in children by their month of birth, and checked those children, who were prescribed medication as a treatment over a time of 14 school years.
Researchers found that the children having birth date in the month of August have increased chances of being diagnosed with ADHD, thereby receiving medication for the problem as compared to their classmates or children of their age, who were born in September. However, the finding is not right for teenagers.
The study was conducted in Taiwan, where the cutoff birth date for admission to the school is August 31. Children having birth date in August are usually the youngest in their grades, whereas children born in September are usually the oldest. This shows that the age of a child relative to his or her classmates in the same grade can significantly affect the development of ADHD.
“Our findings emphasize the importance of considering the age of a child within a grade when diagnosing ADHD and prescribing medication for treating ADHD,” researchers concluded in the study.
Chen, M., Lan, W., Bai, Y., Huang, K., Su, T., Tsai, S., Li, C., Lin, W., Chang, W., Pan, T., Chen, T., & Hsu, J. (2016). Influence of Relative Age on Diagnosis and Treatment of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Taiwanese Children The Journal of Pediatrics DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2016.02.012