Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD, is a neurological behavioral disorder disorder, which mainly affects children and adolescents, but in 2/3 of cases it can continue into adulthood.
The disorder, according to experts, affects about 5% of children and 2.5% of adults. A new study has found that ADHD is a risk factor for a number of common serious mental illnesses. In particular, the disease appears to increase the risk of chronic depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anorexia nervosa, and suicide, suggesting that early diagnosis and treatment can reduce the risk of these mental illnesses in the long term.
Previous studies have linked ADHD to mood disorders as well as anxiety disorders, but it was unclear whether it was actually associated with mental illness. To answer the question above, the scientists used a method called Mendelian randomization, in which the variables are genetic variants specific to the conditions being studied. In this case, ADHD was considered as a causative factor, and each of the following were considered as outcomes. the seven most common and socially significant mental disorders: schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, MDD, PTSD, anorexia nervosa, anxiety disorder and at least one suicide attempt.
Analyzes showed that ADHD does not increase the risk of developing bipolar disorder, anxiety or schizophrenia. However, it was associated with anorexia nervosa (28% increased risk) as well as major depression (9% increased risk).
After adjusting for history of major depression, ADHD was also associated with a 30% increased risk of suicide and an 18% increased risk of PTSD.