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Little is known about the prevalence of attention-deficit hyperactivity
disorder (ADHD) among older adults.
To estimate the prevalence of the syndromatic and symptomatic DSM-IV ADHD
diagnosis in older adults in The Netherlands.
Data were used from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA). At
baseline, 1494 participants were screened with an ADHD questionnaire and
in 231 respondents a structured diagnostic interview was administered.
The weighted prevalence of ADHD was calculated.
The estimated prevalence rate of syndromatic ADHD in older adults was
2.8%; for symptomatic ADHD the rate was 4.2%. Younger elderly adults
(60–70 years) reported significantly more ADHD symptoms than older
elderly adults (71–94 years).
This is the first epidemiological study on ADHD in older persons. With a
prevalence of 2.8% the study demonstrates that ADHD does not fade or
disappear in adulthood and that it is a topic very much worthy of further
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