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Am Fam Physician. 2006;73(4):730

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a report analyzing the rate of diagnosis and treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among children and adolescents. The report, “Prevalence of Diagnosis and Medication Treatment for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder—United States, 2003,” appeared in the September 2, 2005, issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and is available online at

The CDC analyzed data from the 2003 National Survey of Children’s Health, which included persons 17 years or younger. According to the report, approximately 4.4 million children four to 17 years of age had been diagnosed with ADHD in 2003; 2.5 million of these children received medication to treat the disorder. The prevalence of ADHD diagnosis was higher in boys than in girls, and the rate of medication use was highest in patients nine to 12 years of age, regardless of sex.

Estimating the number of American children with ADHD is a significant factor in evaluating the overall burden of the disease, according to the report.

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