Minority children are diagnosed for ADHD, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, at a much lower rate than white children, new research shows.
The study followed more than 17,000 children across the nation, from kindergarten to eighth grade, and asked parents if their children were diagnosed with the disorder, according to HealthDay. The study was published in the June issue of Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics.
Researchers found that Hispanic and Asian children and those of other races were about half as likely to receive a diagnosis as whites. Blacks are about two-thirds less likely to be recognized as having problems with attention or hyperactivity as whites.
In addition, when minority children were diagnosed, they were less likely to receive medication.
The study also noted that children without health insurance were less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than children who had coverage. Kids from poorer families were also less likely to be diagnosed.
Parents who spoke to doctors in English had children more likely to be diagnosed with the condition.
“Racial/ethnic disparities in ADHD diagnosis occur by kindergarten and continue until at least the end of eighth grade,” the Pediatrics study said. “Measured confounding factors do not explain racial/ethnic disparities in ADHD diagnosis and treatment. Culturally sensitive monitoring should be intensified to ensure that all children are appropriately screened, diagnosed, and treated for ADHD.”
What the study did not address, however, is recent reports that claim that ADHD is widely over diagnosed or misdiagnosed.