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Children with ADHD can suffer physical illnesses as well
  • By Constance Williams
  • Published 2017.10.23 16:15
  • Updated 2017.10.23 16:15
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A research team led by Professors Kim Hyo-won김효원 and Park Ki-jung박지경 of Asan Medical center서울아산병원 has confirmed that children and adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (ADHD) are also likely to suffer physical illnesses.

Children with ADHD show symptoms of low concentration, hostility, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity, along with anxiety disorders. However, researchers have stressed that more attention should be paid to children with ADHD, for they are more likely to suffer brain tumors (6.42 times) strabismus, or crossed eyes (1.79 times), and chronic tonsillitis (1.56 times).

Also, it was 2.59 times more likely to be accompanied by neurological diseases, including brain metastasis, and endocrine and metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes were 2.09 times higher, the study showed.

Although many studies have suggested that pediatric and adolescent ADHD patients are likely to have other mental illnesses, there have been few studies focusing on the accompanying physical illnesses.

According to a report from the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service건강보험심사평가원, the team divided 221,550 children and adolescents aged 6-18 years who were hospitalized in 2011 into two groups – 2,240 ADHD patients and 219,410 children and adolescents. Among the children and adolescents with ADHD, 1,710 were boys, and 430 were girls.

Professors Kim Hyon-won (left) and Park Ki-jung

As a result of analyzing the presence of specific diseases presumed to be related to ADHD in each group, the possibility that the ADHD patients had epilepsy was 6.42 times higher than that of the normal control, 1.79 times for strabismus, 1.56 times for chronic tonsil, 1.23 times for Otitis media-- inflammatory diseases of the middle ear -- 1.14 times for asthma, two times for congenital anomalies and chromosomal abnormalities, 1.79 times for heart disease, 1.78 times for immune system diseases, and 1.66 times for urinary disorders.

"This large-scale statistical research shows that children with ADHD may have other physical illnesses such as diabetes and obesity, as well as diseases that may distract attention or concentration, such as brain metastasis, chronic tonsillitis, and otitis media," Professor Park said.

To raise children with ADHD to be healthier, both parents and medical staff should check their children’s physical condition more carefully, she added.


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