UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Incidence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Diagnoses in Navarre (Spain) from 2003 to 2019 Leache, Leire; Arrizibita, Olast; Gutiérrez-Valencia, Marta; Saiz, Luis Carlos; Erviti, Juan; Librero, Julián


(1) Background: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) constitutes one of the leading mental health and behavioral disorders in childhood and adolescence. The main objective of this study was to analyze the time trend in the incidence of ADHD diagnoses in Navarre (Spain) from 2003 to 2019 in children and adolescents from 5 to 19 years old. Additionally, the seasonal trends of ADHD incidence and ADHD prevalence were determined. (2) Methods: A population-based observational retrospective study, which included people born between 1991 and 2011 and who attended compulsory education between 2007 and 2017 in Navarre (Spain), was carried out with data from both the Education and Health Department databases. (3) Results: The incidence rate increased from 4.18 cases per 1000 person-years in 2003 to 7.43 cases per 1000 person-years in 2009, before decreasing progressively to 2.1 cases per 1000 person-years in 2019. A peak incidence rate at 7–8 years of age was observed, which is consistent across the study period and for both genders. Males were more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than females, with similar time trends in both. A seasonal pattern in ADHD diagnosis was found, with peaks in February–March and the lowest rates in the summer months. Inattentive cases were much more frequent than hyperactive cases, whereas combined cases remained low across the study period. (4) Conclusions: In this age-period-cohort analysis, a clear period and age effect was observed. We found a decreasing trend in the ADHD incidence rate since 2015. Further research is needed to confirm whether a change of trend is occurring globally.

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