Who can develop attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?

Estimates suggest that about 2 million children (3 percent to 5 percent) have ADHD. Boys are two to three times more likely to have ADHD than girls. Many parents of children with ADHD experienced symptoms of ADHD when they were younger. ADHD is commonly found in brothers and sisters within the same family. Most families seek help when their child's symptoms begin to interfere with learning and adjustment to the expectations of school and age-appropriate activities.

Dr. William D. Knopf, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Children of all backgrounds can have ADHD. Teens and adults can have ADHD too.

This answer is based on source information from the National Institute of Mental Health.

Some people are more likely to develop attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than others. In fact, boys are more likely to develop ADHD than girls. According to the National Resource Center on ADHD, 11 percent of boys have ADHD, compared to 4 percent of girls.

Aside from gender differences, family history also determines whether a person has a higher risk for ADHD. If your dad, brother, or cousin has ADHD, you are more likely to develop ADHD than the average person. Toxins may also play a role here, too. If you were exposed to lead during childhood, your risk for ADHD may be increased. In addition, studies show that babies of women who drank and smoked during pregnancy tend to develop ADHD at higher rates than others.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) appears to be hereditary, and males are four times as likely to develop ADHD as females.

Experts used to think that people outgrew ADHD at a certain time in their teenage years. However, the percentages of ADHD that exist into adulthood are much higher than previously thought. Adults become adept at masking their symptoms, at compensating for their symptoms, or putting themselves in environments where their symptoms are not taxed.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.