Somatic and psychiatric co-morbidity in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

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Abstract

Aim

To describe the prevalence of somatic and psychiatric co-morbidity in children diagnosed with ADHD and other behavioural problems compared to this prevalence in children seen at the outpatient department without either of these conditions.

Methods

A retrospective controlled case study was conducted in 369 children. All children with ADHD were diagnosed by a clinical psychologist in a hospital setting according to the DSM IV classification. Co-morbidity was determined by pediatricians.

Results

Somatic co-morbidity was seen in 94 % of the children. However, there was no significant difference in the prevalence of somatic co-morbidity in patients with ADHD nor in patients with behavioural problems other than ADHD when compared with the control group. Only two differences slight were observed. In the ADHD group and the group with behavioural problems motor impairment was seen more often and in the control group constipation was diagnosed more frequently.

Conclusion

Except for motor impairment, somatic co-morbidity of any kind does not seem to occur more frequently in children with ADHD.

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