NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Neither attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) nor medications used to treat it have a long-term impact on kids' growth, a new study published online in The Journal of Pediatrics suggests.
Previous studies have shown that medication may make kids with ADHD eat less and grow slower than their peers without the condition - at least at first. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 10 percent of boys and 6 percent of girls have been diagnosed with ADHD.
"There have been concerns in the literature about the use of ADHD medications and their effect on growth," Dr. Stephen Faraone, a psychiatrist at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York, and one of the study's authors, told Reuters Health. "We found that that (growth) delay tends to be most prominent in the first year or so, and tends to attenuate over time."
Dr. Faraone and his colleagues measured and weighed 261 kids with and without ADHD that they had been following for at least ten years. Most of the kids with ADHD had spent at least some of that time on stimulants, such as Ritalin and Adderall.
At the end of the study, there was no difference in the height or weight of the kids - now mostly adults - who had ADHD and those that didn't. There was also no relationship between their height and weight and how long they had been on medication, if at all.
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