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Children With ADHD Are Part Of A Larger Medical Puzzle

Armen Hareyan's picture

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

A new study unravel mysteries behind growth problems and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

After physicians and nurses noticed a disproportionate number of short stature patients were on medication for ADHD, a study was initiated to examine this trend. The study shows that 25 percent of new patients seen for short stature were on medication to treat ADHD. Only 4 percent of all children in Indiana are currently medicated for ADHD.

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Children on ADHD medications may grow slowly, but most of them eventually experience catch up growth and reach normal adult heights. Strikingly, this study finds that short children medicated for ADHD were just as likely as those who are not on these medications to have other hormonal disorders contributing to their short stature.

Samar Rahhal, MD, of pediatric endocrinologist at Riley Hospital and the Indiana University School of Medicine says her study has important implications for parents. "If you have a child who's not growing well and is on medicines for ADHD, don't assume it's a side effect of the medicine alone. Consider seeing a pediatric endocrinologist."

Rahhal's study was presented at The Endocrine Society's annual meeting in Toronto, Canada on June 2, 2007. Her work will also be included in The Endocrine Society's Research Summaries Book 2007.

Rahhal says the possibility that ADHD is connected to other abnormalities causing growth disorders, unrelated to medication usage, deserves further study.