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Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Pediatric

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Pediatric is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Clinical Consult.

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  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental problem that manifests in early childhood characterized by distractibility, impulsivity, hyperactivity, and/or inattention.
  • Three subsets: predominantly hyperactivity impulsive (ADHD-HI), predominantly inattentive (ADHD-I), or combined (ADHD-C)
  • System(s) affected: nervous
  • Synonym(s): attention deficit disorder; hyperactivity


  • Predominant age: onset <12 years; lasts into adolescence and adulthood; 50% meet diagnostic criteria by age 4 years.
  • Predominant sex: male > female (2:1);ADHD-I may be more common in girls.

11% of children 4 to 17 years old were diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011. Of those, 6.1% are receiving a medication for ADHD.

Etiology and Pathophysiology

Not definitive

Familial pattern

Risk Factors

  • Family history
  • Medical causes (affecting brain development)
  • Environmental causes (toxins such as lead, fetal alcohol, and nutritional deficiencies)

General Prevention

  • Children are at risk for abuse, depression, and isolation.
  • Parents need regular support and advice.

Commonly Associated Conditions

  • Depression (in up to 1/3 of cases)
  • Oppositional defiant disorder
  • Conduct disorder
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Learning disabilities

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Stephens, Mark B., et al., editors. "Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Pediatric." 5-Minute Clinical Consult, 27th ed., Wolters Kluwer, 2019. Medicine Central, im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/816485/all/Attention_Deficit_Hyperactivity_Disorder__Pediatric.
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Pediatric. In: Stephens MB, Golding J, Baldor RA, et al, eds. 5-Minute Clinical Consult. 27th ed. Wolters Kluwer; 2019. https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/816485/all/Attention_Deficit_Hyperactivity_Disorder__Pediatric. Accessed April 25, 2019.
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Pediatric. (2019). In Stephens, M. B., Golding, J., Baldor, R. A., & Domino, F. J. (Eds.), 5-Minute Clinical Consult. Available from https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/816485/all/Attention_Deficit_Hyperactivity_Disorder__Pediatric
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Pediatric [Internet]. In: Stephens MB, Golding J, Baldor RA, Domino FJ, editors. 5-Minute Clinical Consult. Wolters Kluwer; 2019. [cited 2019 April 25]. Available from: https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/816485/all/Attention_Deficit_Hyperactivity_Disorder__Pediatric.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Pediatric ID - 816485 ED - Stephens,Mark B, ED - Golding,Jeremy, ED - Baldor,Robert A, ED - Domino,Frank J, BT - 5-Minute Clinical Consult, Updating UR - https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/5-Minute-Clinical-Consult/816485/all/Attention_Deficit_Hyperactivity_Disorder__Pediatric PB - Wolters Kluwer ET - 27 DB - Medicine Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -