Evid Based Mental Health 9:116 doi:10.1136/ebmh.9.4.116
  • Prevalence

Adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is common among people in the US who are male, white, previously married, or not employed

 Q How common is adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder among people in the United States?



Retrospective cohort study.


General population, US; 2004.


3199 English speaking adults (aged 18–44 years) included in Part 2 of the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Part 2 participants had met criteria for at least one disorder assessed in Part 1, or were part of a probability subsample of other respondents. The sample was weighted to be nationally representative.


Participants were classified into four categories: no reported symptoms of childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); reporting symptoms but not meeting diagnostic criteria for childhood ADHD; having childhood ADHD (DSM-IV) but no reported adult symptoms; having childhood ADHD and reporting adult symptoms. Trained clinical interviewers then reappraised a representative sample of 154 people from across the four categories to identify people with adult ADHD (adult ADHD Clinical Diagnostic Scale version 1.2). People with childhood ADHD and reporting adult symptoms were oversampled. Diagnosis of adult ADHD required: …