ADHD Tied to Risk of Written-Language Disorder in Children

Girls have higher risk of written-language disorder with reading disability than boys

TUESDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Children of both genders with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have an increased risk of written-language disorder (WLD), with girls having a significantly higher risk of WLD with reading disability (RD) than boys, according to a study published online Aug. 22 in Pediatrics.

Kouichi Yoshimasu, M.D., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues investigated the incidence of WLD among 5,718 children (2,956 boys and 2,762 girls) with and without ADHD (born between 1976 to 1982, and 5 years or older). Data were collected from medical, school, and private tutorial records; cumulative incidences of WLD, with or without RD, and hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated.

The investigators found that, for both genders, children with ADHD had a significantly higher cumulative incidence of WLD by 19 years of age than children without ADHD (boys, 64.5 versus 16.5 percent; girls, 57 versus 9.4 percent). Compared to boys, girls had a significantly higher magnitude of association between ADHD and WLD with RD (adjusted HR for girls, 9.8; adjusted HR for boys, 4.2); however, there was no significant difference between boys and girls for the association between ADHD and WLD without RD (adjusted HR for girls, 7.4; adjusted HR for boys, 6.6).

"Our results show that ADHD is associated with a significantly increased risk of WLD in boys and girls regardless of comorbid RD; however, the magnitude of the risk of WLD with RD associated with ADHD is significantly higher for girls than for boys," the authors write.

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