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The Effects of Psychiatric Comorbidities in People With ADHD

March 09, 2021

In this video, Psych Congress Steering Committee member Vladimir Maletic, MD, MS, answers the question "How do psychiatric comorbidities affect the mortality risk of people with ADHD?"

Dr. Maletic is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Greenville. He is presenting a session titled "Trees or the Forest? Advances in Neurobiological Understanding of ADHD and Novel Treatments," at the 2021 Psych Congress Regionals meeting series, which continues on March 19 and 20.

Read the transcript:

A wonderful question and a very concerning data regarding the relationship of ADHD and its comorbidity or mortality.

To frame this, a huge prospective study. It is a study involving over two and a half million individuals in Nordic countries and the long follow‑up from 1983 all the way to 2009. So we're at 25 years of follow‑up involved in this study.

Here's what they found. Having comorbidities with ADHD is lethal. Compared to individuals who have no comorbidities, just diagnosis of ADHD—ADHD alone versus individuals who have 2 comorbidities—the ones with 2 comorbidities had approximately 8‑fold higher mortality risk.

If we then compare individuals who have 4 or more comorbidities of ADHD to individuals who have no comorbidities, mortality risk is increased approximately 25‑fold.

So, having comorbidities, not only more morbidity or lower functioning, a greater risk for accidents, and seeking more medical attention, but the greatest of all consequences, dramatic increase in mortality.

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