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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: overdiagnosed or diagnoses missed?
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  • Published on:
    Prevalence and Aetiology of ADHD

    I would like to thank Professor Taylor for his response, and apologise if my second response seems rude. I thought the first one had been overlooked.

    We do indeed agree that there is a large unmet need due to the under-recognition of ADHD and, I would suggest, other developmental disorders with a supposed genetic aetiology which seem to be more common than they were. The question of aetiology is, of course, pertinent to the epidemiology and the service needs assessment. Urgent too, if children's community services are not to be overwhelmed.

    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    The Prevalence of ADHD is 5% in Childhood.

    Professor Taylor, quoting a sound meta-analysis by Polanczyk et al published 16 years previously, declares that the prevalence of ADHD is around 5%. He appears convinced that the prevalence has not changed and does not change, and he explains that rates which differ from around 5% are either due to over-diagnosis or under-diagnosis.

    I hope I am not being impudent in suggesting that the professor has a rather in...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    Re: What we may have missed

    Thanks to Dr Colvin for his interest. I should like to clarify that an "unspoken assumption" of genetic determinism did not underlie my review. I agree with his points on the aetiology: the balance of genetic and environmental influences and their interaction deserve much more study. The aetiology, however, is an issue rather separate from prevalence. Even if countries did differ in their actual rates (rather than just...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    What we may have missed

    Two alternative explanations are given by Professor Taylor for the global problem with ADHD diagnosis, but he overlooks one interesting possibility- perhaps the reported prevalences are about right. That is, perhaps the rates really do vary considerably between populations and are rising in the USA and in other countries.

    Professor Taylor recognises some obvious facts. Firstly, there is a large unmet need. Seco...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.