Among those with ADHD, factors associated with GAD included being female and having low income, lifetime history of depression
Adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at significantly higher risk for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), according to a study published online Nov. 16 in the Journal of Affective Disorders.
Esme Fuller-Thomson, Ph.D., from University of Toronto, and colleagues investigated the relationship between ADHD and GAD among 6,989 participants (aged 20 to 39 years) in the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey-Mental Health.
The researchers found that one in nine participants with GAD had ADHD versus one in 33 among individuals without GAD. When adjusting for age, sex, and race, the odds of GAD were fourfold higher among those with ADHD versus those without ADHD. With further adjustments, the odds of GAD were still more than double for those with ADHD. Among those with ADHD, factors associated with GAD included being female, having an income less than $40,000, having fewer close relationships, and having a lifetime history of depression.
“The high co-morbidity between ADHD and GAD emphasizes the need for targeted intervention to support these often overlapping disorders,” the authors write.