Some studies have found that adults with ADHD tend to have worse health outcomes than those without ADHD. This study, published in the Journal of Attention Disorders, sought to compare the odds of five health outcomes in adults with and without ADHD. The outcomes included injury, physical health conditions, functional limitations, fair/poor health, and psychological distress.
The researchers analyzed data from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey. They employed a social determinants of health framework, which posits that social factors, including socioeconomic status and race, influence health outcomes. In using this framework, they hypothesized that ADHD would correlate with poorer health outcomes. They also hypothesized that social factors like higher socioeconomic status could provide a buffer to these outcomes.
Ultimately, both of these hypotheses were found to be true. Adults with ADHD were significantly more likely to report all five health outcomes, and socioeconomic status did correlate with better overall health. However, adults with ADHD with higher socioeconomic status still faced significantly worse health outcomes than adults without ADHD.
The researchers concluded that adults with ADHD have worse health outcomes than those without ADHD. Moreover, they asserted that these worse outcomes might be influenced by diagnosis-related stigma and related social disadvantages. A call to action is made for further research in this area to better support individuals with ADHD in their health and wellness .
Source: Landes, S. D., & London, A. S. (2018). Self-reported ADHD and adult health in the United States. Journal of Attention Disorders, 25(1), 3–13. https://doi.org/10.1177/1087054718757648