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According to the DSM-5, Black individuals exhibit lower rates of ADHD diagnosis than the general population. However, Black patients with ADHD tend to be studied less than patients of other races in North America. The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis study, performed by researchers at the University of Ottawa, and published in JAMA Psychiatry, was to evaluate the pooled prevalence of ADHD and associated risk factors among Black individuals in America.

This systematic review and meta-analysis included 21 peer-reviewed studies on ADHD prevalence in Black adults, adolescents, and children, performed in the U.S., and published between 1979 and 2020. The researchers used the PRISMA guideline for extracting and reporting data. The metafor package in R was used to conduct random-effects meta-analyses to estimate the prevalence of ADHD among Black individuals. 

Ultimately, it was found that Black Americans face a higher risk of being diagnosed with ADHD than the general U.S. population. Some of the risks factors found to be associated with ADHD included environmental factors, sociodemographic characteristics, risk behaviors, and familial factors. However, a moderation analysis of these data was unable to be performed to further assess these findings.

The results of this systematic review and meta-analysis are in direct conflict with what is stated in the DSM-5. This study emphasizes the importance of increasing ADHD assessment and monitoring among the Black American population and providing equitable and culturally sensitive care [1].


[1] Cénat, J. M., Blais-Rochette, C., Morse, C., Vandette, M. P., Noorishad, P. G., Kogan, C., Ndengeyingoma, A., & Labelle, P. R. (2021). Prevalence and risk factors associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder among US Black individuals. JAMA Psychiatry, 78(1), 21. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2020.2788

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