When looking at the database as a whole, children born in August were more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD and/or receive ADHD medication than those born in September. When broken down and analyzed according to age, only preschool or elementary school-aged children born in August had an increased risk of being diagnosed with ADHD and receiving ADHD medication. However, adolescents born in August did not have an increased risk of ADHD diagnosis. This may imply that increasing age and maturity lessens the impact of birth month on ADHD diagnoses.
Worldwide, the number of children and adolescents being diagnosed with ADHD or receiving a prescription for ADHD has significantly increased. Evidence shows that relative age, which may be a proxy of neurocognitive ability, may increase the likelihood of ADHD diagnosis and medication. According to Dr. Chen, “Our findings emphasize the importance of considering the age of a child within a grade when diagnosing ADHD and prescribing medication to treat ADHD.”
Full bibliographic information:
“Influence of Relative Age on Diagnosis and Treatment of ADHD in Taiwanese Children,”
The Journal of Pediatrics (www.jpeds.com)