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Children Born In August At Increased Risk Of ADHD Diagnosis

Come grade school, students are distinguished based on their behavior in the classroom. There are some who might act too hyperactive than their classmates. Often, they are diagnosed with ADHD, but it might be that they're just a little young for their grade or simply put, they are still immature.

Researchers from Taiwan conducted a study that shows that the youngest students within a grade were more likely to get an ADHD diagnosis compared to those who were born in September the previous year.

Published in the Journal of Pediatrics, the researchers looked at data from more than 370,000 children between the ages of 4 and 17 years old. The kids born in August, the cutoff month for entrance to school in the country, were at the highest risk of receiving an ADHD diagnosis than the children born in September the previous year.

About 2.8 percent of pre-school and primary school boys born in September are deemed to have the condition, compared with 4.5 percent of boys born in August the next year. In girls, the incidence increased from 0.7 percent to 1.2 percent.

Why Time Of Birth Increases ADHD Diagnosis?

The researchers found that those born in August are more likely to receive such diagnosis or to receive medication than those born in September the previous year. They also found that kids from preschool or elementary levels born in August are prone to being diagnosed than adolescents. This may imply that increasing age and maturity lessens the probability of such evaluation.

Studies in countries such as Canada and the United States show that age within a grade level may affect a child's risk of being diagnosed with ADHD. The new study suggests that even in Asian countries like Taiwan, the findings are quite similar.

When a child is immature compared to other children in the same grade level, they are more likely to manifest inattention, impulsive and hyperactive symptoms. These may affect their academic performance and teachers refer them to doctors for evaluation. This predisposes them to being diagnosed with ADHD, when simply; they are not yet mature like their classmates.

Adolescents, on the other hand, were less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD if they were younger than their peers. Relative age within a grade may have more of an impact on younger kids than on adolescents, since age and maturity levels increase in adolescence.

Photo: Guilherme Jofili | Flickr

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