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European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 23, Issue 11, pp 1043–1050 | Cite as

Children diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and their hospitalisations: population data linkage study

  • Desiree SilvaEmail author
  • Lyn Colvin
  • Erika Hagemann
  • Fiona Stanley
  • Carol Bower
Original Contribution

Abstract

Examine the hospital admission risk in young children who are subsequently diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We conducted a population-based, record linkage study. Records of all non-Aboriginal children under 18 years who met the DSMIV/ICD10 criteria for ADHD and prescribed stimulant medication in Western Australia between 2003 and 2007 (n = 11,902) were linked to two other health data systems—the hospital morbidity data system and the midwives notification system (MNS). The non-ADHD reference population (n = 27,304) was randomly selected from the MNS. Compared with controls, children under 4 years who subsequently were diagnosed and treated for ADHD were 70 % [odds ratio (OR) 1.70; 95 % confidence intervals (CI) 1.62–1.77] more likely to be admitted to hospital under 4 years of age. There was an increased risk for injury or poison (OR 1.73; 95 % CI 1.59–1.88), respiratory disease (OR 1.49; 95 % CI 1.40–1.59), ear disease (OR 2.03; 95 % CI 1.86–2.21), infectious diseases (OR 1.68; 95 % CI 1.53–1.85) and neurological conditions (OR 2.03; 95 % CI 1.68–2.44). Admissions under 4 years of age for head injuries, burns, poisons, all other injuries, diseases of the tonsils and adenoids, asthma and early infections were all more common amongst children subsequently diagnosed with and treated for ADHD. There is significant early hospital morbidity for children subsequently diagnosed with ADHD. Multiple aetiologies and causal pathways need to be considered where some of these may include early infections, inflammatory conditions, epilepsy and injuries. Future studies should look at which of these conditions may be on the causal pathway or likely early markers for ADHD.

Keywords

ADHD Postnatal risk factors Otitis media Sleep apnoea Injury Poisons Hospitalisation 

Abbreviations

ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

CI

Confidence intervals

GA

Gestational age

HMDS

Hospital morbidity data system

MNS

Midwives notification system

OR

Odds ratio

SM

Stimulant medication

SEIFA

Socio-economic index of disadvantage for areas

WA

Western Australia

Notes

Acknowledgments

We acknowledge the excellent support and partnership between the custodians of the Stimulant Notification Register, Midwives Notification System, Western Australian Data Linkage System and Health Department of Western Australia. We would also like to acknowledge the WA Developmental Pathways Project and the Australian Research Council for facilitating the linkage (LP100200504). Particular thanks to Dr Rebecca Glauert and Jane Valentine for their suggestions and support of this project.

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

787_2014_545_MOESM1_ESM.doc (42 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 41 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Desiree Silva
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Lyn Colvin
    • 1
  • Erika Hagemann
    • 4
  • Fiona Stanley
    • 1
    • 2
  • Carol Bower
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Telethon Kids InstituteUniversity of Western AustraliaWest PerthAustralia
  2. 2.School of Paediatrics and Child HealthUniversity of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  3. 3.Joondalup Health Campus, University of Western AustraliaPerth Australia
  4. 4.Fremantle Speech Pathology ServicesFremantleAustralia

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