An increasing number of American children have been diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder over the past decade, a new government survey reveals.
Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that between 2007 and 2009, an average of 9 percent of children between the ages of 5 and 17 were diagnosed with the disorder. That compared with just under 7 percent between 1998 and 2000.
"I would say that most probably what we found has a lot to do with better access to health care among a broader group of children, and doctors who have become more and more familiar with this condition and now have better tools to screen for it," said study author Dr. Lara J. Akinbami, a medical officer with the National Center for Health Statistics, which reported on the survey Thursday. "So, this is probably about better screening, rather than a real increase, and that means we may continue to see this pattern unfold."