- Publish Date
- Wednesday, 16 March 2016, 1:44PM
More than one in 10 children ages 4 to 17 are estimated to have an attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis, and scientists are looking at the role things such as genetics, environmental exposures and low birth weight might play.
A group of academics have expressed concerns that the learning environment could have a lot more to do with it than we realised.
A new paper published in the Journal of Pediatrics provides some evidence to support that theory.
The study involved examining data from 378,881 children ages 4 to 17 from 1997 to 2011 in Taiwan and found that ADHD was significantly more likely to be diagnosed in the youngest children in a grade. Taiwan, like many U.S. school districts, has a cut-off date of Aug. 31 for school enrollment.
The researchers found that boys and girls born in August were much more likely to receive an ADHD diagnosis than their counterparts born in September who were 11 months older.
Boys born in August had the highest rate of diagnosis, at 4.5 per cent, while girls born in September had the lowest rate, at 0.5 per cent. The August boys were more likely to be medicated.