ADHD Meds Initiation Linked to Lower Rate of All-Cause Mortality

Significantly lower rates seen for all-cause mortality and unnatural-cause mortality, but not natural-cause mortality
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TUESDAY, March 12, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- For individuals diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), medication initiation is associated with a significantly lower rate of all-cause mortality and unnatural-cause mortality, according to a study published in the March 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Lan Li, Ph.D., from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues examined whether initiation of ADHD pharmacotherapy was associated with reduced mortality risk among individuals with ADHD in an observational nationwide cohort study conducted in Sweden. Individuals aged 6 through 64 years with an incident diagnosis of ADHD from 2007 through 2018 and no ADHD medication dispensation before diagnosis were identified; 56.7 percent of the 148,578 individuals with ADHD initiated ADHD medication.

The researchers found that the two-year mortality risk was lower in the initiation treatment strategy group than the non-initiation treatment strategy group (39.1 versus 48.1 per 10,000 individuals). Significantly lower rates of all-cause mortality and unnatural-cause mortality were observed in association with ADHD medication initiation (hazard ratio, 0.79 and 0.75, respectively); no significant difference was seen in natural-cause mortality.

"ADHD medication may reduce the risk of unnatural-cause mortality by alleviating the core symptoms of ADHD and its psychiatric comorbidities, leading to improved impulse control and decision-making, ultimately reducing the occurrence of fatal events," the authors write.

One author disclosed ties to Shire/Takeda, Evolan, and Medici.

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