Medication for ADHD Linked to Lower Mortality Rates
Dr Tom MacLaren speaks with Healthline about the results

A recent study conducted in Sweden has highlighted the potential benefits of medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), indicating a lower mortality rate among individuals diagnosed with the condition. The study, published in JAMA, tracked nearly 150,000 individuals with ADHD over an 11-year period, using data from national registries.

The findings revealed that those who initiated medication treatment within three months of their diagnosis experienced significantly lower mortality rates compared to those who did not take medication. This disparity was particularly pronounced in cases of unnatural causes of death, such as unintentional injuries, suicide, and accidental poisonings.

Dr Tom MacLaren, Consultant Psychiatrist at Re:Cognition Health spoke to Healthline about the study’s implications, noting an overall health benefit associated with starting medication for ADHD. He underscored the importance of individuals with ADHD discussing medication options with their healthcare providers, considering the potential long-term improvements in general health and wellbeing beyond symptom management.

Despite the study’s strengths in examining a large cohort over an extended period, questions remain regarding the direct mechanisms through which ADHD medications contribute to lower mortality rates.

While the study underscores the benefits of treating ADHD, it also underscores the need for continued investigation into the nuances of medication efficacy and long-term health outcomes. Dr MacLaren emphasizes the importance of seeking appropriate diagnosis and treatment for ADHD, given the availability of effective treatments and their potential to improve overall health outcomes.

While the study provides valuable insights into the association between ADHD medication and mortality rates, further research is warranted to elucidate the underlying mechanisms and optimise treatment strategies for individuals with ADHD. These findings underscore the importance of proactive management of ADHD symptoms and highlight the potential benefits of early intervention in improving long-term health outcomes for individuals with the condition.

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