Research Shows People With ADHD Are Twice As Likely To Die Young
Sufferers of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be at a higher risk of premature death in part because the disorder can make them more accident prone.
According to Vox, a study conducted by Danish researchers found people with ADHD were twice as likely to die young compared to those without it.
The small team monitored almost 2 million people from when they were just a year old until 2013, with the oldest individuals being a little over 30 years old.
ADHD was diagnosed in 32,000 of these people, and in that group, 107 died.
Researchers obtained the causes of the death for 79 of them.
Just 25 of the 79 people died from natural causes, meaning 54 were killed by something other than old age or a disease.
To break it down even further, 78 percent of those unnatural deaths were the result of accidents.
The study's authors wrote,
This study provides the first evidence of increased all-cause mortality in individuals with ADHD. The excess mortality in ADHD was mainly driven by deaths from unnatural causes, especially accidents.
The team listed a series of reasons ADHD would make someone more likely to engage in risky activities.
For one, ADHD has previously been linked to antisocial behavior and substance abuse, both of which increase a person's chances of becoming dangerously violent or involved in criminal acts.
The researchers mentioned that poor attention spans and impulsive behavior can also be problematic, suggesting people with ADHD do not take enough time to comprehend their environment or the consequences of their ideas before taking action.
But doctors may be more to blame than the individuals themselves.
The average age of diagnosis was 12 years old, and the likelihood of dying young was higher in those who were diagnosed the latest in life.
Their deaths, therefore, may be attributed to all those years without medication.
But don't freak out if you have ADHD.
Denmark might have different methods of treating the disorder, Vox reports, and 107 deaths out of 32,000 people isn't alarming enough to label ADHD as a truly dangerous disorder.
This was also an observational study, meaning, unlike in experimental studies, researchers can only deduce correlations and not that one thing directly leads to another.