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ADHD diagnoses jump over the last decade

A new study has shown that ADHD diagnoses have risen by a quarter of the last decade.

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A new study shows that ADHD diagnoses in children have jumped sharply in the last decade. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

A new study released Monday shows that attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnoses have jumped sharply in the last decade.

Research using records from the California insurer Kaiser Permanente show a rise of 24 percent over the decade.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the study found that about five percent of children were considered to suffer from ADHD.

The estimate is actually much lower than in other studies, noted the Journal, with some saying as high as 10 percent of children.

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Researchers not that the rising diagnoses does not mean there's more ADHD but possibly just more of 

"While the reasons for increasing ADHD rates are not well understood, contributing factors may include heightened awareness of ADHD among parents and physicians, which could have led to increased screening and treatment," said Darios Getahun of Kaiser Permanente in a press release, reported CBS News.

The study authors pointed out that the findings could lead to better care for those with the illness.

"This variability may indicate the need for different allocation of resources for ADHD prevention programs, and may point to new risk factors or inequalities in care."

The study was published in JAMA Pediatrics.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/130122/adhd-diagnoses-jump-over-the-last-decade