Women fueled pandemic spike in ADHD cases

study published March 30 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder diagnoses and stimulant prescriptions spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic, with adult women especially driving the surge.

"The pandemic put strain on people, and this may have disproportionately affected women, leading them to be cognitively overwhelmed and seek help for that. Or maybe women just sought help for that strain at a higher rate than men," said Maggie Sibley, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine. "Online, there was a surge of information sharing about ADHD on TikTok, so it may have increased awareness of ADHD and led people to seek treatment for the first time to self-diagnose."

In our associated blog item, Sibley explores the future implications for patients and treatment providers which could be brought on by the spike in ADHD attention.

Download broadcast-ready soundbites analyzing the pandemic-era surge in ADHD diagnoses and related prescriptions.


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UW Medicine