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Associations Found Between ADHD and Adulthood BMI

Last Updated: October 29, 2010.

Adolescents who report symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder may be at risk for obesity in adulthood, according to research published online Oct. 26 in the International Journal of Obesity.

FRIDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents who report symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be at risk for obesity in adulthood, according to research published online Oct. 26 in the International Journal of Obesity.

Bernard F. Fuemmeler, Ph.D., of the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., and colleagues examined ADHD symptoms and body mass index (BMI) and hypertension data in a nationally representative sample of 15,197 adolescents followed from 1995 to 2009. Their objective was to look for an association between ADHD symptoms, obesity, and hypertension in young adults.

The researchers found that adolescents with three or more hyperactive impulsive (HI) symptoms or inattentive (IN) symptoms had the highest odds of obesity compared to those with no HI or IN symptoms. Those with three or more HI or IN symptoms had higher BMI levels during adolescence, but changes in BMI were associated with HI symptoms only.

"Self-reported ADHD symptoms were associated with adult BMI and change in BMI from adolescence to adulthood, providing further evidence of a link between ADHD symptoms and obesity," the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies.

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