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Your Environment. Your Health.

The economic impact of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents

Environmental Health Economic Analysis Annotated Bibliography


Review Cost analysis (CA)
Pelham WE, Foster EM, and Robb JA
Ambulatory Pediatrics
The economic impact of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in childhood and adolescence was estimated to be $14,576 per individual for an annual societal estimate of $52.4 billion, according to this review article. The results highlighted the public health importance of ADHD, and the authors argued for expansion of and additional research on evidence-based interventions for ADHD.
Children and adolescents (≤ 17 years)

Health Outcomes

  • Reviewed publications that examined — neurological/cognitive outcomes (ADHD)

Environmental Agents

List of Environmental Agents: (Not available)

Source of Environmental Agents: (Not available)

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source


  • Cost analysis (CA)

Cost Measured:

  • Reviewed publications that examined the following costs — healthcare costs (inpatient, outpatient)
  • treatment costs (pharmacological treatment costs, psychosocial mental health treatment)
  • educational costs (special education services)
  • costs related to crime and delinquency (juvenile justice system utilization)

Potential Cost Measures:

  • Impacts of ADHD children on parental and family function (e.g., distress depression, substance use)
  • costs associated with disability/welfare for individuals within ADHD families
  • costs associated with substance abuse/use
  • costs associated with risky behaviors

Benefits Measures: (Not available)

Potential Benefits: (Not available)

Location: (Not available)

Models Used: (Not available)

Methods Used:

  • The authors performed a review of aggregated data from recently published articles that studied the economic costs of ADHD. The authors — 1) selected thirteen studies based on their relevance to the economic costs associated with ADHD; and 2) provided a summed estimate of total ADHD costs across different sectors (e.g., health/mental health, education, crime and delinquency).

Sources Used:

  • Utilization and cost of health care services for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (Guevera et al., 2001); Use and costs of medical care for children and adolescents with and without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (Leibson et al., 2001); Health care use and costs for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder — national estimates from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (Chan et al., 2002); The attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder paradox — 2. Phenotypic variability in prevalence and cost of comorbidity (Burd et al., 2003a,b); Medical expenditures among children with psychiatric disorders in a Medicaid population (Mandell et al., 2003); Incidence and costs of accidents among attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder patients (Swensen et al., 2004); Cost-effectiveness of ADHD treatments — findings from the Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with ADHD (Jensen et al., 2005); Consumer Price Index (2005); additional sources cited in publication

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source


  • Pelham WE, Foster EM, and Robb JA. 2007. The economic impact of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. Ambulatory Pediatrics.
  • Pubmed
  • DOI

NIEHS Funding: (Not available)

Other Funding: (Not available)

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