ADHD: News Article Critique

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Here for this essay, I took an article from CBC news. Actually, in 2019, In CBC news, there is news about ADHD which is mental disorder. Here, in this news researchers gave the story of a person Yashan Ali that how he does his tasks. How he often forgot the towel to put out back on the stand or shelf. Therefore, he always keeps more towels with him. Yashan Ali is an ADHD child and his brain were not much developed when he was child and somehow remains the same in the adulthood. He describes that some tasks which are easy for others but seems too difficult for him to do. Also, in this news article, it is stated that ADHD can cut life expectancy by 9-13 years for some people mostly in children. I become curious to know more about ADHD and figure it out that it really decreases life expectancy or not (CBC Radio, 2019).


So, my hypothesis is from the above statement that ADHD reduces the life expectancy in children.

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To check that whether it is true or not? I looked up several peer reviewed article and then I will give conclusion on that.

To start with, I started research on ADHD. So, basically, I come to know that ADHD is the most common disorder in children. ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is related to a neurological disorder that means brain activities and functioning of the brain. The cause of ADHD is maybe because of genetic or hereditary reasons. It runs within the family members. It is a condition when a person finds it difficult to focus and concentrate on the assignments or work, leads to impulsivity and experiences difficulty sitting still which is generally called Hyperactivity. It might start in early adolescence and can proceed into adulthood. ADHD is going to affect 5-10% children and 3 -5% adults.


In order to test the hypothesis, I looked through the peer review articles having information about ADHD and life expectancy. There was a report study that was held at Aarhus University, Denmark. In this, the view of the experts is that ADHD is going to reduce life expectancy and causes premature death in most cases. To identify this, a cohort study was done having 2 million individuals with 32000 ADHD person. During the follow-up period, 107 individuals of having ADHD died which is twice the number of persons without ADHD individuals. The researchers calculate the mortality rate that was 5.85 for every 10,000 individuals in people with ADHD in contrast to people without ADHD. The mortality rate of Without ADHD people was 2.21 per 10,000people. The expert also figures out the cause for premature death. Children with this disorder died prematurely because of many reasons. Most of it was caused by accidents. The accidents on the road are happened more in ADHD person because of power focusing skills. The second factor that contribute to premature death is the diagnosis. It is found in the research that children with diagnosed have more risk of earlier death than without ADHD children. In most of the cases, it only happens if children are diagnosed before the age of 6. Also, ADHD people have the defiant disorder, conduct disorder and substance use disorder that increases the mortality rate (Faraone,2015).

Another study was investigated by a Russell Barkley. He is a Ph.D., clinical professor. He was the first to examine ADHD and the effect of ADHD on life expectancy. He stated that ADHD reduces life expectancy by 9-13 years. To prove this, he set up a study with 131 children with ADHD and 71 control group having 14 variables. People in the both the groups were followed up by since 1978.The experts look at their health and took various samples of tests like urine, cholesterol tests. After the research, the results come up with the conclusion that ADHD children have more risk of death than the general public. There is 9-12 years reduction in life expectancy of children with ADHD which is further reduced in Adults. If children do not get any treatment, then there are even more chances of death (Barkley et al., 2018)

Also, research was done by the researcher to figure out the outcomes of AHDH on the growth during the childhood days. In his study, experts choose adults who have ADHD from childhood and Non-AHDH adults as a control group. He used a standard mortality ratio in order to measure the mortality in both comparison groups. The results depict that ADHD cases and their SMR are 1.88 as which is higher than the control group. Moreover, in suicide cases, cause-specific mortality is also much more in the ADHD group than Non- ADHD group (Barbaresi et al., 2013).

Besides this, ADHD also causes various diseases and reduce the mental ability of the children. ADHD cause obesity, traumatic brain injury, use of drugs such as alcohol and tobacco, sleeping problems, the risk of coronary heart attack, decreased participation, laziness, and hygienic problems. All such conditions are also the reasons for reduced life expectancy. As ADHD cause all such problem, so, ADHD also the one who reduced the life expectancy (Barkley et al., 2018).


From all the studies given above, these studies conclude that children with ADHD have reduced life expectancy because of different reasons. The hypothesis that given in the beginning is true as from all the researches, it conclude the same. Patients whose ADHD can notice the almost 5-year reduction in their life expectancy as compared to the control group. It can be more in adulthood if it is diagnosed properly.


  1. Barkley, R. A., & Fischer, M. (2018). Hyperactive Child Syndrome and Estimated Life Expectancy at Young Adult Follow-Up: The Role of ADHD Persistence and Other Potential Predictors. Journal of Attention Disorders.
  2. Barbaresi, W. J., Colligan, R. C., Weaver, A. L., Voigt, R. G., Killian, J. M., Katusic, S. K. (2013). Mortality, ADHD, and psychosocial adversity in adults with childhood ADHD: A prospective study. Pediatrics, 131, 637-644.
  3. Canady, V. A. (2019). Groundbreaking study examines ADHD, life expectancy in children and adults. Mental Health Weekly, 29(2), 1–6.
  4. CBC Radio. (2019, March 01). ADHD is the most common mental health disorder in kids but can ‘ravage’ adult life, says reporter. CBC. Retrieved from
  5. Faraone, S. V. (2015). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and premature death. The Lancet, 385(9983), 2132-2133.
  6. Franke, B., Michelini, G., Asherson, P., Banaschewski, T., Bilbow, A., Buitelaar, J. K., … Reif, (2018). Live fast, die young? A review on the developmental trajectories of ADHD across the lifespan. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 28(10), 1059–1088.


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