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01 December 2009

ADHD and growth: anthropometric changes in medicated and non-medicated ADHD boys

Radek PtacekABCDEFG, Hana KuzelovaABDEF, Ivo PacltABDEG, Ilja ZukovBE, Slavomil FischerEF

Med Sci Monit 2009; 15(12): CR595-599 :: ID: 878275

Abstract

Background
ADHD children can show changes in growth and development. Many studies describe these changes as a side effect of stimulant medication. However, changes in somatic development can also appear in non-medicated children. This suggests that the changes could be a manifestation of the disorder itself and not just a side effect of the treatment.
Material and Method
This study compared anthropometric characteristics in medicated and non-medicated ADHD boys (n=104, age 4-16 years) with the normal non-clinical population. In contrast to most previous studies, complex anthropometrical measurements were used.
Results
The results showed significant differences between children with ADHD and those without the diagnosis, the differences found to be statistically significant (p<0.01) being signs of nutrition (percentage of fat, abdominal circumference) and growth suppression (lower body height, smaller head circumference). Differences between the medicated and non-medicated groups corresponded only to a lower value of body fat in the medicated children.
Conclusions
These results suggest that growth changes in ADHD children may be more specific to the disorder itself than to stimulant treatment.

Keywords: Methylphenidate - adverse effects, Growth - drug effects, Child, Preschool, Child, Child Development - drug effects, Central Nervous System Stimulants - adverse effects, Body Weight - drug effects, Body Height - drug effects, Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity - pathology, Anthropometry, Adolescent, Nutritional Status - drug effects

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750