Why Race Matters in Diagnosing and Treating ADHD

“ADHD can be really dangerous if it’s untreated, like endangering your life,” says Dr. Rupert, who found out during her medical residency that she, herself, has ADHD. “Sometimes, I have 4-year-olds who are so impulsive that they do dangerous things, like running into the street or jumping off buildings [like houses].”

In fact, individuals with ADHD have more than double the risk of death, most often due to unnatural causes such as accidents, compared with those without the disorder, according to a study published in February 2015 in The Lancet. The authors of the study add that having a co-occurring condition, like oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder, or a substance use disorder, exacerbates this risk.

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