Children's Relative Age and ADHD Medication Use: A Finnish Population-Based Study
The youngest children in a classroom are at increased risk of being medicated for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We examined the association between children's birth month and ADHD medication rates in Finland.
Using a population-based study, we analyzed ADHD medication use among children born in 2005 to 2007. Cases (n = 7054) were identified from the first purchase of medication for ADHD. Cox proportional hazard models and hazard ratios (HRs) were examined by birth month and sex. Finnish children start first grade in the year of their seventh birthday. The cutoff date is December 31.
Risk of ADHD medication use increased throughout the year by birth month (ie, January through April to May through August to September through December). Among boys born in September to December, the association remained stable across cohorts (HR: 1.3; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.1-1.5). Among girls born in September to December, the HR in the 2005 cohort was 1.4 (95% CI: 1.1-1.8), whereas in the 2007 cohort it was 1.7 (95% CI: 1.3-2.2). In a restricted follow-up, which ended at the end of the year of the children's eighth birthday, the HRs for boys and girls born in September to December 2007 were 1.5 (95% CI: 1.3-1.7) and 2.0 (95% CI: 1.5-2.8), respectively.
Relative immaturity increases the likelihood of ADHD medication use in Finland. The association was more pronounced during the first school years. Increased awareness of this association is needed among clinicians and teachers.
Miika Vuori, Jaana E Martikainen, Anna Koski-Pirilä, Andre Sourander, Anita Puustjärvi, Eeva T Aronen, Roshan Chudal, Leena K Saastamoinen
- Vertaisarvioitu: kyllä.
- Avoin saatavuus: kyllä.
- Koko viite: Vuori, M., Martikainen, J. E., Koski-Pirilä, A., Sourander, A., Puustjärvi, A., Aronen, E. T., Chudal, R., & Saastamoinen, L. K. (2020). Children's Relative Age and ADHD Medication Use: A Finnish Population-Based Study. Pediatrics, 146(4), e20194046. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2019-4046