September 13, 2004
The adult form of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder could be one of the nation’s most expensive health concerns, costing its “adult sufferers billions of dollars each year in lost wages and in the inability to hold steady jobs,” an article on the HealthScout Web site said1.
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston found that adults with ADHD “were less likely to have completed high school or pursued further education. Of college graduates, only 55 percent of ADHD adults worked full time, compared with 68 percent of non-ADHD adults,” Newsday reported2.
Moreover, ADHD sufferers who did graduate from college had annual household incomes of $4,300 less than non-sufferers, a Reuters article said5. Between 3% and 5% of adults are said to have ADHD, the article said. All told, the condition costs some $77 billion in lost wages; “By comparison, the direct and indirect costs of drug abuse are estimated at $58.3 billion a year, depression about $43.7 billion, and alcohol abuse about $85.8 billion,” an expert said in the Reuters article.