Opinion: Youngest in class twice as likely to take ADHD medication January 25, 2017 Dr Martin Whitely A study involving over 310,000 West Australian primary school children has revealed children born close to the school cut-off age are twice as likely to be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Dr Martin Whitely from Murdoch University was lead author of the paper published with the Medical Journal of Australia, which shows why a child's birth date predicts whether they'll be medicated for ADHD. He also co-authored an article for The Conversation that highlights the research findings. The article says: “New research has found the youngest children in West Australian primary school classes are twice as likely as their oldest classmates to receive medication for ADHD. “Published in the Medical Journal of Australia, the research analysed data for 311,384 WA schoolchildren, of whom 5,937 received at least one government subsidised ADHD prescription in 2013. The proportion of boys receiving medication (2.9%) was much higher than that of girls (0.8%). “Among children aged 6–10 years, those born in June (the last month of the recommended school-year intake) were about twice as likely (boys 1.93 times, girls 2.11 times) to have received ADHD medication as those born in the first intake month (the previous July). “For children aged 11–15 years, the effect was smaller, but still significant. Similar patterns were found when comparing children born in the first three months (July, August September) and the last three months (April, May, June) of the WA school year intake.” The Conversation article, titled ‘Youngest in class twice as likely to take ADHD medication”, was co-authored by Suzanne Robinson, Associate Professor of Health Policy and Manager at Curtin University, and can be viewed here. Print This Post Media contact: Luke McManus Tel: (08) 9360 2491 | Mobile: 0400 297 221 | Email: L.McManus@murdoch.edu.au Categories: General, Research Tags: Research, adhd, birth date, martin whitely, medical journal of australia, medication, murdoch university, the conversation Leave a comment Name (required) Mail (will not be published) (required) Website You can use these tags : <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> We read every comment and will make every effort to approve each new comment within one working day. To ensure speedy posting, please keep your comments relevant to the topic of discussion, free of inappropriate language and in-line with the editorial integrity of this newsroom. If not, your comments may not be published. Thanks for commenting!