An 11-year Canadian study suggests the youngest children in a classroom are more likely to be assessed as having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) compared to their older classmates, raising concerns that many schoolchildren are wrongly being diagnosed and prescribed medication.
University of British Columbia researchers focused on 937,943 students who were six to 12 years old between Dec. 1, 1997, and Nov. 30, 2008 in a province where the cutoff age for entry to school is Dec. 31. The study, published in Monday’s Canadian Medical Association Journal, found children born in December were 39 per cent more likely to be diagnosed and 48 per cent more likely to be treated with medication for ADHD, compared to children with a January birthday.
"The relative maturity of children is affecting the diagnosis, so in other words, the lack of maturity in younger children is making them more likely to get the diagnosis, and we can interpret that as the fact that sometimes a lack of maturity is being misinterpreted as symptoms of a neurobehavioural disorder of ADHD," the study’s lead author, Richard Morrow, health research analyst with the Therapeutics Initiative at the University of British Columbia, told CBC News.
As a result, he says, there are concerns that ADHD — the most commonly diagnosed neurobehavioural disorder in children — is being overdiagnosed and overtreated in younger students in a classroom.
Exposing kids to unnecessary drugs a concern
In a news release, Morrow said: "Our study suggests younger, less mature children are inappropriately being labelled and treated. It is important not to expose children to potential harms from unnecessary diagnosis and use of medications."
The cutoff age for children entering school for the first time (either kindergarten or Grade 1) in B.C. and other provinces is Dec. 31. That means some students with December birthdays could be nearly a full year younger than other kids in their class. Those younger students may also appear to be immature, something researchers have labelled as the "relative-age effect," which could also influence both academic and athletic performance.
Hungary’s Orban Bashes Liberal Immigration Policy 2014 08 29 Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Monday lashed out against immigration, setting one of the main policy objectives of his next term in power after winning parliamentary elections in April.
“The goal is to cease immigration whatsoever,” said Hungary’s prime minister. “I think the current liberal immigration policy, which is considered obvious and morally based, is hypocrite,” Mr. Orban said.
At a ...
China’s “Duplitecture” Cities Mimic the World’s Greatest Architectural Hits 2014 08 29 The best knockoffs in the world are in China. There are plenty of fake designer handbags and Rolexes, but China’s knockoffs go way beyond fashion. There are knockoff Apple stores that look so much like the real thing that some employees believe they are working in real Apple stores. And then there are entire knockoff cities. There are Venices with ...
Kiev loses control of Novoazovsk, rebel troops advance in southeast Ukraine 2014 08 29 Kiev’s troops had to leave the eastern Ukrainian city of Novoazovsk to save their lives, said the country’s Security and Defense Council. The authorities admitted that self-defense forces are advancing and leading a counteroffensive in the southeast.
Along with Novoazovsk, Kiev troops have lost control over the villages of Amvrosiivka and Starobeshevo in the Donetsk Region of Eastern Ukraine.
According to Ukraine’s ...
Mohammed is most popular name in Oslo 2014 08 29 For the first time in the capital city’s history, Mohammed is the most common name for boys and men, said a study on Thursday.
Statistics Norway (Statistisk Sentralbyrå - SSB) has counted the population of Oslo and found that Mohammed is the most common male name in Oslo for the first time ever.
Jørgen Ouren of SSB said to NRK: “It is ...
Beaten to Death at McDonald’s 2014 08 29 To the four clean-cut college freshman out on a double date, it had seemed like a typical McDonald’s: spanking clean, well-lighted, and safe. It was in a good neighborhood too, right next to Texas A&M University in College Station -- a campus known for its friendly atmosphere and official down-home greeting: “howdy.”
Shortly after 2 A.M. that Sunday, they pulled into ...