October 26, 2012
A recently published systematic literature review and analysis of applicable studies has assessed the economic impact of ADHD in
the United States
. This analysis estimated that annual national excess costs for ADHD ranged from
$143 billion to $266 billion
. More than 70 percent of these overall excess costs were attributable to adults with ADHD or to adult family members of patients with ADHD. The analysis was published in the
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
This analysis was designed and conducted by health economists from Tufts Medical Center, the
University of Pennsylvania
and the Global Health Economics & Outcomes Research group at Shire Specialty Pharmaceuticals. To date, this is the most comprehensive analysis of published data relating to incremental - or excess - costs of ADHD across age groups, including children, adolescents and adults. Incremental costs included those associated with overall healthcare, productivity and income losses, and the educational and judicial systems.
For individuals with ADHD, the excess costs for each category were estimated by comparing the relevant costs against those of individuals who were not diagnosed with ADHD. For family members of individuals with ADHD, costs were compared to those of individuals who did not have a family member with ADHD. The excess costs were then extrapolated to the entire US population using established scientific methodologies.
The analysis estimated that the national excess costs for adults with ADHD or adult family members of patients with ADHD were almost three times higher than for children and adolescents with ADHD. Workplace productivity and income losses were the largest contributors to the economic burden associated with adults with ADHD, ranging from
$87 billion to $138 billion
and accounting for more than 70 percent to 80 percent of the overall costs in adults.
In children and adolescents with ADHD, the economic burden was also substantial, ranging from
$38 billion to $72 billion
. The largest cost categories were healthcare costs, ranging from
$21 billion to $44 billion
annually, and education costs, ranging from
$15 billion to $25 billion
The analysis did not evaluate the impact of treatment interventions on excess costs due to the lack of available data. In addition, insufficient studies were available to assess the economic burden of traffic accidents and substance abuse in this population.