Kentucky leads the nation in the number of children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Nearly one in five children in the commonwealth has been diagnosed with the disorder, according to numbers released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Nearly 19 percent of Kentucky children ages 4-17 have, at some point, been diagnosed with ADHD. That’s well over the national average of 11 percent.
Indiana’s diagnosis rate is nearly 16 percent, with Tennessee’s rate is 15 percent
You can learn more about each state’s rate of ADHD diagnosis here.
The figures come from a 2011 national survey conducted by the CDCP, and show about 6 million children nationwide have received an ADHD diagnosis. It’s not known if the higher levels are the result of over-diagnoses by doctors, higher levels of awareness, or some combination of those and other factors.
The chair of the University of Kentucky’s Pediatrics Department told the Courier-Journal that ADHD is an “inborn chemical issue” that causes inattentiveness and impulsiveness.
Researchers are currently conducting studies looking into whether babies born addicted to drugs are more likely to develop ADHD later in life.