(HealthDay News) – Men who had attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) during childhood are at increased risk of obesity as adults, according to a study published online May 20 in Pediatrics.

Samuele Cortese, MD, PhD, from the New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues assessed data from men with childhood ADHD participating in a long-term cohort. White boys (207; referred at a mean age of 8.3 years) were interviewed at ages 18 (FU18), 25 (FU25), and 41 years (FU41). Recruitment of 178 boys without ADHD occurred at FU18. Weight and height was recorded at FU41.

The researchers found that men with childhood ADHD had significantly higher body mass index (BMI; 30.1 vs. 27.6kg/m²) and obesity rates (41.4% vs. 21.6%) than men without childhood ADHD. Even after adjusting for socioeconomic status and lifetime mental disorders, group differences remained significant. BMI and obesity rates did not differ significantly in men with persistent (24 men) or remitted (87 men) ADHD. Men with remitted (but not persistent) ADHD had significantly higher BMI (B, 2.86) and obesity rates (odds ratio, 2.99) than those without childhood ADHD after adjusting for other factors.

“Children with ADHD are at increased risk of obesity as adults,” the authors conclude. “Findings of elevated BMI and obesity rates in men with remitted ADHD require replication.”

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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