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An Overview of Substance Use, Mood, and Anxiety Disorders in ADHD and Non-ADHD Adults

Psychiatric comorbidity is very common in adults with ADHD. Understanding this is crucial for preventing, detecting, and treating these conditions. Analysis of meta-data of ADHD and non-ADHD patients (n=550,748 and n=14,546,814, respectively) showed the odds ratios for anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and substance use disorders to be 5.0, 4.5, 8.7, and 4.6, respectively. Such significant differences could influence how adults with ADHD should be treated. Interestingly, high comorbidity held for both men and women but had different sex-specific patterns, as observed in the general population: higher prevalences of anxiety disorders, major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder in women and a higher prevalence of substance use disorders in men. (Insufficient data on different phases of the adult lifespan prevented conclusions on developmental changes in comorbidity.)

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