The Significance of ADHD

  • ADHD is the MOST under-recognized, yet treatable psychiatric disorder in Canada
    • A minimum of 1 – 2 children in every class
    • Conservative prevalence: 5% of children, 4% of adults
    • 4 adults out of every 100 people in a company
    • At least 1 million Canadians are affected by this condition

ADHD Overview

  • ADHD is a neurobiological disorder that has been clinically observed for more than 100 years
  • Overwhelming scientific evidence has lead all major medical associations and government health agencies to recognize ADHD as a “real” disorder
  • ADHD is the most prevalent child psychiatric disorder in Canada
  • ADHD costs the Canadian economy between 6 to 11 billion dollars in lost workplace productivity annually
  • Scientific studies have shown that ADHD is highly heritable and is a chronic disorder that persists throughout the lifespan
  • Eighty per cent of children diagnosed with ADHD maintain the diagnosis into adolescence
  • Sixty per cent remain impaired by core symptoms in adulthood
  • Current lack of knowledge, skills, and integrated services in health and education sectors post major challenges for accessing effective treatments
  • Children with ADHD are frequently labeled as problem children rather than children with a medical diagnosis

What is the Burden of Illness (ADHD)?

  • ADHD impedes the acquisition of human and social capital
  • 3-fold increased risk for high school dropout
  • Decreased likelihood of full-time employment, resulting in lower household income
  • 2-fold increased risk of injuries (particularly head injuries/fractures)
  • 2 to 4-fold risk of motor vehicle accidents as a driver
  • Increased risk for substance abuse and other mental health problems (anxiety & depression)

What is the Socioeconomic Burden of Untreated ADHD?

  • No Canadian data exists
  • U.S. Data:
    • ADHD cost of illness throughout the lifespan in the US is estimated to be in excess of $74 billion – conservative estimates would indicate a Canadian cost of over 7 billion
    • Direct medical costs for those with ADHD are twice that for those without ADHD
    • Childhood ADHD reduces adult earnings by 33 per cent

By extrapolating U.S data, untreated ADHD costs the Canadian economy:

  • 12 million days of lost work
  • 6 to 11 billion annually in the loss of workplace productivity
  • $600 million dollars in accumulated taxes