Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Medication and Unintentional Injuries in Children and Adolescents

      Objective

      Our objective was to determine whether attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication is associated with a decreased risk of unintentional injuries in children and adolescents in the United States across sexes, age groups and injury types.

      Method

      We used de-identified inpatient, outpatient, and filled prescription claims data from the Truven Health MarketScan Research Databases. Individuals were followed from January 1, 2005, date of first ADHD diagnosis, or medication prescription, or age 6 years, whichever occurred last, until December 31, 2014, first healthcare insurance disenrollment, or the first year at which their age was recorded as 19 years, whichever occurred first. A person was considered on ADHD medication during a given month if a prescription was filled in that month. The outcome was defined as emergency department visits for injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, with unintentional causes. Odds of having the outcome were compared between medicated and unmedicated months at the population-level and in within-individual analyses using logistic regression.

      Results

      Among 1,968,146 individuals diagnosed with ADHD or receiving ADHD medication, 87,154 had at least one event. At the population level, medication use was associated with a lower risk of injuries, both in boys (odds ratio [OR] = 0.85; 95% CI = 0.84−0.86) and girls (OR = 0.87; 95% CI = 0.85−0.89). Similar results were obtained from within-individual analysis among male (OR = 0.72; 95% CI = 0.70−0.74) and female (OR = 0.72; 95% CI = 0.69−0.75) children, and among male (OR = 0.64; 95% CI = 0.60−0.67) and female (OR = 0.65; 95% CI = 0.60−0.71) adolescents. Similar results were found for traumatic brain injuries.

      Conclusion

      ADHD medication use was associated with a reduction of different types of unintentional injuries in children and adolescents of both sexes.

      Key words

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