There are rising ADHD diagnoses among children in the United States, but experts are not sure of the reason why.

Rising ADHD DiagnosesGirls and Hispanic children are showing increases in diagnoses.  In fact they are the largest groups to be showing an increase.

In 2011, 12 percent of American children ages 5 to 17 had ever been diagnosed with ADHD.  This was an increase of 43 percent from 2003.

“But what struck us the most were the increases among girls and Hispanic children,” said senior researcher Sean Cleary, an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at George Washington University, in Washington, D.C.

ADHD has historically been diagnosed most often in white boys.  However, the trends are shifting, according to Cleary. And his question is “why?”

“Have doctors been traditionally underdiagnosing this in girls and Hispanic children?” he said. “Or is this a true increase in the incidence of ADHD? Or is this overdiagnosis? We can’t say.”

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