New study co-authored by our Dr. Lily Hechtman shows that persistence of ADHD into adulthood is an important predictor of car crash risk

A new study co-authored by our Dr. Lily Hechtman, child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, sheds new light on the importance of continued treatment for ADHD long after childhood and adolescence if symptoms persist.

The 20-year study, conducted at 7 sites, including the Montreal Children’s Hospital, found that the risk of being involved in car crashes was 1.45 times higher for those with a childhood history of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), compared to the control group, or those that no longer experienced symptoms of ADHD. The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP), also found that children whose ADHD symptoms had decreased by adulthood had no increased risk for car crashes.

“What this tells us is that individuals who continue to experience symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattentiveness and have a history of childhood ADHD should get treatment,” says Dr. Hechtman. The encouraging news is that with treatment, and the adoption of coping mechanisms in adulthood, the risk is far lower. “Developing these strategies to control these impulses in adulthood often means they no longer meet the criteria, and risk is significantly lowered.”

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