Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Its Pharmacotherapy, and Adrenal Gland Dysfunction: A Nationwide Population-Based Study in Taiwan

Pin-Han Peng, Meng-Yun Tsai, Sheng-Yu Lee, Po-Cheng Liao, Yu-Chiau Shyu, Liang-Jen Wang
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2020 May 25, 17 (10)
This study aims to examine the co-occurrence rate of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and adrenal gland disorders, as well as whether pharmacotherapy may affect ADHD patients' risk of developing adrenal gland disorder. One group of patients newly diagnosed with ADHD ( n = 75,247) and one group of age- and gender-matching controls ( n = 75,247) were chosen from Taiwan's National Health Insurance database during the period of January 1999 to December 2011. Both patients and controls were monitored through December 31, 2011, in order to identify the occurrence of adrenal gland disorders (ICD-9-CM code 255.X). We also explored the potential effect of methylphenidate (MPH) and atomoxetine (ATX) treatments on the risk of developing adrenal gland disorders. We found that ADHD patients showed a significantly increased probability of developing an adrenal gland disorder compared to the control group (0.2% of ADHD vs. 0.1% of controls). However, neither MPH nor ATX treatment significantly influenced the patients' risk of developing adrenal gland dysfunction. We propose that patients with ADHD had greater comorbid rates with adrenal gland dysfunction than the control subjects. Nevertheless, undergoing treatment with MPH or ATX did not significantly influence the risk of developing adrenal gland dysfunction among ADHD patients.

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