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Anthropometric status of preschoolers and elementary school children with ADHD: preliminary results from the EPINED study.

Pediatric Research 2023 May 32
BACKGROUND: A current area of research interest is the association between ADHD and weight status. This paper aimed to describe the anthropometric status of school children with ADHD, considering age and clinical presentation (inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive, or combined), compared with control children.

METHODS: Participants came from the "Epidemiological Research Project on Neurodevelopmental Disorders" and consisted of 198 preschoolers (41 with ADHD) and 389 elementary school children (163 with ADHD). ADHD was diagnosed using DSM-5 criteria. Anthropometric measurements were taken at various anatomical points, and height, weight, and body composition were also measured.

RESULTS: In preschoolers, an association was found between hyperactive-impulsive ADHD and greater height and lower waist-to-height ratio. In elementary school children, regardless of the medication, combined ADHD was associated with smaller head, hip, arm, and thigh circumferences and lower weight, height, and BMI. A total of 19.7% of them were underweight. In contrast, children with inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive presentations presented the highest percentage of overweight/obesity (56%).

CONCLUSION: The anthropometric status of the school children with ADHD showed differences in terms of age and presentation. Preschoolers with hyperactive-impulsive ADHD are taller, and elementary school children with combined ADHD are shorter and smaller than their age-matched control peers.

IMPACT: The anthropometric status of the school children with ADHD showed differences in terms of age and presentation. Preschoolers with hyperactive-impulsive ADHD are taller than their control peers. Elementary school children with combined ADHD, regardless of the pharmacological treatment, are shorter and smaller than their control peers. Medication may anthropometrically affect the height of children with inattentive presentation. Anthropometric and dietary monitoring should be recommended to parents of children with ADHD, with and without medication.

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