ADHD may be more prevalent in children with vision impairments, study says

SEATTLE – A study examining the relationship between vision impairment and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder determined that the presence of a vision impairment in a child increased that child’s odds of having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to a poster presentation here at the American Academy of Optometry annual meeting.

The age range for the children included in this analysis performed by Dawn K. DeCarlo, OD, and colleagues was 4 to 18 years, and there were 75,903 individual subjects. Study subjects needed to have complete data for questions pertaining to vision impairment and ADHD in the National Survey of Children’s Health 2011-2012 dataset.

“The population-weighted prevalences of current parent-reported vision impairment and ADHD were 1.6% and 8.8%, respectively,” the poster said.

Using logic regression adjusted to race/ethnicity, age, gender, family structure, income and insurance status, those with mild or moderate visual impairment were more likely to report ADHD. The adjusted odds of ADHD among those with severe visual impairment were not significantly different from those without visual impairment.

“Sociodemographics also appear to play a role in ADHD diagnosis,” the poster concluded.

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