Xu, Guifeng (2020). Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, health behaviors, and cardiovascular risk.
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most prevalent neurodevelopmental disorders in children. While ADHD is onset in childhood, it usually persists into adulthood. Emerging evidence, although still sparse and inconsistent, suggests an association of ADHD with unhealthy behaviors and health conditions such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes in adults. The objective of this research was to characterize cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk and CVD-related health behaviors among adults with a history of ADHD. First, we examined the association of a history of ADHD diagnosis with CVD among US adults using data from the National Health Interview Survey. After adjustment for demographic, socioeconomic and lifestyle factors, we found a significant association of ADHD with CVD and two major subtypes of CVD (coronary heart disease and stroke) in almost all age groups. Second, we examined the association of ADHD with established risk factors of CVD among adults using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. After adjustment for demographic, socioeconomic and lifestyle factors, individuals with a history of ADHD diagnosis were more likely to be current cigarette smokers and have hyperlipidemia, compared with individuals without ADHD diagnosis. Third, we examined the association of ADHD with use of tobacco products and other substances among young adults. We found that participants with ADHD, compared with those without ADHD, were more likely to use conventional cigarettes, e-cigarettes and other tobacco products, alcohol, and drugs such as marijuana and cocaine. In summary, our study indicates that ADHD is a novel risk factor associated with CVD and CVD-related health behaviors. If ADHD is confirmed as a novel risk factor for later CVD and related pre-CVD biological conditions, individuals with ADHD should be considered as a target population for cardiovascular health promotion programs.
Doctor of Philosophy
University of Iowa