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Predicting ADHD symptoms and diagnosis at age 14 from objective activity levels at age 7 in a large UK cohort

Brandt, V; Patalay, P; Koerner, JKA; (2020) Predicting ADHD symptoms and diagnosis at age 14 from objective activity levels at age 7 in a large UK cohort. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry , 30 pp. 877-884. 10.1007/s00787-020-01566-9. Green open access

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Abstract

Hyperactivity is one of the three core symptoms in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Diagnosing ADHD typically involves self-report, third party report and observations. Objective activity data can make a valuable contribution to the diagnostic process. Small actigraphy studies in clinical samples have shown that children with ADHD move more than children without ADHD. However, differences in physical activity between children with and without ADHD have not been assessed in large community samples or longitudinally. This study used data from the Millennium Cohort Study to test whether symptoms of ADHD (parent-rating Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire) and ADHD diagnosis at age 14 (reported by parents) could be predicted from objective activity data (measured with actigraphs) at age 7 in N = 6675 children (final N = 5251). Regressions showed that less sedentary behavior at age 7 predicted more ADHD symptoms at age 14 (β =  − 0.002, CI  − 0.004 to  − 0.001). The result remained significant when controlled for ADHD symptoms at age 7, sex, BMI, month of birth, SES and ethnicity (β  =  − 0.001, CI  − 0.003 to  − 0.0003). ADHD diagnosis at age 14 was also significantly predicted by less sedentary behavior at age 7 (β  =  − 0.008). Our findings show that symptoms of ADHD can be predicted by objective activity data 5 years in advance and suggest that actigraphy could be a useful instrument aiding an ADHD diagnosis. Interestingly, the results indicate that the key difference between children with and without ADHD lies in reduced sedentary activity, i.e., times of rest.

Type: Article
Title: Predicting ADHD symptoms and diagnosis at age 14 from objective activity levels at age 7 in a large UK cohort
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s00787-020-01566-9
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-020-01566-9
Language: English
Additional information: © 2020 Springer Nature Switzerland AG. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Actigraph, Accelerometer, Activity, Longitudinal
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine > MRC Unit for Lifelong Hlth and Ageing
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10105458
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