Medicated Hyperkinetic Kids on the Rise

COLOGNE, Germany, Sept. 21 (UPI) — The number of fidgety children treated by medication rose by 252 percent from 2000 to 2007, researchers in Germany found.

Ingrid Schubert of the PMV Research Group at the University of Cologne in Germany and colleagues tracked the frequency of prescriptions for methylphenidate — a stimulant drug used to treat such hyperkinetic disorders.

“The increase was due to rises not only in the number of persons for whom methylphenidate was prescribed, but also in the average amount of the drug prescribed per patient,” the study authors say in a statement.

The study, published in Deutsches Aerzteblatt International, determined the prevalence of hyperkinetic disorders in those age 18 and under — 2.2 percent in 2007 — is nearly 50 percent higher than the corresponding figure for 2000.

The greatest rise is in those ages 15-18. This trend is particularly noteworthy, the researchers say, for girls — rising in those ages 6-18 by 70 percent versus 53 percent in boys the same age.

Schubert and colleagues analyzed data for thousands insured by the AOK health insurance company in the German state of Hesse over the period 2000 to 2007.

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