A front-page New York Times analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a sharp increase in the numbers of US children being diagnosed for the first time with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD). The figures indicate a 16% increase in AD/HD cases diagnosed since 2007 alone. In addition to the New York Times, one network news segment, numerous print publications and medical journals focus on the story, many of them questioning if overdiagnosis is behind the increased number of cases, and others concentrating on the fact that some medications for AD/HD may be misused or abused.
NBC Nightly News (4/1, story 2, 2:25, Williams) reported, “A stunning new assessment of national numbers came out today. … It’s about “the extraordinary number of cases” of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) now being diagnosed.” New figures “show a 16% rise in cases just since 2007,” begging the question whether the condition is being overdiagnosed.