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Study: ADHD Medication Use May Lower the Risk of Unemployment

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May 18, 2022ADHD medication use may decrease the risk for long-term unemployment among adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to a recent study published in JAMA Open Network.1 The study found the association between pharmacological treatment and decreased risk of unemployment to be significantly stronger among women.Previous research has shown that adults with ADHD face an increased risk for unemployment.2, 3, 4 Pharmacological treatments have proven effective in reducing core ADHD symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, poor planning, lack of organization, self-regulation deficits, forgetfulness, and impulsivity.5, 6“However, less is known about the extent to which pharmacological treatment for ADHD is associated with reductions in unemployment rates,” the researchers wrote. “This is a critical limitation, because long-term unemployment is associated with economic difficulties, worse mental and physical health, and higher mortality rates.”Researchers sought to determine whether taking medication for ADHD was associated with a lower unemployment rate among working-age adults.

They studied data from 12,875 adults – 41.5% female and 58.5% male – diagnosed with ADHD in Sweden who were born between 1958 and 1978.

Participants who used ADHD medication for at least 6 months during a two-year period were considered ADHD medication users. Participants served as their own control in the study.During the 2008-2013 follow-up period, participants who had used ADHD medication experienced a 10% lower risk of long-term unemployment the following year.

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