A new study published on May 10 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry looked at ADHD, driving and medication. The study tracked more than 2 million American adults who had been diagnosed with ADHD for a period of 10 years. The data was accessed from health insurance claims from more than 100 health insurers and reviewed inpatient and outpatient hospital visits due to motor vehicle collisions (MVCs) and filled prescriptions.
The study looked at over 2 million patients identified with ADHD, over the age of 18, with half over the age of 33. The study found that men’s risk of a motor vehicle accident decreased by 38% during the months they filled their prescriptions and women’s risk decreased by 42%.
The study team also estimated that 22 % of accidents could have been avoided if people with ADHD were on their medication during the entire study period.
The lead author Zheng Chang, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden stated that the study most likely underestimated the effect of medication on car crashes because only those accidents serious enough to warrant medical intervention through a hospital were included in the numbers. The data also did not include car crashes were someone died.
Considering the high prevalence of ADHD and its association with motor vehicle collisions along with the high rate of MVCs resulting in injury or death these findings should be looked at very seriously.
To access further details
Study published in JAMA Psychiatry. Published online May 10, 2017.doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2017.0659