If your child is being treated for attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you may have one less thing to
worry about. A study involving 1.2 million children and young
adults provided reassuring evidence that the drugs used to treat
ADHD do not increase the risk of death from heart disease.
Researchers, who published their results in October 2011 in The
New England Journal of Medicine, analyzed medical records from a
nationwide private insurance plan along with health plans based
in Tennessee, California, and Washington State. They compared
children taking stimulant drugs such as methylphenidate (Ritalin)
and dextroamphetamine (Adderall) that are commonly used to treat
ADHD with children not taking these drugs.
Among all of the children, heart attack, stroke, or sudden death
were rare, affecting a little more than three in every 100,000
children per year. Cardiac problems were no more common among
children using a stimulant as among those not taking one.
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