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ADHD Medication May Reduce Mortality Among Patients, New Study Suggests


The study, out of Sweden, researched the impact of the use of medication and mortality rates for patients with ADHD.



Over the past several decades, the public’s awareness of ADHD and the seriousness of the condition has greatly increased. Still, while many recognize the severity of the condition, they may not realize the impact that it can truly have on the life of someone suffering from it. While the condition is considered a behavioral condition, data shows that people suffering from ADHD are more likely to be the victim of premature death.

This includes both natural and unnatural causes.

A new study recently published through the JAMA Network looked into the impact of ADHD medication on the mortality rates.1 According to the results of the study, ADHD medication appears to reduce the mortality risk among patients, including deaths caused by unnatural causes.

The study is titled “ADHD Pharmacotherapy and Mortality in Individuals With ADHD.” Lin Li, Phd, Nanbo Zhu, MSc, and Le Zhang, PhD, authored the study, which followed the cases of patients diagnosed with the condition between 2007 and 2018. The researchers defined ADHD medication initiation when it was dispensed within 3 months of the diagnosis.

The research included 148,578 participants, ranging in age from 6- to 64-years-old. Researchers kept track of all mortalities that occurred within two years of diagnosis, including both naturally and unnaturally caused deaths.

According to the study, 39.1 people out of 10,000 died within that 2 year window in groups that initiated medication. Out of groups that didn’t, that number rose to an average of 48.1 out of 10,000. Interestingly, the unnaturally caused fatality rate seemed to be impacted at a higer rate than the naturally caused fatalities, although both showed a reduction in occurrence.

Associate professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University School of Medicine John Mitchell spoke with CNN about the study.2 He said, ““When we think about treatment, we think about addressing the negative impacts of the disorder going on right now, but we also want to think about the long-term picture as well. We actually might be able to have an impact on mortality when we correctly identify ADHD and when we treat it.”


  1. Li, Lin; Zhu, Nanbo; Zhang, Le. ADHD Pharmacotherapy and Mortality in Individuals With ADHD. JAMA Network. March 12, 2024. Accessed March 13, 2024. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2816084
  2. McPhillips, Deidre. Treating ADHD Patients with Medication Linked to Lower Risk of Death Overall, Study Finds. CNN. March 12, 2024. Accessed March 13, 2024. https://www.cnn.com/2024/03/12/health/adhd-medication-lower-risk-of-death-study/index.html
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