Economic burden of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder among adults in the United States: a societal perspective

Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy, 2022


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with substantial clinical burden as individuals transition to adulthood, including higher rates of comorbidities, mortality, incarceration, and psychiatric hospitalizations than in individuals without ADHD. These higher rates likely contribute to substantial economic burden as well.


To provide a comprehensive evaluation of the economic burden associated with ADHD in the US adult population.


Direct health care costs were obtained by using claims data from the IBM MarketScan Research Databases (January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2018). Direct non-health care costs and indirect costs were estimated on the basis of the literature and government publications. Excess costs incurred by adults with ADHD during 2018 were evaluated from a societal perspective; per-patient costs were extrapolated to the national level.


An estimated 8.7 million adults live with ADHD in the United States, resulting in a total societal excess cost attributable to ADHD of $122.8 billion ($14,092 per adult). Excess costs of unemployment ($66.8 billion; 54.4%) comprised the largest proportion of the total, followed by productivity loss ($28.8 billion; 23.4%) and health care services ($14.3 billion; 11.6%).


ADHD in adults is associated with substantial economic burden.

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Schein J, Adler LA, Childress A, Gagnon-Sanschagrin P, Davidson M, Kinkead F, Cloutier M, Guérin A, Lefebvre P