Treatment Patterns among Patients with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Comorbid Anxiety and/or Depression in the United States: A Retrospective Claims Analysis

Advances in Therapy, 2023


Patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often have psychiatric comorbidities that may confound diagnosis and affect treatment outcomes and costs. The current study described treatment patterns and healthcare costs among patients with ADHD and comorbid anxiety and/or depression in the United States (USA).


Patients with ADHD initiating pharmacological treatments were identified from IBM MarketScan Data (2014-2018). The index date was the first observed ADHD treatment. Comorbidity profiles (anxiety and/or depression) were assessed during the 6-month baseline period. Treatment changes (discontinuation, switch, add-on, drop) were examined during the 12-month study period. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) of experiencing a treatment change were estimated. Adjusted annual healthcare costs were compared between patients with and without treatment changes.


Among 172,010 patients with ADHD (children [aged 6-12] N = 49,756; adolescents [aged 13-17] N = 29,093; adults [aged 18 +] N = 93,161), the proportion of patients with anxiety and depression increased from childhood to adulthood (anxiety 11.0%, 17.7%, 23.0%; depression 3.4%, 15.7%, 19.0%; anxiety and/or depression 12.9%, 25.4%, 32.2%). Compared with patients without the comorbidity profile, those with the comorbidity profile experienced a significantly higher odds of a treatment change (ORs [children, adolescents, adults] 1.37, 1.19, 1.19 for those with anxiety; 1.37, 1.30, 1.29 for those with depression; and 1.39, 1.25, 1.21 for those with anxiety and/or depression). Excess costs associated with a treatment change were generally higher with more treatment changes. Among patients with three or more treatment changes, annual excess costs per child, adolescent, and adult were $2234, $6557, and $3891 for those with anxiety; $4595, $3966, and $4997 for those with depression; and $2733, $5082, and $3483 for those with anxiety and/or depression.


Over 12 months, patients with ADHD and comorbid anxiety and/or depression were significantly more likely to experience a treatment change than those without these psychiatric comorbidities and incurred higher excess costs with additional treatment changes.

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Schein J, Childress A, Gagnon-Sanschagrin P, Maitland J, Bedard J, Cloutier M, Guérin A