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Original Papers

Association between obesity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children at a tertiary care outpatient setting: A comparative study

Authors:

A. ellepola ,

Teaching hospital, Anuradhapura, LK
About A.
Consultant Psychiatrist
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G. S. Wijethunge,

Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Colombo, LK
About G. S.
Consultant Child Psychiatrist
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N. Gunawardena

University of Colombo, LK
About N.
Professor in Community Medicine
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Abstract

Background

As the prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity increases in developing countries, it is important to identify associated morbidity. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been recently recognized as one such comorbidity in this group. The current study describes the prevalence of ADHD among obese and non-obese children attending outpatient clinics at Lady Ridgeway Hospital (LRH), Sri Lanka.

 

Aims

The main focus of this study was to explore the association between ADHD and obesity in Sri Lankan children.

 

Methodology

This was a comparative cross sectional study of 209 children aged 6-12 years attending the outpatient department, and the outpatient clinic for obese children at Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Colombo. Participant height and weight was measured and body mass index (BMI) was calculated. Obesity was defined as a BMI of more than 95th centile as per the reference charts. Demographic data was collected using a prepared format and assessment of ADHD was carried out based on DSM IV criteria using the K-SADS PL.

 

Results

The prevalence of ADHD among obese participants was 17.1% (n=18), compared to 5.7% (n=6) among the non-obese, and this difference was statistically significant. The combined type ADHD was the most common sub type, followed by the predominantly hyperactive-impulsive. There was a male preponderance with regards to the diagnosis of ADHD.

 

Conclusions

This study shows that the rate of ADHD is higher among children with obesity, compared to the non-obese. Reasons behind this co-morbidity are unknown. If replicated in future studies, these findings will have important implications in the prevention and management of ADHD in this population group.
How to Cite: ellepola, A., Wijethunge, G.S. and Gunawardena, N., 2020. Association between obesity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children at a tertiary care outpatient setting: A comparative study. Sri Lanka Journal of Psychiatry, 11(1), pp.45–51. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljpsyc.v11i1.8226
Published on 18 Jun 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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