Depression and Suicidal Behavior in Young Adult Men and Women With ADHD: Evidence From Claims Data

Objective: This study used commercial claims data to examine the effects of ADHD and sex on the prevalence of depression, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts in a sample of young adult men and women (aged 18–25 years) with and without attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Patterns of treatment use for these conditions was also explored.

Methods: Young adults with ADHD (162,263 women and 225,705 men) having at least 2 claims with the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9), code for ADHD and a sex- and age-matched group of young adults without an ICD-9 code for ADHD (162,263 women and 225,705 men) were identified. The prevalence of ICD-9 depression and suicidal behavior along with the use and cost of related treatment were compared between young adults with and without ADHD using 2014 claims data.

Results: Compared to young adults without ADHD, young adults with ADHD were more frequently identified with depression, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts. Depression and suicidal ideation were identified more frequently among women with ADHD compared to all other groups. Young adults with ADHD were more frequently engaged in outpatient and inpatient mental health care compared to young adults without ADHD (P < .0001 in each instance). Furthermore, overall costs of outpatient and inpatient care were greater among young adults with ADHD compared to young adults without ADHD (P < .0001 in each instance).

Conclusions: These findings highlight the substantial burden of depression and suicidal behavior among young adults with ADHD, particularly women, and underlie the need for more research focused on mitigating risk for depression and suicidal behavior among both men and women with ADHD.

J Clin Psychiatry 2020;81(6):19m13130

https://doi.org/10.4088/JCP.19m13130