Nearly a third of people diagnosed as children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) still have the condition in adulthood, according to a US study.
The researchers, whose findings appeared in Pediatrics, also found that these people were more likely to develop other mental disorders, such as anxiety or depression, and commit suicide.
Lead by William Barbaresi, from Boston Children's Hospital, they found that about 29pc of participants in the study who were diagnosed with ADHD as children ended up carrying that diagnosis over into their late twenties.
"They still clearly had symptoms that continued to be consistent with that diagnosis," said Barbaresi. "But that in itself has been an area of difficulty and controversy."
ADHD, the most common neuro-developmental condition, affects between 3pc and 7pc of US school children, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It's more common in boys than in girls.
The CDC says children with ADHD tend to have a hard time paying attention, to be forgetful, fidget and be easily distracted, to the point that it creates problems at school, home and with their friends.
The researchers followed 5,718 children who were born in that area between 1976 and 1982.