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April 25, 2019

DES MOINES, IA – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) diagnosis rates in South Dakota are below the national average, according to the Blue Cross Blue Shield’s The Health of America Report: The Impact of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder on the Health of America’s Children External Site. In 2017, 6 percent of Wellmark members, ages 2-18, in South Dakota were diagnosed with ADHD. This is below the national average of 6.4 percent.

"ADHD is the second most impactful condition affecting children’s health in the U.S.," said Dr. Tim Gutshall, Wellmark’s chief medical officer. "Children with ADHD find it unusually difficult to concentrate on tasks and pay attention. They are also more likely to have depression, anxiety and other behavioral health concerns."

Additional findings from the study are:

  • ADHD is most prevalent among middle school-aged children (11-13 years old), and boys are diagnosed about twice as much as girls.
  • ADHD accounts for 16 percent of the impact all health conditions have on Generation Z (0-19 years old).
  • About 4 in 10 children with ADHD were also diagnosed with at least one other behavioral health disorder.

"These trends indicate a need to continue focusing on the diagnosis and treatment for a growing number of children," Gutshall added.

This is the 25th study of the Blue Cross Blue Shield, The Health of America Report® series, a collaboration between BCBSA and Blue Health Intelligence®, which uses a market-leading claims database to uncover key trends and insights into health care affordability and access to care. The report was done in partnership with HealthCore®, a wholly-owned and independently operated health outcomes subsidiary of Anthem, Inc. This report focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD among commercially insured American children ages 2-18 years old from 2010-2017. The study population was identified by ADHD diagnosis codes in Blue Cross and Blue Shield medical claims.

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