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ADHD and lifestyle habits in Czech adults, a national sample

Authors Weissenberger S, Ptacek R, Vnukova M, Raboch J, Klicperova-Baker M, Domkarova L, Goetz M

Received 11 August 2017

Accepted for publication 13 October 2017

Published 15 January 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 293—299


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Simon Weissenberger,1,2 Radek Ptacek,1,2 Martina Vnukova,1,2 Jiri Raboch,1 Martina Klicperova-Baker,3 Lucie Domkarova,1 Michal Goetz4

1Department of Psychiatry, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague and General University Hospital in Prague, Prague, 2Department of Psychology, University of New York in Prague, Prague, 3Institute of Psychology, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, 4Department of Paediatric Psychiatry, Second Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague and Motol University Hospital, Prague, Czech Republic

Background: Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been added as a diagnosis to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders version 5 (DSM5) in 2013, thus making ADHD, which has been classically known as a childhood disorder, a lifelong disorder. Those suffering from the condition show very specific behavioral traits, which manifest as lifestyle habits; they also show comorbidities that can be the symptoms and/or consequences of certain lifestyles.
Materials and methods: The targeted population was adults aged 18–65 years. The total sample was 1,012 (507 males and 505 females). The Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS V. 1.1) was administered to evaluate the current symptoms of ADHD and a questionnaire regarding lifestyles that are pertinent to ADHD, exercise, drug use, and diet.
Results: An ASRS score of 4–6 points was found in 11.4% of the male population and 9.7% of the female population (5–6 points indicate very high-intensity symptoms). A score of 6, the highest intensity of symptomatology, was found in 1.18% of males and 0.99% of females. Gender differences in scores were not statistically significant. In terms of self-reported lifestyles, we calculated an ordered logistic regression and the odds ratios of those with ASRS scores >4. Those with higher ASRS scores had higher rates of self-reported unhealthy lifestyles and poor diets with high consumption of sweets. We also ascertained a paradoxical finding that is not in line with the current literature on the disorder – lower rates of cigarette smoking among people with higher ADHD symptomatology.
Conclusion: Several specific lifestyles were found to be associated with higher ADHD symptoms such as poor diet and cannabis use. Other factors classically associated with the disorder such as cocaine addiction and nicotinism were either insignificant or surprisingly less prominent among the Czech sample. However, ADHD-prone respondents reported to be more physically active, which fits the clinical picture of hyperactivity but contrasts with literature that reports sedentary ADHD lifestyle.

Keywords: ADHD, lifestyle, diet, adulthood, ASRS, obesity

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