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Clinical Characteristics of Women with ADHD in Japan

Authors Hayashi W, Suzuki H, Saga N, Arai G, Igarashi R, Tokumasu T, Ota H, Yamada H, Takashio O, Iwanami A

Received 12 October 2019

Accepted for publication 23 November 2019

Published 4 December 2019 Volume 2019:15 Pages 3367—3374


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Taro Kishi

Wakaho Hayashi,1,2 Hirohisa Suzuki,3 Nobuyuki Saga,1,2 Gosuke Arai,1,2 Reiko Igarashi,1,2 Takahiro Tokumasu,3 Haruhisa Ota,1,2 Hiroki Yamada,1,2 Osamu Takashio,1,2 Akira Iwanami1,2

1Department of Psychiatry, Showa University School of Medicine, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 157-8577, Japan; 2Department of Psychiatry, Showa University Karasuyama Hospital, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 157-8577, Japan; 3Department of Psychiatry, Showa University Northern Yokohama Hospital, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa 224-8503, Japan

Correspondence: Wakaho Hayashi
Department of Psychiatry, Showa University Karasuyama Hospital, 6-11-11 Kitakarasuyama, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 157-8577, Japan
Tel +81-3-3300-5231
Fax +81-3-3308-9710
Email [email protected]

Purpose: Although gender differences have been reported in various aspects of adult attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), such as prevalence, comorbidities, and social functioning, there have been few such studies conducted in Japan. Our research investigated gender differences in sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of adults with ADHD in a Japanese clinical sample. Due to unique Japanese cultural ideals and expectations of women’s behavior that are in opposition to ADHD symptoms, we hypothesized that women with ADHD experience more difficulties and present more dysfunctions than men. We tested the following hypotheses: first, women with ADHD have more comorbidities than men with ADHD; second, women with ADHD experience more social hardships than men, such as having less full-time employment and being more likely to be divorced.
Patients and methods: The subjects were 335 outpatients with a DSM-5 ADHD diagnosis, who visited our ADHD specialty clinic at Showa University Karasuyama Hospital in central Tokyo between April 2015 and March 2016. Sociodemographic and clinical characteristics were collected, and gender differences were compared.
Results: Results fully supported our hypotheses: women had a significantly higher psychiatric comorbidity rate, were significantly less likely to be a full-time employee, and were significantly more likely to be divorced than men with ADHD.
Conclusion: Consistent with research in other countries, women with ADHD have greater impairments than men with ADHD in Japan. The importance of understanding gender differences of ADHD-diagnosed adults within a sociocultural context is highlighted.

Keywords: ADHD, adults, gender difference, Japan

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