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Medication for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder and criminality
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
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2012 (English)In: New England Journal of Medicine, ISSN 0028-4793, E-ISSN 1533-4406, Vol. 367, no 21, p. 2006-2014Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common disorder that has been associated with criminal behavior in some studies. Pharmacologic treatment is available for ADHD and may reduce the risk of criminality.

Methods: Using Swedish national registers, we gathered information on 25,656 patients with a diagnosis of ADHD, their pharmacologic treatment, and subsequent criminal convictions in Sweden from 2006 through 2009. We used stratified Cox regression analyses to compare the rate of criminality while the patients were receiving ADHD medication, as compared with the rate for the same patients while not receiving medication.

Results: As compared with nonmedication periods, among patients receiving ADHD medication, there was a significant reduction of 32% in the criminality rate for men (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.68; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.63 to 0.73) and 41% for women (hazard ratio, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.50 to 0.70). The rate reduction remained between 17% and 46% in sensitivity analyses among men, with factors that included different types of drugs (e.g., stimulant vs. nonstimulant) and outcomes (e.g., type of crime).

Conclusions: Among patients with ADHD, rates of criminality were lower during periods when they were receiving ADHD medication. These findings raise the possibility that the use of medication reduces the risk of criminality among patients with ADHD. (Funded by the Swedish Research Council and others.).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Waltham, USA: Massachusetts Medical Society , 2012. Vol. 367, no 21, p. 2006-2014
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences General Practice
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-54517DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1203241ISI: 000311340200008PubMedID: 23171097Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84869441913OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-54517DiVA, id: diva2:1064305
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilWellcome trust
Note

Funding Agencies:

Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research 

Swedish Prison and Probation Services 

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development 

Available from: 2017-01-12 Created: 2017-01-12 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved

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