ADHD as a Risk Factor for Infection with COVID-19
Merzon E, Manor I, Rotem A, Schneider T, Vinker S, Golan Cohen A, Lauden A, Weizman A, Green I.
J Atten Disord. 2020 Jul 22:1087054720943271.
Commentary* by Dr. Margaret Weiss: Social distancing may be an attention demanding task.
Background: ADHD limits the ability to comply with Covid-19 prevention recommendations. We hypothesized that ADHD constitutes a risk factor for Covid-19 infection and that pharmacotherapy may lower that risk.
Methods: Study population included all subjects (N = 14,022) registered with Leumit Health Services between February 1st and April 30, 2020, who underwent at least one Covid-19 test. Data were collected from the electronic health records. Purchasing consecutively at least three ADHD-medication-prescriptions during past year was considered drug-treatment.
Results: A total of 1,416 (10.1%) subjects (aged 2 months-103 years) were Covid-19-positive.They were significantly younger, and had higher rates of ADHD (adjOR 1.58 (95% CI 1.27-1.96, p < .001) than Covid-19-negative subjects. The risk for Covid-19-Positive was higher in untreated-ADHD subjects compared to non-ADHD subjects [crudeOR 1.61 (95% CI 1.36-1.89, p < .001)], while no higher risk was detected in treated ones [crudeOR 1.07 (95% CI 0.78-1.48, p = .65)].
Conclusion: Untreated ADHD seems to constitute a risk factor for Covid-19 infection while drug-treatment ameliorates this effect.
* Abstracts are selected for their clinical relevance by Dr. Margaret Weiss, Director of Clinical Research, Child Psychiatry, Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard University. Her commentary reflects her own opinion. It is not approved or necessarily representative of the CADDRA board.