High prevalence of ADHD in adolescents with severe obesity. The prevalence of ADHD in adolescents seeking bariatric surgery was very high, 28.6% in adolescents seeking bariatric surgery, much higher than that of the general population.
Methods: The study population included 84 adolescents (age 13-19 years, 44 males, 40 females) with severe obesity who sought bariatric surgery at the Sheba Medical Centre in Israel during the years 2011-2017. Anthropometric and clinical data were collected from medical records. A subgroup of 20 participants filled questionnaires that evaluated ADHD-like symptoms, eating behaviours and quality of life. Data on adolescents that ultimately underwent surgery (n=45) were also obtained.
Results: The prevalence of ADHD was 28.6% in adolescents seeking bariatric surgery, much higher than that of the general adolescent population of Israel (17.1%, p<0.001). There were no significant differences in reductions of weight, body mass index, body mass index standard deviation scores and body fat percent between participants with or without ADHD. In the subgroup that filled questionnaires, higher scores on ADHD- Rating Scale at baseline were associated with greater excess weight loss.
Conclusion: The prevalence of ADHD in adolescents seeking bariatric surgery was very high. Diagnosed ADHD was not related to post-surgical weight loss, whereas baseline ADHD-related behaviour was associated with higher post-surgical weight loss.
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