ADHD Medications Reduce Risk of Motor Vehicle Crashes Interview with:
Zheng Chang PhD MSc
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (MEB)
Karolinska Institutet
Stockholm Sweden What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: About 1.25 million people worldwide die annually because of motor vehicle crashes (MVCs). ADHD is a prevalent neurodevelopmental disorder with symptoms that include poor sustained attention, impaired impulse control and hyperactivity. ADHD affects 5 percent to 7 percent of children and adolescent and for many people it persists into adulthood. Prior studies have suggested people with ADHD are more likely to experience MVCs. Pharmacotherapy is a first-line treatment for the condition and rates of ADHD medication prescribing have increased over the last decade in the United States and in other countries.

Among the more than 2.3 million patients with ADHD (average age 32.5), we found patients with ADHD had a higher risk of an MVC than a control group of people without ADHD. The use of medication in patients with ADHD was associated with reduced risk for motor vehicle crashes in both male and female patients. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: In a large, national sample of ADHD patients in the US, ADHD medication was associated with a reduced risk of MVA in both men and women in the short and long term. These findings call attention to a prevalent and preventable cause of mortality and morbidity among patients with ADHD. Our results, if replicated, should be considered along with other potential benefits and harms associated with ADHD medication. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Further research is needed to understand the causal nature of this association. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Chang Z, Quinn PD, Hur K, Gibbons RD, Sjolander A, Larsson H, D’Onofrio BM. Association Between Medication Use for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Risk of Motor Vehicle Crashes. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online May 10, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2017.0659

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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