Background

There has been an increasing interest in the association between Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and childhood obesity. Due to the spectra of characteristics of ADHD, we aim to investigate how this group of patients respond to obesity treatment compared with children without neuropsychiatric diagnoses.

Methods

Children in Sweden, aged 4-17.9 year, who were enrolled in obesity treatment between years 2005-2013 and continued for at least 12 months are included in the analysis. Subjects were identified in the National Childhood Obesity Register (BORIS), and the neuropsychiatric diagnose was identified thought the patient register and medical drug register. The results of treatment and patients lost follow-up are presented annually up to three years.

Results

In total were 6260 children (48% females) included in the analyses. The proportion of children with ADHD was 17.5%. The majority of children with ADHD was boys (59.5%), and were at treatment initiation 2.5 months older (p= 0.007) and had 0.04 units higher BMI Z-score (p=0.02). There were no differences in the treatment effect between the children with or without ADHD after 1, 2 or 3 years of treatment. After three year in treatment, the treatment effect was -0.23 vs -0.25 BMI Z-score units for the group of children with ADHD compared to the group without the diagnose (p= 0.2). Non-significant differences in obesity treatment result were still observed after stratification for sex and degree of obesity after one, two, and three years in treatment. Regardless of ADHD, children younger than 12 years had better effect of treatment. Children with ADHD remained up to three years in treatment to the same extent as their peers without neuropsychiatric disorder, 53.1 vs. 53.7, p=0.8.

Conclusions

Children with ADHD remained and responded equally as their peers throughout three years of childhood obesity treatment.