Abstract: Early diagnosis of ADHD which has been cited important in many papers but has become even of more important now. Early detection and treatment are highly correlated with reduced risk of contracting Covid19 and with reducing the severity of if Covid19 is contracted.
Keywords: Risk Factor, ADHD and COVID19, ADHD diagnosis, ADHD treatment, ADHD medication, telepsychiatry, telehealth, remote testing.
Israel has been lucky, with its highly computerised HMOs and their well-organized regional medical records, the vaccination process proceeded with alacrity and uncharacteristic efficiency resulting in the country quickly heading back to pre Covid19 era normalcy.
Considering Israel’s population of 9.2 Million, the numbers tell us quite a story. Based on Corona worldometer’s data Israel positioning in Covid19 cases per 1 million is 16th in the world. Although Israel’s population is small and young (the median age is 30), Israelis contracted the disease in higher proportion than most countries with a much larger and older population. While Covid19 is most dangerous for the elderly we also see highly alarming data when looking at the ADHD population segments.
On May 8th 2021, Dr Eugene Merzon, MD a certified ADHD Diagnostician and the head of department of managed and digital care of Leumit health service in Israel spoke at the 8th world congress of ADHD. Dr Merzon, stating that a high percentage of the ADHD patients were testing positive for Covid19. He postulated that ADHD patients may find it harder to comply with rules and social distancing, increasing their risk of contracting the disease. He added that wearing masks is more challenging for people with sensory difficulties.
Dr Merzon together with Dr Iris Manor and their colleagues conducted a study of ADHD as a risk factor for infections with COVID-19, in which they stated that of 1,416 people testing positive for Covid19 they found mainly younger males of lower SEC background with significantly low propensities of comorbidities but higher proportions of ADHD. Their findings were that 16.22% (230) of the diagnosed with Covid19 had ADHD, while of those testing negative for Covid19 only 11.65% tested were ADHD patients.
Among the subjects with ADHD, 24.6% were defined as treated whereas 75.4% were defined as untreated. Dr Merzon’s study identifies that ADHD significantly increases the risk of infections from Covid19, irrespective of other medical conditions. He says that ADHD is independently, and significantly related to the risk of contracting Covid19. In fact, he goes so far as to state that people with ADHD are a vulnerable population, whereas ADHD patients who are under treatment are less likely to test positive for Covid19.
|ADHD as a Risk Factor for Infection With Covid-19||The Association between ADHD and Severity of Covid-19 Infection|
ADHD patients’ natural characteristics such as impulsiveness, lower their ability of comply to guidelines, that coupled with their inherent difficulty in grasping the severity of situations prompts them to act first on impulse before evaluating the full picture, this places them at higher risk.
Their tendency to be hypersensitivity, places constraints on wearing and keeping a mask on. Lack of discipline may also make it more difficult for them to adhere to social distancing rules, increasing their susceptibility of becoming not only infected with Covid19 but also increasing the viral load they may contract resulting in an increase severity.
|decrease in patients routine care 30%|
Many clinicians have stopped renewing their prescription during the lockdowns, patients were assuming they do not need to be medicating if they are not interacting in school. Dr Gregory Mattingly, sited in his paper, stating that they discovered a 30% decrease in patients routine care. While Dr Joseph Biederman stated in a lecture on May 6th 2021, that ADHD stimulant medication adherence amongst ADHD patients is the worst of all mediative adherences. He states that only 46% of patients taking stimulants for ADHD treatment renew their prescriptions, with percentages declining with time. These conspire to exacerbate the patients’ symptoms consequently rendering them more susceptible to contracting Covid19.
|of ADHD patients taking 46% stimulants did not renew prescriptions|
There is also some good news. When comparing treated ADHD patients to norm groups the numbers suggest an equal chance of contracting the disease. Therefore, patients who had been diagnosed and regulated stand a better chance than patients that have had gone undiagnosed. They are likely to suffer a less severe sickness or avoid contracting Covid19 altogether.
When studied, all this wealth of information, one conclusion comes to mind. Do not delay getting diagnosed and treated even if you are in lock down. Neurotech solution offers remote CPT home testing, enabling doctors all over the world to maintain seamless, objective and safe ADHD testing from the convenience of the patients’ home. MOXO d-CPT™ is an online test that can be completed on any computer at any time. With the highest data security measures in place, it is HIPAA, GDPR and ISO 270001 complaint.
In summary, early diagnosis of ADHD which has been cited important in many papers but has become even of more important now. Early detection and treatment are highly correlated with reduced risk of contracting Covid19 and with reducing the severity of it once Covid19 is contracted.