The Relationship Between ADHD and Cardiovascular Diseases

December 8, 2023

The Relationship Between ADHD and Cardiovascular Diseases

Recently, it has come to attention that a growing number of adults are struggling with ADHD, making it a significant mental health issue.
Fortunately, there are effective pharmacological treatments and cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques available for ADHD. However, concerns about the side effects of medication and unfamiliarity with therapy often cause hesitation. Are these concerns valid? In this article, let's explore the impact of ADHD medication on cardiovascular diseases.

It is always a delicate issue when discussing potential side effects of medication as it might evoke skepticism or fear towards medical treatment. However, medicine should be based on accurate information and evidence which needs to be properly shared with the patients. This article is based on a study published in JAMA Psychiatry in November 2023, a globally renowned journal that provides reliable information.

The study followed individuals who had been prescribed ADHD medication for 14 years to analyze the impact of these drugs on cardiovascular diseases. The study ran from 2007 to 2020, targeting people in Sweden aged from 6 to 64 who had been diagnosed with ADHD and were prescribed medication. The results were as follows:

The risk of cardiovascular diseases increases as the duration of ADHD medication use extends.

  • Among cardiovascular diseases, the incidence rates of hypertension and arterial diseases were particularly high.
  • The probability of developing cardiovascular diseases increased by 4% for each year of ADHD medication use.
  • However, this increase was most pronounced in the initial three years after starting medication, and the risk of cardiovascular diseases remained relatively stable after three years.
  • These trends were consistent among children, young adults under 25, and adults over 25.

ADHD medication can undeniably mitigate the symptoms of ADHD. Thus, it is vital to thoughtfully discuss the advantages and disadvantages of ADHD medication use with a professional, and make a well-informed decision. Making a decision solely by oneself to avoid or to take medication is not advisable. Let's rely on accurate evidence when making decisions.


Zhang L, Li L, Andell P, Garcia-Argibay M, Quinn PD, D'Onofrio BM, Brikell I, Kuja-Halkola R, Lichtenstein P, Johnell K, Larsson H, Chang Z. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Medications and Long-Term Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases. JAMA Psychiatry. 2023 Nov 22. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2023.4294. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37991787.

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