Does attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder increase the risk of minor blunt head trauma in children?

Murat Pakyurek, Mohamed Badawy, Irma T. Ugalde, Paul Ishimine, Pradip P. Chaudhari, Kevan McCarten-Gibbs, Ozra Nobari, Nathan Kuppermann, James F. Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Problem: It is unclear if attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) increases the risk of head trauma in children. Methods: We conducted a multicenter prospective observational study of children with minor blunt head trauma. Guardians were queried, and medical records were reviewed as to whether the patient had previously been diagnosed with ADHD. Enrolled patients were categorized based on their mechanism of injury, with a comparison of those with motor vehicle collision (MVC) versus non-MVC mechanisms. Findings: A total of 3410 (84%) enrolled children had ADHD status available, and 274 (8.0%; 95% confidence interval, CI: 7.1, 9.0%) had been diagnosed with ADHD. The mean age was 9.2 ± 3.5 years and 64% were males. Rates of ADHD for specific mechanisms of injury were: assaults: 23/131 (17.6%; 95% CI 11.5, 25.2%), automobile versus pedestrian 23/173 (13.3%; 95% CI: 8.6, 19.3%), bicycle crashes 26/148 (17.6%; 95% CI: 11.8, 24.7%), falls 107/1651 (6.5%; 95% 5.3, 7.8%), object struck head 31/421 (7.4%; 5.1, 10.3%), motorized vehicle crashes (e.g., motorcycle, motor scooter) 11/148 (7.4%; 3.8, 12.9%), and MVCs 46/704 (6.5%; 95% CI: 4.8, 8.6%). Conclusion: Children with ADHD appear to be at increased risk of head trauma from certain mechanisms of injury including assaults, auto versus pedestrian, and bicycle crashes but are not at an increased risk for falls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • blunt head trauma
  • children mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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