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ADHD in the Arab world: a review of epidemiologic studies

OBJECTIVE: Epidemiological studies on psychiatric disorders are quite rare in the Arab World. This article reviews epidemiological studies on ADHD in all the Arab countries. METHOD: All epidemiological studies on ADHD conducted from 1966 through th present were reviewed. Samples were drawn from the general community, primary care clinical settings, and populations of traumatized children. Data on prevalence, gender differences, risk factors, comorbidity, and burden of ADHD were reviewed. RESULTS: ADHD rates in Arab populations were similar to those in other cultures. Comparisons within Arab studies were difficult given the variability of methodology and instruments used. CONCLUSION: There is an important need for research on ADHD in the Arab World, not only to assess the national prevalence in children and adolescents, but also to look at the differential burden and treatment of this disorder, which has high levels of mental comorbidities and high impact across the life span.