Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 50  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 262-265

The association between attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and early-onset alcohol dependence: A retrospective study

1 Mental Health Unit, Liverpool Hospital, Liverpool NSW 2170, Australia
2 Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore-560 029, India

Correspondence Address:
Kesavan Muralidharan
Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore-560 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.44748

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Background: Early onset (EO) alcohol dependence (AD) has been found to represent a subtype of alcoholism with a distinct profile and prognosis compared to late onset (LO) alcohol dependence. Externalizing disorders, especially attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that may continue as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, residual type (ADD, RT) in adulthood, may increase susceptibility to early-onset AD. Aims: To examine the relationship between ADHD and ADD, RT symptoms and age at onset of AD in a sample of Indian male patients. 70 male subjects with AD presenting to the De-Addiction Services of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore, were studied. The study had a retrospective design. Materials and Methods: Patients were examined for evidence of past ADHD in childhood and current ADD, RT using structured instruments. Chi-square tests and odds ratios were used to express the relative risk of association of ADHD with early- and late-onset AD. Results: Significantly more EO alcoholics (19/30, 63.3%) had a history of ADHD in childhood compared to LO alcoholics (7/28, 25%, P < 0.05) ADD, RT was also over-represented in EO probands. Conclusions: The results of this study are consistent with previous research that shows a high incidence of ADHD in early-onset alcoholics. This may have important management implications.



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