Effects of stimulant medication on growth rates across 3 years in the MTA follow-up.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the hypothesis of stimulant medication effect on physical growth in the follow-up phase of the Multimodal Treatment Study of Children With ADHD. METHOD: Naturalistic subgroups were established based on patterns of treatment with stimulant medication at baseline, 14-, 24-, and 36-month assessments: not medicated (n = 65), newly medicated (n = 88), consistently medicated (n = 70), and inconsistently medicated (n = 147). Analysis of variance was used to evaluate effects of subgroup and assessment time on measures of relative size (z scores) obtained from growth norms. RESULTS: The subgroup x assessment time interaction was significant for z height (p <.005) and z weight (p <.0001), due primarily to divergence of the newly medicated and the not medicated subgroups. These initially stimulant-naïve subgroups had z scores significantly >0 at baseline. The newly medicated subgroup showed decreases in relative size that reached asymptotes by the 36-month assessment, when this group showed average growth of 2.0 cm and 2.7 kg less than the not medicated subgroup, which showed slight increases in relative size. CONCLUSIONS: Stimulant-naïve school-age children with Combined type attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder were, as a group, larger than expected from norms before treatment but show stimulant-related decreases in growth rates after initiation of treatment, which appeared to reach asymptotes within 3 years without evidence of growth rebound.
Swanson, JM; Elliott, GR; Greenhill, LL; Wigal, T; Arnold, LE; Vitiello, B; Hechtman, L; Epstein, JN; Pelham, WE; Abikoff, HB; Newcorn, JH; Molina, BSG; Hinshaw, SP; Wells, KC; Hoza, B; Jensen, PS; Gibbons, RD; Hur, K; Stehli, A; Davies, M; March, JS; Conners, CK; Caron, M; Volkow, ND
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