From the Journals

Social anxiety more likely with inattentive ADHD, psychiatric comorbidities



Social anxiety is more likely in adolescents aged 12-18 years with predominantly inattentive ADHD and psychiatric comorbidities, according to María Jesús Mardomingo-Sanz, MD, PhD, and associates.

A total of 234 ADHD patients with a mean age of 14.9 years were recruited for the cross-sectional, observational study, and social anxiety was assessed using the Social Anxiety Scale for Adolescents (SAS-A). Just under 70% were male; 37.2% had predominantly inattentive disease, 9% had predominantly hyperactive-impulsive disease, and 51.7% had combined-type disease. Nearly all patients received pharmacologic therapy: 78.6% received methylphenidate, 15% received lisdexamfetamine, and 4.3% received atomoxetine, reported Dr. Mardomingo-Sanz, of the child psychiatry and psychology section at the Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón in Madrid, and associates. The study was published in Anales de Pediatría.

The investigators found that 50.4% of patients had a psychiatric comorbidity. Learning and communication disorders, and anxiety disorders were the most common, occurring in 20.1% and 19.2% of all patients, respectively. Patients within the cohort scored significantly higher on the SAS-A, compared with reference values in a healthy population.

Patients with predominantly inattentive disease had significantly higher scores in the SAS-A, compared with those with predominantly hyperactive-impulsive disease (P = .015). Comorbid anxiety disorder was associated with the worst SAS-A scores (P less than .001).

“Social anxiety greatly influences the way in which children and adolescents interact with the surrounding environment and react to it, and therefore can contribute to the development of psychiatric comorbidities. Social anxiety detected by the SAS-A questionnaire is not diagnostic of an anxiety disorder, but detecting it is important, as it can contribute to the secondary prevention of future comorbidities that could lead to less favorable outcomes of these stage of development in patients with ADHD,” the investigators concluded.

Laboratorios Farmacéuticos funded the study, and the investigators reported receiving fees and being employed by Laboratorios Farmacéuticos.

SOURCE: Mardomingo-Sanz MJ et al. An Pediatr (Barc). 2019;90(6):349-61.

Next Article: