Evolution of ADHD

Reading time: 1 min

Impulsivity and hyperactivity symptoms tend to diminish slowly during and after adolescence. Inattention symptomatology, however, remains.  

This difficulty in controlling attention, organising and planning creates significant difficulties throughout life, especially from the beginning of adolescence. In this period and in the first years of adult life, secondary and higher education will require greater control for attention and a high capacity for planning and organisation to pass exams.  

People are different; so, some will experience a more rapid decrease in symptoms while, for others, these will persist. There is even a subgroup of people with ADHD whose symptoms of inattention increase with age. These differences are explained mainly by genetic variation. Environmental variables (problems during pregnancy and education received, for example) explain 5-20% of these changes in the course of the disorder.

Some of the factors that influence the evolution of the disorder are:  

  • Level of intelligence.  
  • Intensity, severity and number of ADHD symptoms.
  • Presence of other disorders (e.g., anxiety or substance abuse).
  • Family history of ADHD or other disorders.  

People with persistent ADHD have more health problems, such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. They also have a greater relationship with other psychopathological disorders.

Substantiated information by:

Marta Garcia Giral
Montse Vila
Rosa Nicolau

Published: 18 February 2022
Updated: 18 February 2022

The donations that can be done through this webpage are exclusively for the benefit of Hospital Clínic of Barcelona through Fundació Clínic per a la Recerca Biomèdica and not for BBVA Foundation, entity that collaborates with the project of PortalClínic.


Receive the latest updates related to this content.

Thank you for subscribing!

If this is the first time you subscribe you will receive a confirmation email, check your inbox

An error occurred and we were unable to send your data, please try again later.