Non-mental diseases associated with ADHD across the lifespan: Fidgety Philipp and Pippi Longstocking at risk of multimorbidity?

Sarah Kittel-Schneider*, Gara Arteaga-Henriquez, Alejandro Arias Vasquez, Phil Asherson, Tobias Banaschewski, Isabell Brikell, Jan Buitelaar, Bru Cormand, Stephen V. Faraone, Christine M. Freitag, Ylva Ginsberg, Jan Haavik, Catharina A. Hartman, Jonna Kuntsi, Henrik Larsson, Silke Matura, Rhiannon V. McNeill, J. Antoni Ramos-Quiroga, Marta Ribases, Marcel RomanosIsabella Vainieri, Barbara Franke, Andreas Reif

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Several non-mental diseases seem to be associated with an increased risk of ADHD and ADHD seems to be associated with increased risk for non-mental diseases. The underlying trajectories leading to such brain-body co-occurrences are often unclear - are there direct causal relationships from one disorder to the other, or does the sharing of genetic and/or environmental risk factors lead to their occurring together more frequently or both? Our goal with this narrative review was to provide a conceptual synthesis of the associations between ADHD and non-mental disease across the lifespan. We discuss potential shared pathologic mechanisms, genetic background and treatments in co-occurring diseases. For those co-occurrences for which published studies with sufficient sample sizes exist, meta-analyses have been published by others and we discuss those in detail. We conclude that non-mental diseases are common in ADHD and vice versa and add to the disease burden of the patient across the lifespan. Insufficient attention to such co-occurring conditions may result in missed diagnoses and suboptimal treatment in the affected individuals.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Early online date29 Oct 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Oct 2021


  • Asthma
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Diabetes mellitus type II
  • Elimination disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • Migraine
  • Non-mental disease
  • Obesity
  • Somatic disorders


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