Ritalin and other drugs used to treat attention deficit disorder are safe for adults' hearts, even though they can increase blood pressure and heart rate, according to the largest study of these medicines in adults.
The results echo findings in a study of children with ADHD, by the same researchers, published last month.
The review of health records for more than 440,000 adults aged 25 to 64 showed those taking ADHD drugs had about the same number of heart attacks, strokes and sudden heart-related deaths as adults who didn't use those drugs.
Although attention deficit disorder is usually thought of as a condition in childhood, many continue to have symptoms as adults, including impulsive, fidgety behavior and difficulty focusing or paying attention. ADHD affects about 4 percent of U.S. adults, roughly 9 million. About 8 percent of U.S. children aged 3 to 17, or 5 million kids, have ever been diagnosed with the disorder, government statistics show.
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