Whether these kids eventually grow to normal size remains a question. Kids entered the study in 1999 at ages 7 to 9. The current report is a snapshot taken three years later. The 10-year results when the kids are at their adult height won't be in for two more years.
The finding appears to end decades of debate over whether stimulant medications affect children's growth. Less than 10 years ago, a National Institutes of Health panel concluded that the drugs carried no long-term growth risk.
That opinion was so widely accepted that the study authors — who include most of the leading ADHD researchers in the U.S. did not warn parents that the study medication might carry this risk.
At the time, researchers thought that any short-term stunting of growth would be made up by a hypothesized "growth spurt" that would occur with continued treatment. But Swanson and colleagues saw no evidence of such a growth spurt.
That's what statistical analysis is all about. It's a field of mathematics and a science unto itself used by researchers in the other sciences. Computers have made it far easier than it once was.I can't imagine how many subjects they would have to follow to
figure out how many were shorter than they should be as adults.
We have kids in our extended family, but in the same family, that
vary considerably. One kid is 6' something at 14 and another kid
is perhaps 5'7" at 18. How many thousands would it take to counteract the variable in gene combos?
My guess is that some may be affected and some may not be affected but I can't see how it could be proven when the difference noted is so small. DDD
"We compared the effect of medication relative to just pure behavioral treatment," Swanson says. "That effect was substantial at 14 months and reduced a bit at 24 months. But at 36 months the relative advantage of ADHD drugs over behavioral treatment is gone."