Adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have shown higher infection rates and worse outcomes from COVID-19. Stimulant medications are prescribed as the first-line treatment for ADHD in adults and mitigate risk of negative ADHD-related health outcomes, but little is known about the association between stimulant medications and COVID-19 outcomes. The objective of this study was to assess the risks of severe COVID-19 outcomes among people with ADHD who were prescribed stimulant medications versus those who were not. This retrospective cohort study used electronic health records in the TriNetX research database. We assessed records of adults with ADHD diagnosed with COVID-19 between January 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021. The stimulant cohort consisted of 28,011 people with at least one stimulant prescription; the unmedicated cohort comprised 42,258 people without prescribed stimulants within 12 months prior to their COVID infection. Multiple logistic regression modeling was utilized to assess the presence of critical care services or death within 30 days after the onset of COVID diagnoses, controlling for patient demographics, and comorbid medical and mental health conditions. The stimulant cohort was less likely to utilize emergency department, hospital, and intensive care services than the unmedicated cohort, and had significantly lower 30-day mortality. Further research, including prospective studies, is needed to confirm and refine these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-161
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
StatePublished - Sep 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


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