Behavior Disorders Boost Crash Risk for Teen Boys:
FRIDAY, Nov. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Male teens with disruptive
behavior disorders have a one-third increased risk of being
seriously injured in a traffic crash, either as a driver or a
pedestrian, new research has found.
Their increased risk is similar to that of epilepsy patients,
said Dr. Donald Redelmeier, from the University of Toronto in
Canada, and his colleagues.
Disruptive behavior disorders include
attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), conduct disorder
and oppositional defiant disorder.
The seven-year study, published in the Nov. 16 online edition of
PLoS Medicine, included 3,421 male teens aged 16 to 19 who were admitted to the hospital after a traffic crash. The increased risk associated with disruptive behavior disorders remained after the researchers accounted for factors such as age, social status and home location.
The study authors did not document who was at fault in the
crashes but suggested that disruptive behavioral disorders may
impair a teen's ability to avoid a crash triggered by another
Disruptive behavioral disorders might be considered as
contributors to traffic crashes -- similar to epilepsy, diabetes
and some other medical conditions -- but do not justify withholding
a driver's license from teens, Redelmeier and colleagues
Instead, the authors suggested a number of ways to reduce risk,
including: keeping speed under control, restricting alcohol,
minimizing distractions, wearing seatbelts, keeping a safe distance
from other vehicles, and obeying medical advice.
"Greater attention by primary care physicians, psychiatrists and community health workers might be helpful since practical recommendations might reduce the risk," Redelmeier's team explained in a news release from the journal.
The Mental Health Association of Westchester County, N.Y., has
disruptive behavior disorders.
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