Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD should be carefully monitored for heart problems before receiving treatment. The American Heart Association recommends kids with ADHD receive electrocardiograms before taking stimulant drugs for their condition.
Studies have shown these medications can increase heart rate and blood pressure, even in children, although most young people with ADHD undergo a physical exam. Researchers say that's not enough, because underlying heart problems are tough to detect in children until it's too late. By looking at the child's heart history before prescribing drugs, doctors hope to cut down on the number of heart problems before treatment begins.