Maternal, Pregnancy, Birth Risk Factors Identified for ADHD

Mothers of children with ADHD more likely to be younger, single, smokers, regardless of child gender

Maternal, Pregnancy, Birth Risk Factors Identified for ADHD

MONDAY, Dec. 2, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Maternal, pregnancy, and birth risk factors have been identified among children with stimulant medication-treated attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with little gender difference, according to a study published online Dec. 2 in Pediatrics.

Desiree Silva, M.B.B.S., M.P.H., from the University of Western Australia in Perth, and colleagues conducted a population-based record linkage case-control study to investigate risk factors by gender for children prescribed stimulant medication for ADHD. Records from 12,991 children and adolescents aged <25 years who were diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed stimulant medication and 30,071 control children were linked with maternal, pregnancy, and birth information from the Midwives Notification System.

The researchers found that, compared with mothers of children in the control group, irrespective of the gender of the child, mothers of children with ADHD were significantly more likely to be younger; single; have smoked in pregnancy; have had labor induced; and have experienced threatened preterm labor, preeclampsia, urinary tract infection in pregnancy, or early-term delivery. After full adjustment, there was a possible protective effect of oxytocin augmentation in girls. There was no indication that low birth weight, post-term pregnancy, small for gestational age, fetal distress, and low Apgar scores were risk factors.

"Studies designed to disentangle possible mechanisms, confounders, or moderators of these risk factors are warranted," the authors write.

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