Mother’s Smoking May Raise ADHD Risk in Children

by Jenny Novac on December 4, 2013

smoking woman

A new study conducted in Australia reveals what environmental factors might increase risks for development of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Dr. Carol Bower, the author of the study and a senior principal research fellow with the Center for Child Health Research at the University of Western Australia, told that women who gave birth to children with ADHD were more likely to smoke during pregnancy, be younger and single. The authors did not make any difference if the child was a boy or a girl.

The researchers found that girls were less likely to have ADHD if their mothers took the hormone oxytocin to speed up delivery. A research made earlier revealed that the use of this hormone during childbirth might actually increase the risk of ADHD.

According to Dr. Tanya Froehlich, an associate professor at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, today it is unclear what are the causes of ADHD but studies suggest that in development of the disease an important role play genes. A number of studies found a connection between alcohol and tobacco exposure in the womb and development of ADHD.

The disease of ADHD became common in the USA. In November there was made a survey which found that 10% of kids in the USA suffer from this condition.  ADHD shows itself with such symptoms as inattention, lack of focus and distractibility. This condition is prevalent in boys.

In the new study there were analyzed medical records of almost 13,000 teenagers and kids who were born in Western Australia and took in 2003 – 2007 stimulant drugs for ADHD treatment. The obtained information was compared to more than 30,000 other kids in order to find out if there were any environmental differences.  Thus young age of mother and her smoking habit during pregnancy were connected to a higher risk of ADHD development in children.

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