THURSDAY, Sept. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Gestational diabetes and a lower socioeconomic status are the latest environmental factors to be associated with an increased risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to new research.
The German study found that children born to mothers who developed high blood sugar during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) were almost twice as likely to have ADHD as children born to mothers without gestational diabetes. The study also found more than double the risk of ADHD for children born into a family with a low socioeconomic status compared to those in the highest socioeconomic class. Children in the middle class had almost a 60 percent higher rate of ADHD compared to the upper-class children.
"This study found interesting associations that have public health implications," said Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, in New Hyde Park, N.Y. Adesman wasn't involved in the current research.
"The U.S. is experiencing an increasing epidemic of obesity, which is a risk factor for gestational diabetes. We need to be mindful of the broader implications of these unfortunate trends. They won't just have an impact on the mother's health, but can also affect the offspring," Adesman said.
The good news from this study is they found that breast-feeding appeared to be protective. Children who were breast-fed were almost 20 percent less likely to develop ADHD, according to the study.
Results of the study were published online as a research letter in the Sept. 10 issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
In the United States, more than 5 million children between 3 and 17 years of age have been diagnosed with ADHD, a neurobiological condition that often persists into adulthood. ADHD is chara
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