ADHD: Gestational diabetes, poverty link

Jan. 3, 2012 at 11:58 PM
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NEW YORK, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Poor children whose mothers experienced diabetes while pregnant are at higher risk of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, U.S. researchers say.

Dr. Yoko Nomura of Queens College, City University of New York, in Flushing, and colleagues, compared offspring of mothers with and without gestational diabetes mellitus -- in an economically diverse sample.

Gestational diabetes mellitus is a condition in which women without previously diagnosed diabetes exhibit high blood glucose levels during pregnancy -- especially during the third trimester, Nomura said.

The study authors distributed the ADHD Rating Scale-IV to parents of children ages 3-4 children in preschools surrounding Queens College, and recruited 212 participants at a 2:1 ratio of "at risk" to "typically developing" children, Nomura said.

Children in low socioeconomic status families, compared to high socioeconomic status families, had greater inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity scores, Nomura said.

The results showed no difference in the risk for ADHD at baseline, but a two-fold increased risk at age 6 among children exposed to gestational diabetes mellitus compared with children who were not exposed.

There was also a two-fold increased risk for ADHD at baseline and at age 6 among children in low socioeconomic status families, the study said.

The study was published online in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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