A new study has found gestational diabetes or low social economic status doubled the risk for children developing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and collectively increases the risk of 14-fold.
The study was published in the January issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.
"To our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate how prenatal exposure to gestational diabetes and low socioeconomic status together contribute to the development of ADHD," said lead author Dr. Yoko Nomura PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Queens College and at Mount Sinai.
Researchers evaluated over 200 children ages three and four and then again at age six. They measured neuropsychological functioning, child temperament and standard ADHD rating scale to determine signs of developing ADHD. Also, family history of gestational diabetes was surveyed and social economic status was evaluated.
The study’s authors concluded that since ADHD is hereditary clinicians should make stronger efforts to help families take steps to prevent non-genetic factors such as nutrition and psychosocial counseling.
"The results show these children are at far greater risk for developing ADHD or showing signs of impaired neurocognitive and behavioral development" said Nomura.
"Physicians and health care professionals need to educate their patients who have a family history of diabetes and who come from lower income households on the risk for developing ADHD," said Dr. Jeffrey M. Halperin, Professor of Psychology at Queens College and co-lead of the study.