In a nutshell
The aim of this study was to examine if diabetes in a woman increases the risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in their child. The main finding of the study was that there was in an increased risk of ADHD in a child when the mother had diabetes that required medication.
There are three main types of diabetes: type 1 (T1D), type 2 (T2D) and gestational diabetes (GDM). In all diabetes types, there is too much glucose circulating around in the body because there is not enough insulin (the hormone that controls blood glucose) in the body. If a woman is pregnant, too much glucose in the body can have negative effects on the baby, particularly on the baby’s brain.
It is thought that too much blood glucose may increase the risk of ADHD. This is a disorder where the child or person is hyperactive, impulsive and finds it difficult to concentrate. ADHD is usually diagnosed at an average of 7 years of age. It is not known which of the three types of diabetes, if any, has a greater risk of ADHD.
Methods & findings
This study included 333,182 children. 11.4% of these had mothers with diabetes (either T1D, T2D or GDM). Children were followed up from age 4 for an average of 4.9 years for the development of ADHD.
Compared to children of mothers with no diabetes, children of mothers with T1D had a 56% increased risk of having ADHD. Children of mothers with T2D had a 43% increased risk having ADHD. There was no increased risk associated ADHD in children of mothers with GDM that did not require any treatment with medication. However, mothers who had GDM that required mediation had a 26% increased risk of their child having ADHD. There was no association between the stage in the pregnancy that GDM was diagnosed (early or late) and ADHD risk.
The bottom line
The authors concluded that there is an increased risk of ADHD in children whose mothers had T1D, T2D or GDM that required medication.
The fine print
The data included was based on medical records which might have been incomplete. Also, this study did not take into account the blood glucose control in mother during pregnancy. This might change the results.
Published By :
Oct 29, 2018
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