Link found between APGAR scores at birth and future risk of ADHD

February 14, 2011

According to a recent study in the Journal of Pediatrics, Neonatal Health Can be Associated With Risk For AD/HD.

ADHD is known to be highly genetic. Approximately 77% of the time someone diagnosed with ADHD has the condition because of the genes they carry. However, genes are not the only factor. Researchers are finding other issues can “correlate” with ADHD. In this recent study published in January’s Journal of Pediatrics researchers show that neonatal health is an important risk factor for ADHD.

An astounding 980,902 children born in Denmark between 1988-2001 were monitored. The baby’s health immediately after birth was measured by commonly used Apgar scores. Then all children were followed from age 3 until a diagnosis of hyperkinetic disorder, a first medication for ADHD, migration, death, or the end of 2006, whichever came first.

The results – The lower the Apgar score the greater the risk for the child developing ADHD. Compared with children with Apgar scores of 9 or 10 at 5 minutes, the risk for ADHD was 75% higher in children than with Apgar scores of 1 to 4 and 63% higher for those with Apgar scores of 5 to 6.

Doctors concluded from this study that a low Apgar score is associated with risk of ADHD in childhood. Perhaps low Apgar scores and ADHD share common causes, or a low Apgar score reflects at least one possible pathway leading to ADHD.


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