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ADHD 2.1 times more likely if mother was overweight and gain large amount of weight during pregnancy
Tuesday, June 10, 2008 10:11 am Email this article
"Children of women who were both overweight and gained a large amount of weight during gestation had a 2.1-fold risk of [ attention deficit hyperactivity disorder -- ADHD ] symptoms," according to a study from researchers at Uppsala University in Uppsala, Sweden.
The average weight gain in overweight women who gained a large amount of weight was 55 pounds. Recommended Pregnancy Weight Gain
Recommended weight gain during pregnancy : lean women 28-40 lbs, normal weight women 25-35 lbs, overweight women 15-25 lbs
The recommended weight gain for a woman during pregnancy according to the Institute of Medicine (1990) is as follows:
Note that it is recommended that overweight women gain less weight than lean women during pregnancy.
- Lean women with a BMI of less than 19.8 should gain 28-40 pounds
- Normal weight women with a BMI of 19.8 to 26 should gain 25-35 pounds
- Overweight women with a BMI of 26-29 should gain 15-25 pounds
- Obese women with a BMI of more than 29 should gain no more than 15 pounds
Overweight During Pregnancy
Risk of a child having ADHD 1.37 times greater if mother overweight during pregnancy
A child’s risk of developing ADHD was 1.37 times greater if the mother was overweight during pregnancy.
Obese During Pregnancy
Risk of a child having ADHD 1.89 times greater if mother obese during pregnancy
A child’s risk of developing ADHD was 1.89 times greater if the mother was obese during pregnancy.
Both of these were after adjusting for gestational age, birth weight, weight gain, pregnancy smoking, maternal age, maternal education, child gender, family structure and cohort country of origin.
Gaining More or Less Than The Recommended Amount During Pregnancy
No increased risk in children whose mothers gained more or less than the recommended amount
When looking at all women, not just those who overweight, gaining more or less than the recommended amount during pregnancy did not affect a child’s risk of ADHD.
Those gaining more than the recommended amount were 2 percent less likely to have a child with ADHD.
Those gaining less than the recommended amount were 4 percent less likely to have a child with ADHD.
Although neither of these difference were statistically significant, which simply means that there was more than a 5 percent chance that these differences were due to random chance.
Conclusion : A mother being overweight before becoming pregnant increases child’s risk of ADHD
“We show for the first time that pre-pregnancy BMI is associated with ADHD symptoms in children,” the authors of the study concluded.
Subjects : Teacher rated 12,556 school-aged children
The study involved 12.556 children who were rated by teachers as to whether they showed symptoms of ADHD
Rodriguez A, Miettunen J, Henriksen T, Olsen J, Obel C, Taanila A, Ebeling H, Linnet K, Moilanen I, Jarvelin M. Maternal adiposity prior to pregnancy is associated with adhd symptoms in offspring: Evidence from three prospective pregnancy cohorts. Int J Obes (Lond). 2008 Mar, 32(3):550-57.
AUTHOR’S CONTACT INFORMATION
Dr A Rodriguez
Department of Psychology
Uppsala 751 42, Sweden
Institute of Medicine Subcommittee on nutritional status and weight gain during pregnancy. Nutrition During Pregnancy, Weight Gain and Nutrient Supplements. National Academy Press: Washington, DC, 1990.
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