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gestational diabetes
pediatrics and adolescent medicine
mount sinai school
archives of pediatrics and adolescent medicine
attention deficit hyperactivity
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
central nervous system
brain development
Gestational Diabetes May Increase The Risk Of Adhd In Some Children, Further Research Needed
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Gestational Diabetes May Increase the Risk Of Adhd In Some Children, Further Research Needed

A small research study, the results of which are about to be published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, suggests a link to gestational diabetes and an increased risk of attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder. Socioeconomic status may increase the risk as well, according to the same study, it has been revealed.

Yoko Nomura, PhD., is the lead author of that study and serves as the Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. Nomura's study, though small in nature, showed a dramatic increase in risk of the attention and behavior disorder in certain situations, including for those who were diagnosed with gestational diabetes as well as those who were from lower economic backgrounds. That research also showed that when both factors were present, the risks skyrocketed.

Gestational diabetes is estimated to affect roughly five percent of all pregnancies in the United States and is typically diagnosed in the late second to early third trimester of normal pregnancies. In some cases, especially in those who are higher risk of diabetes in general, the testing might be done earlier. The timing of the testing is crucial because it is the same window of time where the fetus is going through an incredible period of brain development. Gestational diabetes may disrupt that delicate process by diverting energy from the development to deal with the increased blood sugar leading to problems with the central nervous system.

Nomura's study showed that mother's who had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes had children who were two times more likely to have some level of ADHD diagnosis by the time they had turned six years old. The study also revealed that children who came from lower than average socioeconomic backgrounds were at the same risk of ADHD. Nomura also found that having both risk factors increased the risk of ADHD by fourteen percent.

Critics of the research's findings have pointed out the small size of the study, which used only two hundred people as well as the fact that the study did not take into account family history as an additional risk factor. In addition, there was no mention of who well the gestational diabetes was controlled during the pregnancy.

Some health advocacy groups are also calling the findings of the research study biased, because while it says that having a lowered socioeconomic status increases the risk of ADHD, it does not offer any theories as to why.


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