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ADHD Risk if Mother Smoked While Pregnant

New evidence suggests that in-utero exposure to smoking is associated with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) problems in genetically susceptible children.

For years, women smokers who become pregnant have long been encouraged to reduce or eliminate their nicotine intake. The study, being published in the June 15th issue of Biological Psychiatry , provides further reason to do so.

Researchers investigated male and female twin pairs, aged 7–19 years, to assess the relationship between genetic variations, prenatal substance exposures, and ADHD sub-types.

Rosalind Neuman, Ph.D., one of the study’s authors, explains the findings:

“When genetic factors are combined with prenatal cigarette smoke exposure, the ADHD risk rises very significantly. When the child has either or both of two specific forms of dopamine pathway genes (DAT and DRD4), and was exposed to cigarette smoking in utero, the risk for having combined type ADHD (many inattention and hyperactive/impulsive symptoms) increased 3 to 9 fold.”

John H. Krystal, M.D., Editor of Biological Psychiatry adds,

“These data highlight a new risk of maternal smoking, increasing the risk for ADHD in their children. ADHD, in turn, increases the risk for substance abuse. Thus, it appears that in utero exposure to nicotine may help to perpetuate a cycle across generations that links addiction and behavioral problems.”

Source: Elsevier

ADHD Risk if Mother Smoked While Pregnant

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). ADHD Risk if Mother Smoked While Pregnant. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 27, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2007/05/24/adhd-risk-if-mother-smoked-while-pregnant/851.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.