Having a single mum and being taken to hospital during childhood linked to ADHD

BABIES born to young single mums are more likely to develop Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, according to groundbreaking Australian research.

And children with ADHD are 70 per cent more likely to have been hospitalised as an infant, suggesting inflammation and infection may affect their brain development.
The findings are part of one of the largest ever studies into what causes ADHD, due to be presented at a conference on Saturday.

Mothers of children with the debilitating condition are more likely to be younger, single and smokers during pregnancy, a separate study by the same team has found.
Mums were also more than twice as likely to have had threatened pre term labour before 37 weeks.

And there was an elevated risk for ADHD in babies born to women who had a urinary tract infection during pregnancy and caesarean delivery carried a higher risk. However, she says her research suggests “genetic effects may be conditional on exposure to certain
environmental triggers”.

ADHD which involves a pattern of inattentive, impulsive and hyperactive behaviour is the most common neurodevelopmental disorder in children with a global prevalence of 5.2 per cent.

In Western Australia 1.2 per cent of children are being treated with a stimulant medication to manage the disease.

“We know that healthy brain development in early childhood is crucial so if we can determine any conditions that may disrupt this process and lead to lifelong effects then we may get a much clearer picture of how to prevent or treat them,” Professor Silva said.

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