ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is being linked to aging dads and acetaminophen in recent studies related to the behavior condition.
One of the most common neurological disorders that affect children, ADHD is the inability to focus, being over active, and being unable to control behavior, or a combination of all of these in relation to a person’s age and development.
In a recent study, Indiana University researchers in collaboration with medical researchers from Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, found that men who wait until 45-years of age to become fathers give their babies a higher risk of developing ADHD and other mental issues such as schizophrenia, autism, and low IQ.
The study conducted in Sweden examined all births between 1973 and 2001 and found that a baby born to a man older than 45-years-old was 25 times more likely to have bipolar disorder, 13 times more likely to have ADHD, three-and-one-half times more likely to have autism, two-and-one-half times more likely to have suicidal behavior or a substance abuse problem, and twice as likely to have a psychotic disorder such as schizophrenia, when compared to kids born to a 24-year-old father.
To top all of those risks, children born to older fathers also have an increased probability of having academic problems.
Study author Dr. Brian D’Onofrio — an associate professor in the department of psychological and brain sciences at Indiana University Bloomington — said in a statement:
“We are shocked by the findings. The specific associations with paternal age were much, much larger than in previous studies. In fact, we found that advancing paternal age was associated with greater risk for several problems, such as ADHD, suicide attempts and substance use problems, whereas traditional research designs suggested advancing paternal age may have diminished the rate at which these problems occur.”
D’Onofrio adds that even though the more advanced age of fathers greatly increases the risk of disorders such as ADHD, not every baby born to a man over 45 will suffer from the condition, but it confirms other research that points to age as a contributing factor for serious problems for the child.
In a separate study that came out this week, researchers at UCLA and at Aarhus University in Denmark say that women who use acetaminophen during pregnancy also give their babies an increased risk of having ADHD, however there is no indication using the drug causes the disorder.
The study looked at 64,322 children and mothers between 1996 and 2002 and found that more than half, or 56 percent of mothers, reported using acetaminophen during pregnancy.
Babies born to these mothers were 37 percent more likely to be diagnosed with hyperkinetic disorder (HKD) — a severe form of ADHD –, 29 percent more likely to be prescribed ADHD medications, and 13 percent more likely to exhibit ADHD-like behaviors at age 7.
Researchers also note the acetaminophen link to ADHD was more intense for women who used the medication during more than one trimester of pregnancy, and also increased the more frequently it was used.
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