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Maternal Use of Acetaminophen Linked to ADHD in Offspring

Last Updated: October 30, 2017.

Maternal use of acetaminophen in pregnancy is associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in offspring, according to a study published online Oct. 30 in Pediatrics.

MONDAY, Oct. 30, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Maternal use of acetaminophen in pregnancy is associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in offspring, according to a study published online Oct. 30 in Pediatrics.

Eivind Ystrom, Ph.D., from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo, and colleagues examined the association of maternal use of acetaminophen during pregnancy and of paternal use before pregnancy with ADHD in offspring. Diagnoses were obtained for 112,973 offspring from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study, including 2,246 with ADHD.

The researchers identified a modest association between any prenatal maternal use of acetaminophen in one (hazard ratio [HR], 1.07; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.96 to 1.19), two (HR, 1.22; 95 percent CI, 1.07 to 1.38), and three trimesters (HR, 1.27; 95 percent CI, 0.99 to 1.63) after adjustment for maternal use of acetaminophen before pregnancy, familial risk for ADHD, and indications of acetaminophen use. The HR was 2.2 for maternal acetaminophen use for ≥29 days (95 percent CI, 1.5 to 3.24). There was a negative correlation for use for <eight days with ADHD (HR, 0.9; 95 percent CI, 0.81 to 1). There was a correlation for acetaminophen use for fever and infections for 22 to 28 days with ADHD (HR, 6.15; 95 percent CI, 1.71 to 22.05). Maternal and paternal acetaminophen use were similarly associated with ADHD.

"Long-term maternal use of acetaminophen during pregnancy was substantially associated with ADHD even after adjusting for indications of use, familial risk of ADHD, and other potential confounders," the authors write.

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