Nicotine Replacement Products During Pregnancy Also Linked to ADHD
the MPR take:
Previous research has found that prenatal exposure to cigarette smoking can increase the risk of ADHD symptoms in the offspring; now, a new study finds that children of women who use nicotine replacement products during pregnancy may also have an increased risk. Participants who had given birth from 1996–2002 were recruited from the Danish National Birth Cohort and interviewed on past and current smoking and use of smoking cessation products. A follow-up of the offspring through 2011 was conducted for diagnoses of ADHD or use of ADHD medication. While having two parents who smoked was associated with an 83% greater risk of developing ADHD, a similar increase was seen with mothers who used nicotine replacement products during pregnancy. The infants of mothers who had quit smoking and those who used nicotine replacement products during pregnancy also had higher birth weights vs. current smokers. While these findings do not help us understand the role of nicotine in ADHD risk in offspring, experts advise smoking cessation for women prior to pregnancy if possible.
That doesn't necessarily mean that nicotine causes ADHD, the authors note. For instance, it could be that women dependent on nicotine are more likely to have ADHD symptoms themselves, said senior author Dr. The children of women who use nicotine replacement products to quit smoking may be at risk of ADHD because of genes or their family environment, he told Reuters Health by email.
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