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Oxygen Deprivation in Utero Tied to ADHD

By Emily Lockhart

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that treating and diagnosing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (or ADHD) in children costs between $36 billion and $52.4 billion annually. This leaves little wonder to why so much research is being done to help diagnose, treat, and alleviate the costs of ADHD-related conditions.

Consider a study conducted by the Kaiser Permanente Department of Research and Evaluation, which found babies who experienced oxygen deprivation in utero were at greater risk of developing ADHD as children.

During the study, scientists examined the medical records of nearly 82,000 children between the ages of 5 and 11 years of age. Those children who experienced oxygen deprivation during pregnancy were 16-percent more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD in later childhood.  Specifically, researchers found that:

  • Babies exposed to neonatal respiratory distress syndrome had a 47-percent greater risk of developing ADHD
  • Babies whose mothers had preeclampsia, or high blood pressure, during pregnancy had a 34-percent higher risk of ADHD
  • Kids exposed to birth asphyxia (or inadequate oxygen at birth) were 26-percent more likely to develop ADHD
  • ADHD was more prevalent if a birth was preterm

Dr. Darios Getahun, lead author of the study, said that just being aware of these factors can help physicians better diagnose ADHD in children.

“Our findings could help physicians identify newborns at risk [and] benefit surveillance and early diagnosis, when treatment is more effective.” says Getahun


Source: CNN

Emily Lockhart


Emily Lockhart is a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer. She believes that being healthy is a lifestyle choice, not a punishment or temporary fix to attain a desired fitness or body image goal. Anna helps her clients take responsibility for their own health and wellness through her classes and articles on ActiveBeat.