Thursday, October 31, 2019

Acetaminophen Use During Pregnancy Associated With Increased Risk of ASD, ADHD in Children

Using acetaminophen during pregnancy may increase the risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children, according to a report published Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatry.

For this study, Yuelong Ji, Ph.D., of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and colleagues measured the levels of acetaminophen in umbilical cord blood taken after childbirth from 996 women who were part of a study called the Boston Birth Cohort. The study had a 21-year follow-up period.

Of the 996 children of these women, 257 were subsequently diagnosed with ADHD, 66 were diagnosed with ASD, 42 were diagnosed with both ADHD and ASD, 304 were diagnosed with another developmental disorder, and 327 had no developmental disorders.

The researchers found that the children who were exposed to more acetaminophen in the womb (as reflected by higher acetaminophen concentrations in cord blood) were more likely to have ADHD or ASD. The risk of either disorder was dose-dependent; that is, higher concentrations of acetaminophen in the cord blood equated to greater ADHD or ASD risk.

“Our findings support previous studies regarding the association between prenatal and perinatal acetaminophen exposure and childhood neurodevelopmental risk and warrant additional investigations,” Ji and colleagues wrote.

(Image: iStock/Oleksandra Troian)

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