Obese Pregnant Women with Diabetes Twice as Likely to Have ADHD Child

Author: The Endocrine Society
Published: 2022/09/09 - Updated: 2022/09/10 - Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Contents: Summary - Main - Related Publications

Synopsis: The study found pregnant women with obesity and gestational diabetes had children with long-term mental health disorders such as ADHD. The researchers studied 1,036 children born to women with gestational diabetes. Thirteen percent of these children were diagnosed with ADHD. The researchers also discovered that children of women with gestational diabetes and obesity were twice as likely to have ADHD than those born to mothers without obesity.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by excessive inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that are pervasive, impairing in multiple contexts, and otherwise age-inappropriate. ADHD is associated with other neurodevelopmental and mental disorders and some non-psychiatric disorders, which can cause additional impairment, especially in modern society. Adult ADHD can lead to unstable relationships, poor work or school performance, low self-esteem, and other problems. Treatment for adult ADHD is similar to treatment for childhood ADHD. Adult ADHD treatment includes medications, psychological counseling (psychotherapy), and therapy for any mental health conditions that occur along with ADHD.

Main Digest

Role of Excessive Weight Gain During Gestation in the Risk of ADHD in Offspring of Women with Gestational Diabetes

Children of women with gestational diabetes and obesity may be twice as likely to develop attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) compared to those whose mothers did not have obesity, according to new research published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

The estimated number of children aged 3-17 years ever diagnosed with ADHD is 6 million, according to data from 2016-2019. A major risk factor for ADHD in children is maternal obesity. Roughly 30% of women have obesity at their first doctor's visit during pregnancy, increasing to 47% in women with gestational diabetes. Excessive weight gain during pregnancy in this population is a risk factor for children developing ADHD.

"Our study found pregnant women with obesity and gestational diabetes had children with long-term mental health disorders such as ADHD," said Verónica Perea, M.D., Ph.D., of the Hospital Universitari Mutua Terrassa in Barcelona, Spain. "We did not find this association when these women gained a healthy weight during pregnancy."

The researchers studied 1,036 children born to women with gestational diabetes. Thirteen percent of these children were diagnosed with ADHD. The researchers found that children of women with gestational diabetes and obesity were twice as likely to have ADHD as those born to mothers without obesity.

The researchers only found this association in women with gestational diabetes, obesity, and excessive weight gain during pregnancy. The researchers did not observe a higher risk of ADHD in children of women with gestational diabetes and obesity if the weight these women gained during pregnancy was within the normal range.

"It's important for clinicians to counsel their patients on the importance of healthy weight gain during pregnancy," Perea said.

Authors of this Study

Other authors of this study include Andreu Simó-Servat, Carmen Quirós, Nuria Alonso-Carril, Maite Valverde, Maria-José Barahona, Xavier Urquizu, Eva López and Maria-José Barahona of the Hospital Universitari Mútua de Terrassa; and Antonio J. Amor of the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain.

The study received funding from the Fundació Docència i Recerca Mútua Terrassa. The manuscript, "Role of Excessive Weight Gain During Gestation in the Risk of ADHD in Offspring of Women with Gestational Diabetes," was published online, ahead of print.

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This peer reviewed publication pertaining to our ADHD and ADD section was selected for circulation by the editors of Disabled World due to its likely interest to our disability community readers. Though the content may have been edited for style, clarity, or length, the article "Obese Pregnant Women with Diabetes Twice as Likely to Have ADHD Child" was originally written by The Endocrine Society, and submitted for publishing on 2022/09/09 (Edit Update: 2022/09/10). Should you require further information or clarification, The Endocrine Society can be contacted at the endocrine.org website. Disabled World makes no warranties or representations in connection therewith.

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