Researchers from the United States have revealed that pregnant women who suffer from diabetes or live in poverty are at a higher risk of their child having attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In addition, having a combination of diabetes and poverty was found to significantly increase the risk to expectant mothers.
The study, involving 212 children and which was published in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, showed that rates of gestational diabetes have been increasing for the last couple of decades, especially for ethnic minorities and the poor. The kids were assessed for signs of ADHD from pre-school until the age of 6, with their mother’s gestational diabetes or low socioeconomic status during pregnancy also being taken into account.
It was shown that children from poorer families had smaller attention spans and were more hyperactive than children from a more wealthy background. Those whose mother had gestational diabetes were also more inattentive, but did not present any differences in levels of hyperactivity. By 6, those kids whose mother had gestational diabetes or a low socioeconomic status were found to be at twice the risk of developing ADHD as compared to children whose mothers had neither risk factor.
For both risk factors combined, children were 14 times more likely to develop ADHD, and were also more likely to have a lower IQ and behavioural and emotional
emotional problems.

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