From The Guardian
By Polly Curtis
Children whose mothers smoked during their pregnancy are up to nine times more likely to develop attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, scientists say.
US researchers found smoking acts as a trigger for the disorder when children are already genetically predisposed to ADHD.
The dangers of smoking during pregnancy are well documented. But the links between smoking and ADHD have not been proven until now.
Symptoms of the disorder usually start early in a child's life. In the US the most recent study indicated that around 3.3% of children under 10 have ADHD and levels are believed to be similar here. The researchers found no relationships between alcohol during pregnancy and ADHD. The scientists contacted just over 5,000 families with twin children aged seven to 18 in Missouri. The parents were asked to complete questionnaires on their children's behaviour and their habits during pregnancy. More than 24% reported smoking during pregnancy, of whom more than 75% smoked during the entire pregnancy.
Granted that ADHD is possibly the most over-diagnosed malady among today’s youth and adults. Is it possible that we are just too saturated by multimedia? Thanks for nothing, MTV, YouTube and cable new channels. We digress, this news is another blow to the hard-living pregnant set. We’ve known for some time smoking during pregnancy was a bad deal for the unborn little fellas. In the past, the biggest concern with smoking during pregnancy was low birthweight. Now prospective mothers have to worry about lil’ Joey Camel being tiny and unable to pay attention in class. Well, one more reason not to smoke, but it’s strange that nicotine intake in the elderly actually increases focus and allays Alzheimer’s and does the opposite in gestating babies. The researchers may have been able to eliminate other influencing factors.