Could ADHD be triggered by mothers being exposed to air pollution while pregnant?
- Scientists at Columbia University found children exposed to high levels of pollution were five times more likely to have ADHD by the age of nine
- Nine-year study looked at levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)
- They measured levels of PAH in umbilical cord blood, then in children’s urine at the ages of three and five
Children exposed to high levels of pollution in the womb are at greater risk of suffering attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, a new study has found.
Scientists at Columbia University studied 233 non-smoking pregnant women living in New York.
They found children exposed to high levels of air pollution during pregnancy were five times more likely to have ADHD by the time they were nine years old.
The nine-year study looked at levels of common pollutants polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH).
Researchers measured the levels of PAH in maternal and umbilical cord blood shortly after delivery.
And they repeated tests when each of the children were three and five, measuring levels of PAH in their urine.
Thirty-three children who had high levels of exposure to PAHs, as measured at birth.
Of those, 13 were diagnosed with ADHD hyperactive-impulsive subtype, seven the inattentive subtype, and 13 had both.