A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.

It is possible to develop ]]>ADHD]]> with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your (or your child’s) likelihood of developing ADHD.

Risk factors include:

  • Gender—Boys are more frequently diagnosed with ADHD than girls.
  • Heredity—ADHD and similar disorders tend to run in families, suggesting there may be a genetic component. People with a parent or a sibling, especially an identical twin, with ADHD are at increased risk of developing the condition.
  • Age—Symptoms typically appear in young children aged 3-6 years old.
  • Prenatal factors—Having a mother who smoked cigarettes and/or drank alcohol during pregnancy can increase a child's risk of ADHD. Being born prematurely may increase the risk, as well.
  • Parents' health—A child may be at a higher risk of ADHD if his parent has certain conditions, such as ]]>alcoholism]]> and ]]>conversion disorder]]>.

Research is ongoing into the connection between ADHD and other factors, such as:

  • Low birth weight
  • Brain injury (due to ]]>trauma]]>, infections, ]]>tumors]]>)
  • Toxic exposures