Risk Factors for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
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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:
American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th ed. Text Revision. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association; 2005.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder/complete-index.shtml#pub11. Updated June 15, 2009. Accessed January 8, 2009.
Kids Health, Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://www.kidshealth.org . Accessed March 31, 2007.
National Resource Center on ADHD website. Available at: http://www.help4adhd.org/ . Accessed April 1, 2007.
1/8/2010 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance: Froehlich TE, Lanphear BP, Auinger P, et al. Association of tobacco and lead exposures with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Pediatrics. 2009;124:1054-1063.
2/4/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance: Froehlich TE, Lanphear BP, Auinger P, et al. Association of tobacco and lead exposures with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Pediatrics. 2009;124(6):e1054-1063.
Last reviewed December 2009 by ]]>Ryan Estevez, MD, PhD, MPH]]>
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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