Experts distinguished a link between early-term births and ADHD. According to a recent study, children who are born before 39 weeks are more likely to show symptoms of ADHD.
In this article, you’ll read:
- A Study Reveals Link Between Early-term Births and ADHD
- Few Things to Know About ADHD
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition that affects the behaviour of people. Those people who have ADHD may seem restless. Aside from that, they may also experience difficulty concentrating and may act on impulse.
Unfortunately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that more than 10% of school-age children in the U.S. have ADHD.
Concerning this, several factors cause attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. A recent study discovered that early-term births are also associated with a higher rate of ADHD.
A Study Reveals Link Between Early-term Births and ADHD
Most parents can’t help but feel heartbroken when they learn that their child is suffering from ADHD. Now, we learned that early-term births and ADHD symptoms often occur.
In most cases, the signs and symptoms of ADHD, including hyperactivity, impulsivity or inattention, show early in childhood.
Unfortunately, the symptoms of ADHD mentioned above link to preterm birth, most commonly to those of 37 weeks gestation. Reports for this study mainly focus on input from teachers.
Image Source: iStock
Nancy Reichman is a professor of paediatrics at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical Group. She is also the author of the study linking early births with a higher rate of ADHD.
For the study, they utilised reports from teachers. They then matched it with records from mums and evaluations from physicians. Afterwards, they combined all documents to get valuable input for ADHD diagnosis.
Professor Reichman also emphasised the comparison between mother- and teacher-reported symptoms. Symptoms reported by mothers commonly reflect behaviours in the home or small family or social groups.
On the other hand, teacher-reported symptoms reflect behaviours in a structured education setting by professionals. These professionals are those who work with a large number of children, observing a range of behaviours that students exhibit in classrooms.
Concerning this, the researchers primarily make use of the survey reports of the teacher of the children aged 9. The survey includes ratings on symptoms of hyperactivity, ADHD, oppositional behaviour, and cognitive problems or inattention.
Professor Reichman and her co-authors have certain expectations regarding this study. They also focused on the development pattern between early-term births and ADHD symptoms
During their study, they found themselves shocked by the relation between mental health diagnosis and gestational age.
In conclusion, the experts discovered that children born early-term (37 to 38 weeks) have a higher possibility rate of hyperactivity, ADHD and cognitive problems or inattention. It is significantly higher than those born full-term (39-41 weeks).
Week Gestational Age and Differences in Percentage
According to the researchers, each week of gestational age at term is related to 6% lower hyperactivity. It goes along with 5% lower ADHD and cognitive problems or inattention scores with birth at 39 to 41 weeks.
Meanwhile, birth at 37 to 38 weeks is related to 23% higher hyperactivity scores. It goes along with 17% higher ADHD scores.
“The findings suggest that regular screenings for ADHD symptoms are important for children born at 37 to 38 weeks,” said professor Reichman.
She also added that the risk does not just stop after 37 weeks. She advised parents to look into the possibility of all early-term babies.
“Sometimes this group might be overlooked, and overlooked in terms of the screenings, compared to preterm kids,” she added.
Image Source: iStock
Few Things to Know About ADHD
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD affects more young people than most parents think. ADHD is one of the most common mental disorders affecting children and babies.
A person with ADHD has a difference in brain development. Their brain activity is also different; it affects a person’s attention, ability to sit still, and self-control.
Signs of ADHD
It is common for children to have a hard time paying attention, listening, and following directions. Aside from that, it could also be hard for them to sit still and wait for their turn.
However, children suffering from ADHD struggle harder with those things. What makes it more difficult is that it happens more often to them.
Here are the common symptoms of ADHD:
What Should Parents of Kids With ADHD Do?
If you are a parent of a child with ADHD, here is the list of things you can do:
- Learn everything you can about ADHD.
- If your child needs to take medicine, give it safely. Ensure that you provide it at the recommended time and dose.
- Work and communicate with your child’s school.
- Learn the best parenting approach for children with ADHD.
- Do not hesitate to connect with others for support and awareness.
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