Are overdue babies more likely to have ADHD?

A new study suggests babies born at 42 weeks or later may be more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, but it's not really clear why

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Could there be some kind of link between going overdue and your child’s likelihood of having ADHD? Well, a study of 5,000 babies born in Rotterdam between 2002 and 2006 has found that babies born at 42 weeks or later were more likely to have behavioural problems and were twice as likely to have ADHD at 3 years of age, reports the Telegraph.

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However, it’s not understood if being overdue causes the behaviourial issues, or if both the behaviourial issues and being overdue are affected by something else.

“Both post-term [after 42 weeks] and pre-term babies [before 37 weeks] were at higher risk of behavioural and emotional problems at 18 and 36 months,” the study reported.

In the UK, mums-to-be are usually advised be induced at 42 weeks. Complications include the placenta beginning to fail, which increases the risk of stillbirth, and difficulties in delivering large babies.

Lead researcher Dr Hanan El Marroun said: “Further research is needed in order to determine the causes of post-term birth and to minimise the long-term consequences.

“It is also important that further research is carried out in order to demonstrate a causal relation between post-term birth and behavioural problems and longer follow ups would also be advantageous.”

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