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Adverse family life events during pregnancy and ADHD symptoms in five-year-old offspring
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Mental Disorders, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway; Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway; School of Pharmacy, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
Örebro University, School of Medical Sciences. Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6851-3297
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2019 (English)In: Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, ISSN 0021-9630, E-ISSN 1469-7610, Vol. 60, no 6, p. 665-675Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Prenatal exposure to maternal adverse life events has been associated with offspring ADHD, but the role of familial confounding is unclear. We aimed to clarify if adverse life events during pregnancy are related to ADHD symptoms in offspring, taking shared familial factors into account.

METHOD: Data were collected on 34,751 children (including 6,427 siblings) participating in the population-based Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study. During pregnancy, mothers reported whether they had experienced specific life events. We assessed ADHD symptoms in five-year-old children with the Conners' Parent Rating Scale-Revised: short form. We modeled the associations between life events and mean ADHD scores with ordinary linear regression in the full cohort, and with fixed-effect linear regression in sibling comparisons to adjust for familial confounding.

RESULTS: Children exposed to adverse life events had higher ADHD scores at age 5, with the strongest effect observed for financial problems (mean differences 0.10 [95% CI: 0.09, 0.11] in adjusted model), and the weakest for having lost someone close (0.02 [95% CI 0.01, 0.04] in adjusted model). Comparing exposure-discordant siblings resulted in attenuated estimates that were no longer statistically significant (e.g. mean difference for financial problems -0.03 [95% CI -0.07, 0.02]). ADHD scores increased if the mother had experienced the event as painful or difficult, and with the number of events, whereas sibling-comparison analyses resulted in estimates attenuated toward the null.

CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that the association between adverse life events during pregnancy and offspring ADHD symptoms is largely explained by familial factors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Blackwell Publishing, 2019. Vol. 60, no 6, p. 665-675
Keywords [en]
ADHD, MoBa, adverse life events, antenatal stress, delayed effects, prenatal exposures, the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study
National Category
Psychiatry Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-69888DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.12990ISI: 000468398900008PubMedID: 30367686Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85055549396OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-69888DiVA, id: diva2:1261154
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2015‐00075The Research Council of Norway, 231105
Note

Funding agencies:

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH/NINDS), UO1 NS 047537‐01, UO1 NS 047537‐06A1

Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services Services and the Ministry of Education and Research

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIH/NIEHS), N01‐ES‐75558

Available from: 2018-11-06 Created: 2018-11-06 Last updated: 2019-06-19Bibliographically approved

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