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February 24th, 2014
04:07 PM ET

Acetaminophen in pregnancy linked to 'ADHD-like behaviors'

Doctors frequently recommend acetaminophen, commonly found in over-the-counter pain relievers including Tylenol, to pregnant women for treating mild pain.

But a new study out of Denmark suggests the use of acetaminophen during pregnancy could be associated with ADHD-like behavioral problems in children.

“(Pregnant women) shouldn’t worry at this point,” says study author Dr. Beate Ritz, professor and chair of the epidemiology department at the University of California, Los Angeles Fielding School of Public Health. “But if I were a woman who was pregnant ... I would try to avoid taking painkillers as much as I can until we know more about this.” FULL POST


ADHD diagnoses rise to 11% of kids
November 22nd, 2013
05:54 PM ET

ADHD diagnoses rise to 11% of kids

The number of children diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) continues to climb, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There has been a 42% increase in the number of reported cases of ADHD since 2003, according to a CDC-led study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Today, 6.4 million children between the ages of 4 and 17 - 11% of kids in this age group - have received an ADHD diagnosis, according to the study, which is based on a survey of parents. That's 2 million more children than in 2007.

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Minority children less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD
June 25th, 2013
01:20 PM ET

Minority children less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD

Minority children are far less likely than their white counterparts to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a new study in this week's journal Pediatrics.

In fact, authors found that African-American children were 69% less likely to be diagnosed, while Hispanic children were 45% less likely to have an ADHD diagnosis.

More than 5 million children in the United States have been diagnosed with ADHD, according to the Centers for Disease Control.  In fact, it's the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorder in U.S. children.  A diagnosis can help kids get the proper treatment and medication they need, and early intervention can be key in helping a child learn.

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Minority children with autism lack access to specialists
Hispanic and African-American children are less likely to see specialists for autism or other conditions, according to a new study.
June 17th, 2013
09:13 AM ET

Minority children with autism lack access to specialists

Editor's Note: Dr. Arshya Vahabzadeh is a resident psychiatrist at Emory University's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health.

African-American and Hispanic children are far less likely to be seen by specialists - for autism, but also other medical conditions - and also less likely to receive specialized medical tests than their white peers, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

Dr. Sarahbeth Broder-Fingert and colleagues studied the records of 3,615 children with autism at the Massachusetts General Hospital,  specifically looking at the rates of both referral to specialists and medical tests undertaken.  They discovered that children from African-American and Hispanic families were far less likely to receive specialized care or specific medical tests such as a sleep study, colonoscopy, or endoscopy.

When compared to their white peers, African-American children were three times less likely to see a gastroenterologist or nutritionist, and half as likely to see a neurologist or mental health specialist, according to the study. The story is similar among children from Hispanic families.

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Boys with ADHD may become obese adults
May 20th, 2013
11:48 AM ET

Boys with ADHD may become obese adults

Boys with ADHD may be at risk for obesity later in life, according to a new study - which, if confirmed in larger studies, may have implications for the more than 4 million kids in the United States living with the disorder.

Researchers at NYU's Langone Medical Center have been following more than 200 kids for four decades. They found those who had ADHD in their early years were twice as likely to be obese at age 41. FULL POST


5 things we learned about kids' health this week
May 6th, 2013
05:40 PM ET

5 things we learned about kids' health this week

From cyber-bullying that could threaten your teen’s self-esteem, to dangerous distractions that could cause you to crash while driving your kids, here’s a look at five important studies about the health of children being presented this week at a large pediatric conference in Washington.

1. Moms and dads are distracted while driving kids

Researchers asked 600 parents what distractions they encountered while driving their most precious cargo: Their children. Among the interruptions: Talking on the phone, texting, surfing the Internet, checking a navigation system, and changing a CD or DVD.

Almost 90% of parents admitted to doing at least one of these technology-based distractions.
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Violence in the home, ADHD may be linked
April 3rd, 2013
10:50 AM ET

Violence in the home, ADHD may be linked

Exposure to intimate partner violence and maternal depression before the age of 3 may increase a child's risk of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a new study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine looked a population of more than 2,000 children, and found that those whose parents had reported depression or intimate partner violence were significantly more likely to suffer from ADHD as they grew older.

"It wasn't surprising, from the lens of me being a behavioral pediatrician," said Dr. Nerissa Bauer, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the IU School of Medicine and the lead study author. "I routinely encounter mental health and behavioral problems in children, and this supports my initial hunch that I was seeing an increase in that." FULL POST


ADHD reaches beyond childhood
March 4th, 2013
01:47 PM ET

ADHD reaches beyond childhood

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is often considered something children outgrow. But researchers say the disorder can carry over into adulthood.

A new study published in this week's Pediatrics journal finds that about a third of those diagnosed as children continue to have ADHD as adults, and more than half of those adults have another psychiatric disorder as well.

Suicide rates were nearly five times higher in adults who had childhood ADHD compared to those who did not, according to the study. Researchers aren't exactly sure why; they speculate that problems associated with childhood ADHD, such as lower academic achievement and social isolation, make people more prone to life issues as adults.
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California data shows ADHD cases rising
January 21st, 2013
04:39 PM ET

California data shows ADHD cases rising

In 10 years, diagnoses of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) increased 24% in southern California, according to a study published Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Doctors reviewed anonymized medical records for children treated at the Kaiser Permanente Southern California physicians group between 2001 and 2010 - 842,830 children in all, according to the research.

Overall, in 2001, 2.5% of children aged 5 to 11 were diagnosed with ADHD, but that number crept up to 3.1% by 2010. FULL POST


Oxygen deprivation in utero linked to ADHD
New research shows a potential link between ADHD and decreased oxygen in utero or at the time of birth.
December 10th, 2012
04:29 PM ET

Oxygen deprivation in utero linked to ADHD

A study published in this week’s Pediatrics finds that infants who experienced oxygen deprivation in utero are at an increased risk of developing attention-deficit (hyperactivity) disorder in childhood.

Prenatal exposure to oxygen deprivation conditions, known as ischemic-hypoxic conditions, can result from birth asphyxia, neonatal respiratory distress syndrome and preeclampsia.

Researchers went through the medical records of nearly 82,000 children between the ages of 5 and 11 and found that children who had experienced those conditions were 16% more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD later in childhood. FULL POST


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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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