Chinese study finds prenatal exposure to secondhand smoke raises odds of ADHD symptoms

A cross-sectional study of over 45,000 school-aged Chinese children found that prenatal exposure to secondhand smoke led to an increase in symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Released in the journal JAMA, the young participants were aged 6 to 18 and attended elementary and middle schools in China. Relevant data were collected from the participants through questionnaires given to the parental figures of the children.

Researchers analyzed the data during the fall and winter of 2020.

According to the findings, prenatal exposure to secondhand smoke was associated with a higher likelihood of developing ADHD symptoms among children.

“Being exposed to SHS from pregnancy to childhood was associated with higher odds of having ADHD symptoms and subtypes among school-aged children, and the associations were somewhat stronger for SHS exposure during prenatal and early postnatal periods,” the JAMA report states.

“Our findings highlight the important public health implications of reducing SHS exposure, which may decrease the health and economic burdens of individuals with ADHD.”

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