Penn State researchers have unveiled in their new study that acetaminophen use during pregnancy may be associated with sleep and behavior problems known to be part of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The study included data from prior research of over 2,400 women with no history of facilitating birth. The results appeared in PLOS One.
“We used data from the First Baby Study, a prospective cohort study conducted in Pennsylvania, USA, with 2,423 mother-child pairs,” the study’s co-authors wrote in their journal report.
“Women reported medication use and completed a prenatal stress inventory during their third trimester. Child behavioral problems were measured at the age of 3 years, using the 7 syndrome scale scores from the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) for ages 1 ½ to 5.”
The authors showed in their findings that children who were exposed to acetaminophen during pregnancy scored much higher on 3 of the 7 CBCL syndrome scales, such as withdrawn, sleep problems, and attention problems.
“These findings corroborate previous studies reporting associations between prenatal exposure to acetaminophen and attention problems in offspring and also show an association with sleep problems at age 3 years,” the authors concluded.