A new study has found that shared genes play a crucial role in the association between smoking during pregnancy and ADHD in children.
“Our systematic review shows that there is no causal effect between prenatal maternal smoking and a diagnosis of ADHD in the offspring,” said lead author Ellis Hahn, a former research associate at the University of Bristol in England.
A number of studies have revealed that smoking during pregnancy may contribute to ADHD, but it was not clear whether there was a direct association or whether other factors such as genetics, education, income and maternal age played a role.
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The researchers analyzed 46 previous studies that examined the relationship between smoking during pregnancy and the risk of developing ADHD in children.
And some studies deemed more reliable by researchers suggest shared genes play an intrinsic role in the association between smoking during pregnancy and ADHD in children, according to findings recently published in the journal Addiction.
This finding is consistent with a previous review that also concluded that the association between smoking during pregnancy and ADHD is explained by shared genes.
The study advised pregnant women not to smoke during pregnancy, as prenatal smoking has adverse effects on other child health outcomes, Han warned, in a press release.
Although the review found no causal effect between tobacco use during pregnancy and ADHD, there was a word of caution for expectant mothers: “Pregnant women should still be advised not to smoke during pregnancy, as prenatal smoking has adverse effects on the outcome of child health.