A study reported on in October of 2018 in the journal Diabetic Care has linked Type 1 and 2 diabetes along with Gestational or pregnancy-related diabetes in mothers, with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in their children. Researchers at Kaiser Permanente Southern California in Pasadena, United States, and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, United States, found the risk of ADHD to be higher in children whose mothers were treated for diabetes during their pregnancy than in children whose mothers had a healthy pregnancy.
The records of a total of 333,182 infants were reviewed from the time the children were four years of age. Over the following five years 17,415 of the children, or 5.2 percent, were diagnosed with ADHD…
- children of mothers diagnosed with Gestational diabetes and treated with anti-diabetes medications were 57 percent more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than children from non-diabetic mothers.
- the children of mothers who were medically treated for Type 1 diabetes had a 43 percent higher risk for developing ADHD, and those
- children whose mothers needed medication for Type 2 diabetes during their pregnancy had a 26 percent higher risk of developing the condition.
The investigators concluded severe diabetes in pregnant women raised the risk of ADHD in their children.
Earlier studies have found similar results. In September of 2018, the journal Pediatrics reported on a study in which obesity and diabetes in the mother increased their children’s risk for not only ADHD but several other disorders…
- autism spectrum disorder,
- conduct disorder, and
- mixed emotional and conduct disorder.
Another article published during the same month, in the Journal of Childhood Psychology and Psychiatry, linked the mother’s diet during pregnancy, an essential factor related with Gestational diabetes and blood sugar levels, with ADHD at ages 3 to 8 years.
Researchers at the University of Bordeaux in Bordeaux, France, and several other research facilities in France and Singapore looked at 1,242 mothers and their children. The children of the mothers who ate foods considered unhealthy or Western had more than a 60 percent higher risk for developing ADHD than children whose mothers reported eating healthful foods.
Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains and low in highly processed foods, meat, and dairy products, is helpful for preventing or controlling both Type 2 diabetes and Gestational diabetes. It could likely help avoid problems for the children of diabetic mothers as well.