January 29, 2018
1 min read

ADHD risk increases with parental type 1 diabetes diagnosis

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Offspring of a parent with diagnosed type 1 diabetes, particularly a mother with the disease, have an increased risk for ADHD compared with the other children, study data show.

Jianguang Ji, MD, PhD, of the Center for Primary Health Care Research at Lund University in Sweden, and colleagues identified adults with type 1 diabetes and their 15,615 children from the nationwide Swedish National Hospital Discharge Register and Swedish Outpatient Register linked to the Swedish Multi-Generation Register to determine whether parental type 1 diabetes is associated with the risk for ADHD. The children were matched to a control group of 1,380,829 children whose parents did not have type 1 diabetes. Follow-up was a median of 25 years.

More participants with a parental diagnosis of type 1 diabetes were diagnosed with ADHD compared with participants without a parental diagnosis of type 1 diabetes (2.4% vs. 1.5%). Boys had a higher incidence of ADHD compared with girls, and incidence of ADHD was higher in those with a family history of ADHD and other psychiatric disorders, those small for gestational age and those with maternal smoking during pregnancy compared with their counterparts.

The risk for ADHD was 29% higher in children with a parental diagnosis of type 1 diabetes compared with those without a parental diagnosis (HR = 1.29; 95% CI, 1.15-1.42). The risk for ADHD was higher with maternal vs. paternal type 1 diabetes, but did not reach statistical significance.

“An important strength of this study is that it is a nationwide study, and the number of individuals with a parental diagnosis of [type 1 diabetes] is large enough so that we have sufficient study power to look at associations,” the researchers wrote. “All data were retrieved from Swedish registers that are of high quality and have national coverage. The prospective study design and the completeness of the follow-up of patients are other major advantages of the current study.”

The researchers noted that future studies are needed to identify mechanisms of action. – by Amber Cox

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.