Exposure to Secondhand Smoke Boosts ADHD Risk

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While prior research has already shown that smoking by pregnant mothers is linked to a higher risk of their children developing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a new study indicates that exposure to second-hand smoke also boosts ADHD risk.

Alicia Padron, MD, PhD, of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida and colleagues in Spain examined data from the 2011 to 2012 Spanish National Health Interview Survey. As part of the survey, parents of more than 2,300 children between the ages of 4 and 12 indicated how much time daily their children were exposed to secondhand smoke.

Children who had exposure to secondhand smoke for less than one hour per day were twice as likely to have ADHD as kids who had no exposure, the researchers reported in the journal Tobacco Control. And children exposed one hour or more on a daily basis were three times as likely to have ADHD.

In addition, secondhand smoke exposure was also associated with an increase in some kind of mental disorder, according to the researchers. But they also cautioned that their results cannot prove that exposure leads to mental health problems.

“The association between secondhand smoke and global mental problems was mostly due to the impact of secondhand smoke on the attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder,” the authors wrote.

Exposure to Secondhand Smoke Boosts ADHD Risk
Exposure to Secondhand Smoke Boosts ADHD Risk

Children exposed to tobacco smoke at home are up to three times more likely to have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as unexposed kids, according to a new study from Spain.

The association was stronger for kids with one or more hours of secondhand smoke exposure every day, the authors found. And the results held when researchers accounted for parents' mental health and other factors.

Alicia Padron of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida and colleagues in Spain analyzed data from the 2011 to 2012 Spanish National Health Interview Survey, in which parents of 2,357 children ages four to 12 reported the amount of time their children were exposed to secondhand smoke every day.

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