Prenatal Tylenol use linked to ADHD in baby
The likelihood of a child developing ADHD increased the most - by 63 percent - when the acetaminophen was taken during the last two trimesters of pregnancy. When it was used in the third trimester alone, researchers found an increased in ADHD of about 28 percent. The risk was smallest - about nine percent - when the pregnant woman only used the medication during her first trimester of pregnancy.
The study is interesting not just for its findings, but for its methodology. Researchers could have talked to the mothers of children who had been diagnosed with ADHD to determine whether or not they used Tylenol during pregnancy. But the potential for bias in memory recall was too great. Instead, the researchers followed more than 64,000 Danish mothers and their children over a period of about 15 years. They collected information on the mothers' use of acetaminophen before their children were born and long before they knew that their future children would be diagnosed with ADHD. In this way, they were able to draw a stronger connection between the cause and effect.
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