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ADHD linked to premature birth

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by Aimee Keenan-Greene

Can when your baby is born put them at risk for ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a behavioral disorder affecting an estimated 8 to 10 percent of school-age children. Boys are about three times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with it, though it's not yet understood why, according to KidsHealth.org.

Now researchers in Sweden who looked at more than 1 million kids ages 16-19 say babies born extremely prematurely -- between 23 and 28 weeks of pregnancy -- were most at risk of later developing ADHD, with their chances being two and a half times greater than a baby born at full term (after 39 weeks), according to Reuters.

Fifteen out of every 1,000 babies born at this extremely premature age later received a prescription for ADHD medication, compared to six out of every 1,000 babies born between 39 and 41 weeks of pregnancy.

Kids with ADHD act without thinking, are hyperactive, and have trouble focusing. They may understand what's expected of them but have trouble following through because they can't sit still, or pay attention to details. 

For more on the diagnosis and treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, check out ADHDnews.com.

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