Risk factors for ADHD may include:
- Blood relatives (such as a parent or sibling) with ADHD or another mental health disorder
- Exposure to environmental toxins — such as lead, found mainly in paint and pipes in older buildings
- Maternal drug use, alcohol use or smoking during pregnancy
- Maternal exposure to environmental poisons — such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) — during pregnancy
- Premature birth
Although sugar is a popular suspect in causing hyperactivity, there's no reliable proof of this. Many things in childhood can lead to difficulty sustaining attention, but that is not the same as ADHD.
Mar. 05, 2013
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR. 4th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2000. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed Jan. 7, 2013.
- Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder/index.shtml. Accessed Jan. 7, 2013.
- ADHD factsheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/. Accessed Jan. 7, 2013.
- Bader A, et al. Complementary and alternative therapies for children and adolescents with ADHD. Current Opinion in Pediatrics. 2012;24:760.
- Rucklidge JJ. Gender differences in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Psychiatric Clinics of North America. 2010;33:357.
- Vaughan B, et al. Pharmacotherapy of pediatric attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America. 2012;21:941.
- Emond SK, et al. Management strategies for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A regional deliberation on the evidence. Postgraduate Medicine. 2012;124:58.
- Kim DH, et al. Relationship between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms and perceived parenting practices of school-age children. Journal of Clinical Nursing. In press. Accessed Jan. 8, 2013.
- Parenting a child with ADHD. National Resource Center on AD/HD. http://www.chadd.org. Accessed Jan. 8, 2013.
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Facts about ADHD. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/NCBDDD/adhd/facts.html. Accessed Jan. 25, 2013.
- Jensen PS (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 31, 2013.
- Swintak CC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 21, 2013.
- Goodlad JK, et al. Lead and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms: A meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review. 2013;33:417.
- Lindstrom K, et al. Preterm birth and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in school children. Pediatrics. 2011;127:858.