Investigators from the French Health and Medical Research Institute (INSERM), University of Bordeaux, and Charles Perrens Hospital, alongside their Canadian, British, and Swedish counterparts, have shown that attention deficit disorder hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or attention deficit disorder without hyperactivity is linked with physical health problems. Cédric Galéra, MD, PhD, child and adolescent psychiatrist and epidemiologist at the Bordeaux Population Health Research Center (INSERM/University of Bordeaux) and the Charles Perrens Hospital, explained these findings to Medscape Medical News.
A Bilateral Association
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental condition that develops in childhood and is characterized by high levels of inattention or agitation and impulsiveness. Some studies have revealed a link between ADHD and medical comorbidities, but these studies were carried out on small patient samples and were cross-sectional.
A new longitudinal study published in Lancet Child and Adolescent Health has shown a reciprocal link between ADHD and physical health problems. The researchers conducted statistical analyses to measure the links between ADHD symptoms and subsequent development of certain physical conditions and, conversely, between physical problems during childhood and subsequent development of ADHD symptoms.
Children From Quebec
The study was conducted by a team headed by Galéra in collaboration with teams from Britain, Sweden, and Canada. “We studied a Quebec-based cohort of 2000 children aged between 5 months and 17 years,” said Galéra.
“The researchers in Quebec sent interviewers to question parents at home. And once the children were able to answer for themselves, from adolescence, they were asked to answer the questions directly,” he added.
The children were assessed on the severity of their ADHD symptoms as well as their physical condition (general well-being, any conditions diagnosed, etc.).
Dental Caries, Excess Weight
“We were able to show links between ADHD in childhood and physical health problems in adolescence. There is a greater risk for dental caries, infections, injuries, wounds, sleep disorders, and excess weight.
“Accounting for socioeconomic status and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression or medical treatments, we observed that dental caries, wounds, excess weight, and restless legs syndrome were the conditions that cropped up time and time again,” said Galéra.
On the other hand, the researchers noted that certain physical health issues in childhood were linked with the onset of ADHD at a later stage. “We discovered that asthma in early childhood, injuries, sleep disturbances, epilepsy, and excess weight were associated with ADHD. Taking all above-referenced features into account, we were left with just wounds and injuries as well as restless legs syndrome as being linked to ADHD,” Galéra concluded.
For Galéra, the study illustrates the direction and timing of the links between physical problems and ADHD. “This reflects the link between physical and mental health. It’s important that all healthcare professionals be alert to this. Psychiatrists and mental health professionals must be vigilant about the physical health risks, and pediatricians and family physicians must be aware of the fact that children can present with physical conditions that will later be linked with ADHD. Each of them must be able to refer their young patients to their medical colleagues to ensure that these people receive the best care,” he emphasized.
The team will continue to study this cohort to see which problems emerge in adulthood. They also wish to study the Elfe cohort, a French longitudinal study of children.
This article was translated from the Medscape French edition.
Source link : https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/adhd-symptoms-linked-physical-comorbidities-2024a10000w9?src=rss
Publish date : 2024-01-15 06:39:32
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