Pre-Pregnancy Weight and Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Executive Functioning Behaviors in Preschool Children.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

This study examines pre-pregnancy Body Mass Index (BMI) and gestational weight gain (GWG) in relation to early childhood Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms and related executive self-regulation behaviors. The analyses sample (n = 331) included a subsample of participants from a birth cohort recruited from prenatal clinics and hospital facilities from April 2005 to June 2011 in Durham, North Carolina. Pre-pregnancy BMI was calculated from weight at the last menstrual period and height was extracted from medical records. Gestational weight gain was calculated from pre-pregnancy weight and weight measured at the time of delivery. ADHD symptoms and executive self-regulation behaviors were assessed by maternal report (mean age = 3 years). Multivariable regression methods with inverse probability weighting (IPW) were used to evaluate associations accounting for sample selection bias and confounding. Pre-pregnancy BMI at levels ≥35 was positively associated with higher ADHD symptoms and worse executive self-regulation behaviors (inhibitory control and attention). Compared to adequate GWG, less than adequate GWG was related to more ADHD hyperactive-impulsive symptoms, whereas greater than adequate GWG was related to more problematic behaviors related to working memory and planning. The findings support a link between maternal weight and child neurodevelopment. Continued research that help identify biological mechanisms are needed.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Fuemmeler, BF; Zucker, N; Sheng, Y; Sanchez, CE; Maguire, R; Murphy, SK; Kollins, SH; Hoyo, C

Published Date

  • February 25, 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 16 / 4

PubMed ID

  • 30823531

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6406951

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1660-4601

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3390/ijerph16040667


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Switzerland