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Cry-baby link to ADHD

21st April 2011

Scientists have suggested that babies which cry more than usual could have a greater risk of behavioural problems later in life.

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They have also noticed the same trend with infants who have problems in feeding and sleeping.

Research published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood showed that 20% of babies had symptoms that could lead to conditions such as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

The review of previous studies looked at nearly 17,000 children and an international group of researchers looked at this area as well as problems eating and sleeping.

They reached their conclusion between this early pattern and the problems in later life by comparing the data from 22 studies from 1987 to 2006.

Professor Dieter Wolke from the University of Warwick said: “It is about a 100% increase in risk, a doubling of risk of behavioural problems with excessive crying, sleeping and eating problems.”

He suggested that if parents could prevent early problems, it may have wider public health benefits.

However, another leading expert said parents should not be over worried by the findings.

Jane Valente, a consultant paediatrician at Great Ormond Street Hospital, said: “It would be wrong for people to get overly alarmed. I don't think on the basis of this report people should be going to their GPs.

“If a baby is not behaving like other babies it is probably worth discussing with a midwife or health visitor.”

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health acknowledged the research as “an important study.”

 

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