Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Breastfed children are less likely to develop ADHD later in life, study suggests

Date:
July 22, 2013
Source:
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Summary:
Scientists have completed a study that finds a clear link between rates of breastfeeding and the likelihood of developing Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, even when typical risk factors were taken into consideration.

We know that breastfeeding has a positive impact on child development and health -- including protection against illness. Now researchers from Tel Aviv University have shown that breastfeeding may also help protect against Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the most commonly diagnosed neurobehavioral disorder in children and adolescents.
Credit: evgenyatamanenko / Fotolia

We know that breastfeeding has a positive impact on child development and health -- including protection against illness. Now researchers from Tel Aviv University have shown that breastfeeding may also help protect against Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the most commonly diagnosed neurobehavioral disorder in children and adolescents.

Seeking to determine if the development of ADHD was associated with lower rates of breastfeeding, Dr. Aviva Mimouni-Bloch, of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and Head of the Child Neurodevelopmental Center in Loewenstein Hospital, and her fellow researchers completed a retrospective study on the breastfeeding habits of parents of three groups of children: a group that had been diagnosed with ADHD; siblings of those diagnosed with ADHD; and a control group of children without ADHD and lacking any genetic ties to the disorder.

The researchers found a clear link between rates of breastfeeding and the likelihood of developing ADHD, even when typical risk factors were taken into consideration. Children who were bottle-fed at three months of age were found to be three times more likely to have ADHD than those who were breastfed during the same period. These results have been published in Breastfeeding Medicine.

Understanding genetics and environment

In their study, the researchers compared breastfeeding histories of children from six to 12 years of age at Schneider's Children Medical Center in Israel. The ADHD group was composed of children that had been diagnosed at the hospital, the second group included the siblings of the ADHD patients, and the control group included children without neurobehavioral issues who had been treated at the clinics for unrelated complaints.

In addition to describing their breastfeeding habits during the first year of their child's life, parents answered a detailed questionnaire on medical and demographic data that might also have an impact on the development of ADHD, including marital status and education of the parents, problems during pregnancy such as hypertension or diabetes, birth weight of the child, and genetic links to ADHD.

Taking all risk factors into account, researchers found that children with ADHD were far less likely to be breastfed in their first year of life than the children in the other groups. At three months, only 43 percent of children in the ADHD group were breastfed compared to 69 percent of the sibling group and 73 percent of the control group. At six months, 29 percent of the ADHD group was breastfed, compared to 50 percent of the sibling group and 57 percent of the control group.

One of the unique elements of the study was the inclusion of the sibling group, says Dr. Mimouni-Bloch. Although a mother will often make the same breastfeeding choices for all her children, this is not always the case. Some children's temperaments might be more difficult than their siblings', making it hard for the mother to breastfeed, she suggests.

Added protection

While researchers do not yet know why breastfeeding has an impact on the future development of ADHD -- it could be due to the breast milk itself, or the special bond formed between mother and baby during breastfeeding, for example -- they believe this research shows that breastfeeding can have a protective effect against the development of the disorder, and can be counted as an additional biological advantage for breastfeeding.

Dr. Mimouni-Bloch hopes to conduct a further study on breastfeeding and ADHD, examining children who are at high risk for ADHD from birth and following up in six-month intervals until six years of age, to obtain more data on the phenomenon.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Friends of Tel Aviv University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Aviva Mimouni-Bloch, Anna Kachevanskaya, Francis Benjamin Mimouni, Avinoam Shuper, Eyal Raveh, Nehama Linder. Breastfeeding May Protect from Developing Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Breastfeeding Medicine, 2013; 130410052833002 DOI: 10.1089/bfm.2012.0145

Cite This Page:

American Friends of Tel Aviv University. "Breastfed children are less likely to develop ADHD later in life, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130722152739.htm>.
American Friends of Tel Aviv University. (2013, July 22). Breastfed children are less likely to develop ADHD later in life, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130722152739.htm
American Friends of Tel Aviv University. "Breastfed children are less likely to develop ADHD later in life, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130722152739.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins