ADHD Linked to Young Maternal Age

Study shows "complex genetic risk architecture"

In an Australian study, early maternal age—particularly younger than 20—was associated with the risk of ADHD in children. Researchers analyzed genetic data from 220,685 women in the UK Biobank and evaluated the association between five female reproductive traits and polygenic risk scores. Their findings, they say, revealed a “complex psychosocial genetic risk architecture.”

Among other things, the genetic risk scores of ADHD was strongly associated with age at first birth, age at first sexual intercourse, number of live births, and age at menopause.

These findings may be useful in improving female reproductive health, the researchers say: “hence better child outcomes.”

An intervention to teach young women at high risk about features of ADHD, for instance, might help them avoid giving birth at an immature age, improving the maternal environment for the babies.