Babies' fussiness linked to ADHD risk
Sat, 23 Apr 2011 09:21:22 GMT
Babies who cry excessively and have more sleeping and feeding difficulties may have a higher risk of showing behavioral problems during childhood.
The analysis of 22 separate studies included 17,000 children showed that 20 percent of all babies had signs of “regulatory issues” such as sleeping difficulties, persistent crying, and feeding problems during the first year of life.
Regulatory problems are usually temporary and last by preschool age. However, some children continue to experience the condition for more years.
Although, transient problems during the first months of life seem to have a good prognosis, some studies say that persistent or multiple regulatory problems such as excessive crying after the age of three months may be associated with behavioral problems and not infantile colic.
According to the new European study appeared in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, the most common childhood behavioral conditions for infants with regulatory problems were attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and externalizing problems, such as aggressive or destructive behavior, conduct problems and temper tantrums.
In addition, infants from troubled families, including those with psychosocial problems and problems interacting with each other were at higher risk of developing behavioral problems later in childhood.
"We found a particularly strong relationship between regulatory problems in infancy and conduct disorders or ADHD, which are problems of under-control, in which children can't regulate their attention, or fly off the handle and can't control their behavior," said Dieter Wolke, an study co-authors from University of Warwick , UK.
However, the researchers emphasized that their findings doesn't mean that a fussy baby will grow up to have behavior problems but the symptoms may only be considered just as warning signs.
If parents recognize regulatory problems on early months, they may parent in ways that will help their infants learn more self-control - before the problem becomes more ingrained and difficult to change, the researchers added.
“Our findings highlight the need for prospective follow-up studies of regulatory disturbed infants and require reliable assessments of crying, sleeping or feeding problems,” wrote Mirja Helen Hemmi from the University of Basel, Switzerland and her colleagues.
“The evidence from this systematic review suggests that those with persisting regulatory problems in families with other problems may require early interventions to minimize or prevent the long-term consequences of infant regulatory problems,” the researchers concluded.