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Acetaminophen In Pregnancy May Be Linked To Higher Risk of ADHD, Autism

schwit1 tipped us off to an interesting new study. Newsweek reports:

Babies of women who took acetaminophen — a common painkiller marketed in the U.S. under the brand name Tylenol — near the end of pregnancy had a higher likelihood of being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders or with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry.

The study, conducted by researchers from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, cross referenced blood samples taken from the mother after the baby’s birth and samples taken from the babies’ umbilical cords, which were used to assess how much acetaminophen the mother had ingested. A mother-to-be who takes Tylenol during their pregnancy is liable to have some of the medication reach a developing fetus, as the drug has been demonstrated to cross the placenta, according to United Press International (UPI). The children involved in the study were reexamined when they were around 10 years old. Researchers found that those children whose umbilical cords had contained higher levels of acetaminophen were significantly more likely to have an autism spectrum disorder or ADHD than the children who did not appear to have been exposed to acetaminophen in utero.

According to UPI’s analysis of the findings, “the odds of these developmental disorders were more than twice as high in children exposed to acetaminophen near the time of birth. The association was strongest between exposure to acetaminophen and ADHD in the child.”

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