ADHD and risk factors during pregnancy

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): risk factors, predictors and mediators during pregnancy and early childhood

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most prevalent neuropsychiatric disorders in childhood, but its etiology is unclear. Although evidence indicates that ADHD is a highly familial disorder, environmental and other modifiable risk factors have also been implicated, such as exposure to environmental pollutants, family adversity and severe early deprivation.

Several Danish population-based birth cohorts provide longitudinal data that cover many aspects of health and social conditions of participating individuals and families. A number of national registers further provide opportunities for the long-term follow-up on mortality and morbidity that reach hospital attention or require prescribed medication. We will use these data to study risk factors, predictors and mediators of ADHD during pregnancy and early childhood. Specifically, we will conduct studies to: 

  1. identify risk factors, including previous reproductive failures in mother, for ADHD symptoms by using data from birth cohorts and national registers
  2. investigate whether earlier neurodevelopmental characteristics predict ADHD related problems at the age of 7 and 11 years
  3. identify social factors in the families that mediate the outcome of mental health in children with ADHD symptoms.


Jin Liang Zhu
Department of Public Health
Aarhus University



Carsten Obel
Department of Public Health
Aarhus University


01/08/2013 → 31/07/2018