Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood-onset neurodevelopmental disorders. In some recent studies breastfeeding had positive effects on physical health and mental development of children and these studies have recommended further studies in this issue.
This study evaluated the relationship between duration of breastfeeding and ADHD.
This case-control study was carried out in 2017 on 404 children aged 7-12 (196 children with ADHD and 208 children without ADHD). The questionnaire included items on the risk factors such as the child’s sex, age, delivery method, birth weight, birth rank, gestational age, age of mother, duration of breastfeeding, history of neonatal hospitalization, history of drug use in neonatal period, history of drug use in pregnancy, history of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism in pregnancy, history of neonatal icter, history of neonatal blood exchange. Data were analyzed using -test, chi-square and logistic regression.
The mean of breastfeeding duration in children with ADHD was 17.05 ± 7.52 months compared with 18.59 ± 6.74 months in control group ( = .03). A stepwise logistic regression that included the variables was found to be significant in univariate analysis, demonstrating a significant association between ADHD and breastfeeding duration ( = .01), male gender (OR = 2.8), mother hypothyroidism(OR = 4.5) and history of drug use in neonatal period (OR = 1.9).
Long-term duration of breastfeeding (more than 12 months) could be a protective factor in ADHD. However, further studies are required.