Babies born premature are more likely to get ADHD

26 June 2018, 13:05 | Updated: 26 June 2018, 14:16

premature baby

Babies born just four weeks premature could be more likely to develop the hyperactivity disorder as they grow older.

New research has suggested that children who are born at less than 34 weeks are at a greater risk of developing symptoms such as hyperactivity and short attention spans.

Experts found that hyperactivity was more common in premature babies, with most then developing shorter attention spans as they get older - girls in particular.

According to the findings, underdeveloped organs as a result of being born prematurely can then lead to a hormonal changes that then can trigger ADHD.

Researchers, from the Institute of Public Health in Oslo, Norway, took data from a Norwegian Mother and Child study (MoBa), which had gathered results from more than 113,000 children, including 33,081 siblings.

In the study, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, they wrote: "To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the association between preterm birth and symptoms of ADHD using a sibling-comparison design."

They also compared how premature a baby was with their chance of developing ADHD at the ages of five and eight, with the symptoms of ADHD being assessed using observations from their mothers.

Around eight in 100 babies are born prematurely in the UK, with a premature birth being defined as arriving at least three weeks early.