Prenatal maternal infections and children’s neurodevelopment in the UK Millennium Cohort Study: A focus on ASD and ADHD

Hildigunnur Anna Hall*, Lydia Gabriela Speyer, Aja Louise Murray, Bonnie Auyeung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Objective: No clear answer has yet been attained as to the influence of prenatal exposure to infection on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), either alone or as co-occurring issues. The current study examined links between hospital-recorded and maternal-reported prenatal infections and ASD, ADHD, and co-occurring ASD and ADHD. Methods: Participants were n = 15,462 children and mother pairs from the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS), a population-representative UK sample. Results: Findings show associations between maternal-reported infections and ASD, and some evidence of links with ADHD and co-occurring ASD and ADHD. Hospital-recorded infections were not found to be associated with ASD, ADHD, or their co-occurrence. Agreement between hospital-recorded and maternal-reported infections was low, which may explain the discrepant findings. Conclusion: Prenatal maternal infections may be associated with increased odds of ASD and ADHD. Findings point to the importance of drawing on multiple sources of information when ascertaining prenatal infection status.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Attention Disorders
Early online date19 May 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 May 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • autism spectrum disorders
  • pregnancy

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