Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 298, Issue 5, pp 889–895 | Cite as

Predicting attention deficit hyperactivity disorder using pregnancy and birth characteristics

  • Eva SchwenkeEmail author
  • Peter A. Fasching
  • Florian Faschingbauer
  • Jutta Pretscher
  • Sven Kehl
  • Roberta Peretz
  • Andrea Keller
  • Lothar Häberle
  • Anna Eichler
  • Viktoria Irlbauer-Müller
  • Ulf Dammer
  • Matthias W. Beckmann
  • Michael Schneider
Maternal-Fetal Medicine



The aim of this study was to evaluate maternal, prenatal, perinatal, and postpartum parameters as risk factors for the later development of an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the child.


Women who had given birth at Erlangen University Hospital between 1996 and 1999 were sent a questionnaire in 2009. The results of the questionnaire were correlated with the prospectively collected data for the births in 1996–1999.


A total of 573 mother and child pairs were analyzed. Forty-four of the mothers reported that their child had ADHD (7.7%). No significant associations were found for the following parameters: mother’s age; mother’s educational level; number of the pregnancy; maternal weight before and at the end of pregnancy; mother’s height; alcohol consumption during pregnancy; mode of delivery; gestational week; birthweight; umbilical artery blood values; Apgar score at 5 and 10 min; or breastfeeding. The parameters of smoking in pregnancy and an Apgar score lower than 7 after 1 min were significantly associated with a risk for later development of ADHD.


This analysis of maternal, prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal parameters found that smoking in pregnancy and a low Apgar score 1 min after birth are associated with a significantly greater risk for the development of ADHD. Beyond the question of the causal mechanism involved, this is a relevant finding, since smoking during pregnancy is a preventable risk factor.


ADHD Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder Risk factor Pregnancy Labor 



The authors are grateful for support from Friedrich Alexander University (FAU) of Erlangen–Nuremberg, provided in the framework of the Open Access Publishing funding program.

Author contributions

E. Schwenke: investigation, methodology, project administration, writing. P. Fasching: supervision, methodology, project administration. F. Faschingbauer: funding acquisition, project administration. J. Pretscher: project administation. S. Kehl: writing review. R. Peretz: funding acquisition. A. Keller: formal analysis. L. Häberle: formal analysis. A. Eichler: writing review. V. Irlbauer-Mueller: writing review. U. Dammer: conceptualization, investigation. M.W. Beckmann: supervision. M. Schneider: data curation, writing review.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors hereby declare that there were no conflicts of interest during the research conducted for this study.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eva Schwenke
    • 1
    Email author
  • Peter A. Fasching
    • 1
  • Florian Faschingbauer
    • 1
  • Jutta Pretscher
    • 1
  • Sven Kehl
    • 1
  • Roberta Peretz
    • 1
  • Andrea Keller
    • 2
  • Lothar Häberle
    • 1
    • 3
  • Anna Eichler
    • 4
  • Viktoria Irlbauer-Müller
    • 4
  • Ulf Dammer
    • 1
  • Matthias W. Beckmann
    • 1
  • Michael Schneider
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Erlangen University HospitalFriedrich Alexander University of Erlangen–NurembergErlangenGermany
  2. 2.IMBE, Institute of Medical Informatics, Biometry and EpidemiologyErlangenGermany
  3. 3.Biostatistics Unit, Department of Gynecology and ObstetricsFriedrich Alexander University of Erlangen–NurembergErlangenGermany
  4. 4.Department of Child and Adolescent Mental HealthFriedrich Alexander University of Erlangen–NurembergErlangenGermany

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