Maternal use of hormonal contraception and risk of childhood ADHD: a nationwide population-based cohort study

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Although maternal use of hormones has been suspected of increasing the risk for childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), no study has examined hormonal contraception use in this context. We examined the association between maternal hormonal contraception use before or during pregnancy and ADHD risk in children. This nationwide population-based cohort study included 1,056,846 children born in Denmark between 1998 and 2014. Prescriptions for hormonal contraceptives redeemed by the mother was categorized as: no use, previous use (> 3 months before pregnancy), and recent use (≤ 3 months before or during pregnancy). Children were followed for ADHD, from birth until 31 December 2015. Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). During 9,819,565 person-years of follow-up (median: 9.2), ADHD was diagnosed or a prescription for ADHD medication redeemed for 23,380 children (2.2%). The adjusted HR for ADHD was higher in children of mothers who had previously (HR 1.23; 95% CI 1.18-1.28) or recently (HR 1.30; 95% CI 1.24-1.37) used hormonal contraception than in those of mothers with no use. The highest estimates were seen for use of non-oral progestin products with HRs of 1.90 (95% CI 1.59-2.26) for previous use, 2.23 (95% CI 1.96-2.54) for recent use, and 3.10 (95% CI 1.62-5.91) for use during pregnancy. Maternal use of hormonal contraception was associated with an increased risk for ADHD in the offspring; more pronounced for non-oral progestin-only than other products.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)795-805
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

ID: 249299330