A new study states that children exposed to tobacco smoke at home are up to three times more likely to have attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) as unexposed kids.
The study, which was conducted by the researchers from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida and was published in the Tobacco Control journal, states that children exposed to tobacco smoke at home are up to three times more likely to have attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD).
ADHD is a developmental neuropsychiatric disorder, in which there are significant problems with executive functions that cause attention deficits, hyperactivity, or impulsiveness which is not appropriate for a person’s age. These symptoms must begin by age six to twelve and persist for more than six months for a diagnosis to be made. These children suffer at academic activities. However, many children with ADHD have a good attention span for tasks they find interesting.
Alicia Padron, MD, PhD, and a researcher at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida, and the lead author of the study, said, “We showed a significant and substantial dose–response association between (secondhand smoke) exposure in the home and a higher frequency of global mental problems.”
For their study, the researchers analyzed data from the 2011 to 2012 Spanish National Health Interview Survey, in which parents of 2,357 children ages 4 to 12 reported the amount of time their children were exposed to secondhand smoke every day. Additionally, parents were asked to fill questionnaires designed to evaluate their children’s mental health.
The researchers found that 8% of the kids had a probable mental disorder. About 7% of the kids were exposed to secondhand smoke for less than one hour per day, and 4.5% were exposed for an hour or more each day.
“The association between secondhand smoke and global mental problems was mostly due to the impact of secondhand smoke on the attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder,” added Padron.
The researchers added that they have found the link between children exposed to secondhand smoke and ADHD and not a cause and effect relationship.