ADHD Risk Factors

Environmental risk factors may include low birth weight, smoking and alcohol use during pregnancy, exposure to lead, and history of child maltreatment.

Source: SAMHSA (DHHS)1

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Among the non-genetic factors that may increase a child’s risk for developing ADHD are:

Some studies suggest that artificial food additives and dyes may worsen hyperactivity and inattention, but these effects are small and do not account for most cases of ADHD.

Source: NIMH (NIH)2

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Risk Factors

Scientists are not sure what causes ADHD. Like many other illnesses, a number of factors can contribute to ADHD, such as:

ADHD is more common in males than females, and females with ADHD are more likely to have problems primarily with inattention.

Source: NIMH (NIH)3

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  1. Source: SAMHSA (DHHS): disorders/ mental
  2. Source: NIMH (NIH): health/ publications/ attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-basics/ index.shtml
  3. Source: NIMH (NIH): health/ topics/ attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/ index.shtml

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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.