Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Apgar scores and ADHD

An Apgar score is a way of assessing the health of a new-born baby. It is based on several physical signs including breathing, heart rate and muscle tone. A score of seven or higher is considered normal while a nine or a 10 indicate that a baby is in the best possible condition. Researchers at Aarhus University in Denmark have been looking into the links between Apgar scores and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in a study of more than 980,000 children. The researchers found that compared with children whose scores were nine or 10 those with a five or six had a 63% greater risk of developing ADHD while those with an Apgar score of one to four had a 75% greater risk. The researchers speculated that a low Apgar score could be due to some sort of stress during pregnancy or birth that could also lead to the development of ADHD a few years later.

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