PEDIATRICS recent issues

Prenatal Cotinine Levels and ADHD Among Offspring

OBJECTIVES:

An association between maternal smoking during pregnancy and offspring attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been shown across several studies based on self-reports. No previous studies have investigated the association of nicotine exposure measured by cotinine levels during pregnancy and offspring ADHD.

METHODS:

In this population-based study, 1079 patients born between 1998 and 1999 and diagnosed with ADHD according to the International Classification of Diseases and 1079 matched controls were identified from Finnish nationwide registers. Maternal cotinine levels were measured by using quantitative immunoassays from maternal serum specimens collected during the first and second trimesters of pregnancy and archived in the national biobank.

RESULTS:

There was a significant association between increasing log-transformed maternal cotinine levels and offspring ADHD. The odds ratio was 1.09 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.06–1.12) when adjusting for maternal socioeconomic status, maternal age, maternal psychopathology, paternal age, paternal psychopathology, and child’s birth weight for gestational age. In the categorical analyses with cotinine levels in 3 groups, heavy nicotine exposure (cotinine level >50 ng/mL) was associated with offspring ADHD, with an odds ratio of 2.21 (95% CI 1.63–2.99) in the adjusted analyses. Analyses by deciles of cotinine levels revealed that the adjusted odds for offspring ADHD in the highest decile was 3.34 (95% CI 2.02–5.52).

CONCLUSIONS:

The study reveals an association with and a dose-response relationship between nicotine exposure during pregnancy and offspring ADHD. Future studies incorporating maternal smoking and environmental, genetic, and epigenetic factors are warranted.

Understanding Liability Risks and Protections for Pediatric Providers During Disasters

Although most health care providers will go through their careers without experiencing a major disaster in their local communities, if one does occur, it can be life and career altering. The American Academy of Pediatrics has been at the forefront of providing education and advocacy on the critical importance of disaster preparedness. From experiences over the past decade, new evidence and analysis have broadened our understanding that the concept of preparedness is also applicable to addressing the unique professional liability risks that can occur when caring for patients and families during a disaster. In our recommendations in this policy statement, we target pediatric health care providers, advocates, and policy makers and address how individuals, institutions, and government can work together to strengthen the system of liability protections during disasters so that appropriate and timely care can be delivered with minimal fear of legal reprisal or confusion.

Understanding Liability Risks and Protections for Pediatric Providers During Disasters

Although most health care providers will go through their careers without experiencing a major disaster in their local communities, if one does occur, it can be life and career altering. The American Academy of Pediatrics has been in the forefront of providing education and advocacy on the critical importance of disaster preparedness. From experiences over the past decade, new evidence and analysis have broadened our understanding that the concept of preparedness is also applicable to addressing the unique professional liability risks that can occur when caring for patients and families during a disaster. Concepts explored in this technical report will help to inform pediatric health care providers, advocates, and policy makers about the complexities of how providers are currently protected, with a focus on areas of unappreciated liability. The timeliness of this technical report is emphasized by the fact that during the time of its development (ie, late summer and early fall of 2017), the United States went through an extraordinary period of multiple, successive, and overlapping disasters within a concentrated period of time of both natural and man-made causes. In a companion policy statement (www.pediatrics.org/cgi/doi/10.1542/peds.2018-3892), recommendations are offered on how individuals, institutions, and governments can work together to strengthen the system of liability protections during disasters so that appropriate and timely care can be delivered with minimal fear of legal reprisal or confusion.

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