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Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder after early exposure to procedures requiring general anesthesia

Published: February 1, 2012
Category: Papers
Authors: Barbaresi WJ, Bojanic K, Colligan RC, Flick RP, Hanson AC, Katusic SK, Olson MD, Schroeder DR, Sprung J, Warner DO, Welch TL, Wilder RT
Country: United States
Language: null
Type: Population Health
Setting: Hospital

Mayo Clin Proc 87:120-129.

Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA

OBJECTIVE: To study the association between exposure to procedures performed under general anesthesia before age 2 years and development of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Study patients included all children born between January 1, 1976, and December 31, 1982, in Rochester, MN, who remained in Rochester after age 5. Cases of ADHD diagnosed before age 19 years were identified by applying stringent research criteria. Cox proportional hazards regression assessed exposure to procedures requiring general anesthesia (none, 1, 2 or more) as a predictor of ADHD using a stratified analysis with strata based on a propensity score including comorbid health conditions.

RESULTS: Among the 5357 children analyzed, 341 ADHD cases were identified (estimated cumulative incidence, 7.6%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 6.8%-8.4%). For children with no postnatal exposure to procedures requiring anesthesia before the age of 2 years, the cumulative incidence of ADHD at age 19 years was 7.3% (95% CI, 6.5%-8.1%). For single and 2 or more exposures, the estimates were 10.7% ( 95% CI, 6.8%-14.4%) and 17.9% ( 95% CI, 7.2%-27.4%), respectively. After adjusting for gestational age, sex, birth weight, and comorbid health conditions, exposure to multiple (hazard ratio, 1.95; 95% CI, 1.03-3.71), but not single (hazard ratio,1.18; 95% CI, 0.79-1.77), procedures requiring general anesthesia was associated with an increased risk for ADHD.

CONCLUSION: Children repeatedly exposed to procedures requiring general anesthesia before age 2 years are at increased risk for the later development of ADHD even after adjusting for comorbidities.

Comment in: Reprogramming of the infant brain by surgery with general anesthesia.

PMID: 22305025

PMCID: PMC3538403

Medication,Medical Conditions,Co-morbidity,Population Markers,United States,Adolescent,Child Behavior Disorders/chemically induced,Child Behavior Disorders/epidemiology,Developmental Disabilities/chemically induced,Developmental Disabilities/epidemiology,Gender,Incidence,Infant,Newborn,Kaplan-Meier Estimate,New York/epidemiology,Retrospective Studies,Risk Assessment,Risk Factors,Severity of Illness Index,Time Factors,United States/epidemiology

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