- Detection of acetaminophen in a newborn's cord blood is associated with increased odds for a later autism or ADHD diagnosis.
- Acetaminophen half-life in adults is only a few hours, and all samples contained acetaminophen, so implications are unclear.
Why this matters
- 65% of pregnant women in the United States use acetaminophen during pregnancy.
- 25.8% of children in the cohort were diagnosed with ADHD, 6.6% with autism, and 30.5% with other developmental disabilities (DDs).
- Cord plasma metabolites were associated with an increased risk for ADHD and autism in childhood.
- For cord acetaminophen values in the third tertile, odds increased that a child would be diagnosed with ADHD (aOR, 2.86; P<.001 or autism p=".002).</li">
- Prospective cohort study, Boston Birth Cohort, with 3163 mother-infant dyads enrolled at birth, 1998-2018.
- Dyads with sufficient cord plasma samples and a diagnosis were enrolled (n=996).
- Analysis of association of cord plasma acetaminophen metabolites with diagnoses of ADHD, autism, other DDs, or neurotypical development.
- Funding: NIH.
- One-time measurement of metabolites at birth; acetaminophen half-life is
- Major metabolite of acetaminophen not measured.
- No unexposed controlled group for comparison.
- Excluded children had higher rates of preterm birth, low birth weight.
- Unmeasured confounders, including of factors independently linked to increased risk for neurodevelopmental conditions in offspring.