Predict Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder? Evidence -Based Medicine

  •  Abdulbari Bener    
  •  Madeeha Kamal    


Background: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common behavioral disorders in children and recent studies reported a relationship between low levels of Vitamin D and incidence of ADHD.

Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the association between vitamin D deficiency and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Also, to study the impact and role of vitamin D on the development of ADH in children.

Design: This is a case-control study which was conducted in children below 18 years of age from June 2011 to May 2013 at the School Health and Primary Health care Clinics, Qatar.

Methods and subjects: The study was based on 1,331 cases and 1,331 controls. The data collection instrument included socio-demographic & clinical data, physician diagnosis family history, BMI, and serum 25(OH) vitamin D, calcium, albumin, billirubin, magnesium, calcium, cholesterol, urea, triglyceride and phosphorus. Descriptive and univariate statistical analysis were performed.

Results: Of the total number of 3470 children surveyed, 1331 of ADHD and 1,331 of healthy children gave their consent to participate in this study. The mean age (± SD, in years) for ADHD versus control children was 10.63±3.4 vs. 10.77±3.4. Overweight (7.7% vs 9.4%) and obesity (4.6% vs 7.7%) were significantly lower in ADHD children compared to their counterparts (P=0.001). Vitamin D deficiency was considerably higher in ADHD children compared to healthy children.  The mean value of vitamin D in ADHD children was much lower than the normal value and there was a significant difference found in the mean values of vitamin D between ADHD (16.6±7.8 with median 16) and control children (23.5±9.9) (p<0.0001) and with median 23 (p = 0.006). Mean values of Calcium and phosphorous were significantly higher in control compared to ADHD children (p<0.001). 1331 of all ADHD children had 19.1% had severe vitamin D deficiency (< 10 ng/ml), 44.9% has moderate insufficient levels (between 10-20 ng/ml), 27.3% has mild insufficient levels (between 20-30 ng/ml) and only 8.1% of ADHD had sufficient serum vitamin D levels (>30 ng/ml). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that household income, poor relationship between parents, mothers’ occupation, consanguinity, BMI in percentiles, low duration of time under sun light, physical activity, low serum calcium level and low vitamin D level were considered as the main risk factors associated with the ADHD after adjusting for age, gender and other variables.

Conclusion: The study showed that vitamin D deficiency was higher in ADHD children compared to healthy children. Supplementing infants with vitamin D might be a safe and effective strategy for reducing the risk of ADHD, but, further genomic and some other test and relevant studies need to be done.

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