Maternal autoimmune disease has been associated with increased risk of neurodevelopmental disorders in offspring, but few studies have assessed the association with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)..
..In the population-based cohort analysis, 831 718 singleton, term infants born to 831 718 mothers (mean [SD] age, 29.8 [5.6] years) were assessed. Of 12 767 infants (1.5%) who were linked to a maternal autoimmune diagnosis, 12 610 were propensity score matched to 50 440 control infants, for a total study cohort of 63 050 infants. In this cohort, any autoimmune disease was associated with ADHD in offspring (HR, 1.30; 95% CI 1.15-1.46), as was type 1 diabetes (HR, 2.23; 95% CI, 1.66-3.00), psoriasis (HR, 1.66; 95% CI, 1.02-2.70), and rheumatic fever or rheumatic carditis (HR, 1.75; 95% CI, 1.06-2.89). Five studies (including the present study) were included in the meta-analysis. Any autoimmune disease (2 studies: HR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.03-1.38), type 1 diabetes (4 studies: HR, 1.53; 95% CI, 1.27-1.85), hyperthyroidism (3 studies: HR, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.06-1.26), and psoriasis (2 studies: HR, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.10-1.56) were associated with ADHD.
Conclusions and Relevance In this cohort study, maternal autoimmune diseases were associated with increased ADHD among children. These findings suggest possible shared genetic vulnerability between autoimmune disease and ADHD or a potential role for maternal immune activation in the expression of neurodevelopmental disorders in children. Future studies measuring disease activity, modifiers, and medication use are required to better understand the mechanisms underlying this association.