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Acetaminophen Use During Pregnancy Not Linked to Neurodevelopmental Disorders

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In sibling control analyses, acetaminophen use not linked to risk for autism, ADHD, or intellectual disability

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, April 11, 2024 (HealthDay News) — In sibling control analyses, acetaminophen use during pregnancy was not associated with children’s risk for autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or intellectual disability, according to a study published online in the April 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Viktor H. Ahlqvist, Ph.D., from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues conducted a nationwide cohort study with a sibling control analysis including a population-based sample of 2,480,797 children born in 1995 to 2019 in Sweden to examine the associations of acetaminophen use during pregnancy with children’s risk for autism, ADHD, and intellectual disability.

The researchers found that ever-use versus no use of acetaminophen during pregnancy was associated with a marginally increased risk for autism (hazard ratio, 1.05; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.02 to 1.08), ADHD (hazard ratio, 1.07; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.05 to 1.10), and intellectual disability (hazard ratio, 1.05; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.00 to 1.10) in models without sibling control. Matched full-sibling pairs were also analyzed to address unobserved confounding. There was no evidence that acetaminophen use during pregnancy was associated with autism, ADHD, or intellectual disability in sibling control analyses. No evidence of a dose-response pattern was seen in sibling control analyses.

“This suggests that associations observed in models without sibling control may have been attributable to confounding,” the authors write.

One author disclosed ties to Neobiomics AB; a second author disclosed ties to law firms and AlphaSights.

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