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Mother's fish, mercury intake tied to kids' ADHD risk: study

Published on Oct 9, 2012 8:36 AM

(REUTERS) - Children's risk of developing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) later in life may be tied to how much fish their mothers ate while pregnant, according to a United States (US) study.

Researchers writing in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine found that eating at least two servings of fish per week was linked to about a 60 per cent lower risk of kids developing certain ADHD-like symptoms.

But elevated mercury levels, which can also come from eating more fish - depending on the fish - were tied to a higher risk of developing the symptoms, such as hyperactivity, impulsiveness and inattentiveness.

Though the study did not prove cause and effect, and did not use a formal diagnosis of ADHD, it may offer insights into a condition that's estimated to have an impact on one in 10 children in the United States, researchers say. "The really important message is to eat fish," said Dr Sharon Sagiv, the study's lead author from the Boston University School of Public Health.

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