HealthDay News — Children with epilepsy or febrile seizures may have a greater risk of developing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a study published in Pediatrics.

The study looked at children born in Denmark from 1990 through 2007, tracking them until 2012. The investigators found those with epilepsy seemed to have nearly 3 times the risk of developing ADHD compared to children without epilepsy (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 2.72). Children who had febrile seizures appeared to have an almost 30% increased risk of ADHD (IRR, 1.28).

Children with both epilepsy and febrile seizures had a risk of ADHD more than 3 times higher than those without a history of either condition (IRR, 3.22). The findings held even after the researchers took into account other factors that might have affected risk, such as birth weight and family history of neurodevelopmental disorders or epilepsy.

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“Our findings indicate a strong association between epilepsy in childhood and, to a lesser extent, febrile seizure and subsequent development of ADHD, even after adjusting for socioeconomic and perinatal risk factors, and family history of epilepsy, febrile seizures, or psychiatric disorders,” the authors write.

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Bertelsen E, Larsen J, Petersen L, Christensen J, Dalsgaard S. Childhood Epilepsy, Febrile Seizures, and Subsequent Risk of ADHD. Pediatrics. 2016. doi:10.1542/peds.2015-4654.