Monday, November 23, 2009

Paying Attention to Environmental Exposures

With so much focus nowadays on children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), one wonders whether the incidence is really increasing or whether we are just more aware of the symptoms and signs that result in awarding this diagnosis to a child who might not have been labeled as such years ago. Perhaps arguing for the former are the results of an early release study appearing in the December electronic pages of our journal by Froehlich et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds.2009-0738) that describes a most interesting and troubling association between ADHD and prenatal tobacco and lead exposure. Awareness of this association may lead to a new direction in preventive strategies for this behavioral disorder.