Higher Acetaminophen Intake in Pregnancy Linked to Attention Deficits in Young Children

Dr. Susan Schantz (left) and Dr. Megan Woodbury (Photo by Fred Zwicky)

A new study links increased use of acetaminophen during pregnancy – particularly in the second trimester – to modest, but noticeable, increases in problems with attention and behavior in 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds. The study adds to a growing body of evidence linking the frequent use of acetaminophen in pregnancy to developmental problems in offspring. The findings are detailed in an article published January 8, 2024 in Neurotoxicology and Teratology. The open-access article is titled “The Relationship of Prenatal Acetaminophen Exposure and Attention-Related Behavior in Early Childhood.” The research is part of the Illinois Kids Development Study (IKIDS) at the University of Illinois (U of I) Urbana-Champaign, which explores how environmental exposures influence child development. The study tracked hundreds of children, collecting data on their prenatal chemical exposures, and asking caregivers to assess their behaviors and traits at ages 2, 3, and 4.

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