Monday January 20, 2020

Paracetamol During Pregnancy Can Risk Child’s Behaviour

Women who take paracetamol during pregnancy are at risk of having children with behaviour problems, warn researchers

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paracetamol, pregnancy, risk, behaviour
The study found an association between paracetamol intake and behavioural issues in children including hyperactivity and attention-deficit disorder. Pixabay

Women who take paracetamol during pregnancy are at risk of having children with behaviour problems, warn researchers.

The study, published in the journal Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, examined whether there were any effects of taking paracetamol in mid-pregnancy and the behaviour of the offspring between the ages of six month and 11 years, with memory and IQ tested up until the age of 17.

“Our findings add to a series of results concerning evidence of the possible adverse effects of taking paracetamol during pregnancy such as issues with asthma or behaviour in the offspring,” said study lead author Jean Golding, Professor at the University of Bristol in the UK.

“It reinforces the advice that women should be cautious when taking medication during pregnancy and to seek medical advice where necessary,” Golding said.

Using questionnaire and school information from Bristol’s Children of the 90s study, researchers examined 14,000 children.

paracetamol, pregnancy, risk, behaviour
Human ovaries exposed to paracetamol for a week in laboratories lost up to 40 per cent of their egg cells. Pixabay

When they were seven months pregnant, 43 per cent of their mothers said they had taken paracetamol “sometimes” or more often during the previous three months.

The researchers examined results of the children’s memory, IQ and pre-school development tests, temperament and behaviour measures.

The study found an association between paracetamol intake and behavioural issues in children including hyperactivity and attention-deficit disorder.

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However, this was no longer the case by the time the children reached the end of primary school.

According to the reseachers, boys appeared to be more susceptible than girls to the possible behavioural effects of the drug.

“It is important that our findings are tested in other studies – we were not in a position to show a causal link, rather an association between two outcomes,” Golding added. (IANS)

Next Story

Here’s How Climate Change is Linked To Risk of Wildfires

At the global scale, burned area has decreased in recent decades, largely due to clearing of savannahs for agriculture and increased fire suppression

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Wildfires
Wildfires can't be prevented, and the risks are increasing because of climate change. This makes it urgent to consider ways of reducing the risks to people. Pixabay

Human-induced climate change has already increased the risk of wildfires globally, researchers say, adding that these wildfires will become more common in future.

In light of the Australian fires, researchers from the University of East Anglia, Met Office Hadley Centre, University of Exeter and Imperial College London have conducted a Rapid Response Review of 57 peer-reviewed papers published since the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report in 2013.

All the studies show links between climate change and increased frequency or severity of fire weather – periods with a high fire risk due to a combination of high temperatures, low humidity, low rainfall and often high winds – though some note anomalies in a few regions.

“Wildfires can’t be prevented, and the risks are increasing because of climate change. This makes it urgent to consider ways of reducing the risks to people,” said study researcher Iain Colin Prentice from Imperial College London.

Rising global temperatures, more frequent heatwaves and associated droughts in some regions increase the likelihood of wildfires by stimulating hot and dry conditions, promoting fire weather, which can be used as an overall measure of the impact of climate change on the risk of fires occurring.

Observational data, published on ScienceBrief, shows that fire weather seasons have lengthened across approximately 25 per cent of the Earth’s vegetated surface, resulting in about a 20 per cent an increase in global mean length of the fire weather season.

“Overall, the 57 papers reviewed clearly show human-induced warming has already led to a global increase in the frequency and severity of fire weather, increasing the risks of wildfire,” said study lead author Matthew Jones from the University of East Anglia.

“This has been seen in many regions, including the western US and Canada, southern Europe, Scandinavia and Amazonia. Human-induced warming is also increasing fire risks in other regions, including Siberia and Australia,” Jones added.

Wildfire, Forest, Fire, Blaze, Smoke, Trees, Heat
Human-induced climate change has already increased the risk of wildfires globally, researchers say, adding that these wildfires will become more common in future. Pixabay

“However, there is also evidence that humans have significant potential to control how this fire risk translates into fire activity, in particular through land management decisions and ignition sources,” Jones said.

At the global scale, burned area has decreased in recent decades, largely due to clearing of savannahs for agriculture and increased fire suppression. In contrast, burned area has increased in closed-canopy forests, likely in response to the dual pressures of climate change and forest degradation.

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“Fire weather does occur naturally but is becoming more severe and widespread due to climate change. Limiting global warming to well below 2 degree celsius would help avoid further increases in the risk of extreme fire weather,” said study researcher Richard Betts. (IANS)