A Mayo Clinic research has found that the risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) increases among children below 3 years of age if they undergo two or more surgeries involving general anesthesia.
The researchers analyzed medical data of 341 children with ADHD and found that over 18 percent of the children who underwent more than one surgery under general anesthesia developed ADHD. The rate fell to 11 percent and 7 percent among children who were exposed to anesthesia once or never underwent any surgery in their infancy.
Lead researcher Dr David Warner was quick to point out that parents should not be unduly worried if their children require general anesthesia. "All we can say is that we can't exclude that this could be a problem", he said.
The study has been published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.