Obstetric synthetic oxytocin use and subsequent hyperactivity/inattention problems in Danish children

Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2018 Jul;97(7):880-889. doi: 10.1111/aogs.13344. Epub 2018 Apr 2.


Introduction: The objective was to examine the association between obstetric synthetic oxytocin use and hyperactivity/inattention problems in offspring.

Material and methods: We identified children born in 2000-2003, enrolled in the Danish National Birth Cohort, with data on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) reported by parents at age seven (n = 33 896) and age 11 (n = 27 561) and the children themselves around age 11 (n = 27 251). Information on oxytocin administration was provided in the Medical Birth Register. We estimated mean differences and odds ratios for childhood hyperactivity/inattention problems according to oxytocin exposure.

Results: Synthetic oxytocin was administered in 26% of the deliveries. We did not find the use of synthetic oxytocin during birth to be associated with childhood hyperactivity/inattention problems, whether analyzed in linear or logistic regression models.

Conclusions: Our findings do not support any effects of obstetric use of synthetic oxytocin on hyperactivity/inattention problems in children when measured with the SDQ subscale at 7 or 11 years of age.

Keywords: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; augmentation; hyperactivity/inattention; induction; oxytocin; strengths and difficulties questionnaire.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxytocin / adverse effects*
  • Pregnancy
  • Registries
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Oxytocin