n The Politics of Autism, I discuss various ideas about what causes the condition. Here is just a partial list of correlates, risk factors, and possible causes that have been the subject of serious studies:
- Air pollution and proximity to freeways;
- Maternal thyroid issues;
- Autoimmune disorders;
- Induced labor;
- Preterm birth;
- Birth by cesarean section;
- Maternal and paternal obesity;
- Maternal and paternal age;
- Maternal post-traumatic stress disorder;
- Smoking during pregnancy;
- Antidepressant use during pregnancy;
Risk of Autism Increased in Children of Mothers with Diabetes
Maternal Type 1 Diabetes and Risk of Autism in OffspringJAMA
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE: 8 A.M. (ET), SATURDAY, JUNE 23, 2018
Media advisory: To contact corresponding author Anny H. Xiang, Ph.D., email Elita Fielder at Elita.T.Fielder@kp.org. The full study is available on the For The Media website.
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Translation available: A translation in simplified Chinese is available below.
Bottom Line: The risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) was increased in children of mothers with the three main types of diabetes that complicate pregnancy, findings that add new information on type 1 diabetes and extend what is already known about type 2 and gestational diabetes.
Why The Research Is Interesting: Maternal preexisting type 2 diabetes (T2D) and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) diagnosed by 26 weeks have been associated with increased risk of ASD in children in prior research. Less is known about ASD risk associated with maternal preexisting type 1 diabetes (T1D).
Who and When: 419,425 children born at 28 to 44 weeks from 1995-2012.
What (Study Measures and Outcomes): Maternal T1D, T2D and GDM (exposures); diagnosis in children of ASD, which includes autistic disorders, Asperger syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (outcomes)
How (Study Design): This was an observational study. Researchers were not intervening for purposes of the study and cannot control all the natural differences that could explain the study findings.
Authors: Anny H. Xiang, Ph.D., Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Pasadena, California, and coauthors
Results: Risk of ASD was higher in children exposed in utero to maternal preexisting T1D, T2D and gestational diabetes diagnosed by 26 weeks compared with no maternal diabetes exposure.
Study Limitations: Risk factors of the father, along with other intrauterine and postnatal exposures, couldn’t be assessed.
Study Conclusions: Results suggest the severity of maternal diabetes and the timing of exposure (early vs late in pregnancy) may be associated with the risk of ASD in children of mothers with diabetes.
To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.
Editor’s Note: This study is being presented at the American Diabetes Association’s 78th Scientific Sessions. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
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