Zeyan Liew and colleagues have an article at JAMA Pediatrics titled "Association Between Estimated Geocoded Residential Maternal Exposure to Lithium in Drinking Water and Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder in Offspring in Denmark." Key Points:
- Question Is maternal prenatal exposure to lithium in drinking water associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in offspring?
- Findings In this Danish nationwide population-based case-control study, the study team found that maternal exposure to higher levels of residential lithium in drinking water during pregnancy was associated with a moderate increase in ASD risk in the offspring. The findings remained robust after adjusting for several maternal neighborhood socioeconomic factors and air pollution exposures.
- Meaning This study suggests that naturally occurring lithium in drinking water may be a novel environmental risk factor for ASD development that requires further scrutiny.