Time between pregnancies may affect autism risk

November 22, 2017, Wiley
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Investigators have found a link between the amount of time between pregnancies and Autism Spectrum Disorder in children. The findings are published in Autism Research.

Autism Spectrum Disorder was increased in second and later-born children who were conceived less than 18 months or 60 or more months after the mother's previous birth. Other developmental disabilities were not associated with birth spacing.

"These findings support existing guidelines on pregnancy spacing and further highlight the association between autism and pregnancy health," said lead author Dr. Laura Schieve, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Couples thinking about getting pregnant should discuss pregnancy planning with a trusted doctor or healthcare provider."

Explore further: Short gap between pregnancies tied to higher autism risk?

More information: Laura A. Schieve et al, Autism spectrum disorder and birth spacing: Findings from the study to explore early development (SEED), Autism Research (2017). DOI: 10.1002/aur.1887

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