Inflammatory Conditions During Pregnancy Linked to Increased Risk of Autism in Offspring

October 30, 2023

Moms with Asthma Were 62% More Likely to Deliver an Infant Later Diagnosed with ASD, Moms with Obesity 51% Liklier

New research from Kaiser Permanente has found that mothers with asthma or obesity during pregnancy were more likely to have children later diagnosed with autism. The current study analyzed the medical records of mothers who gave birth between 2011 and 2016 at Kaiser Permanente facilities in Northern California. Specifically, the investigation found mothers with asthma were 62% more likely to deliver an infant later diagnosed with autism, whereas developmental disabilities were 30% more likely. In mothers with obesity, autism was 51% more likely. Unfortunately, the study showed that this risk increases with extreme obesity. The authors also discovered that the association with autism was even stronger among mothers with both asthma and obesity. This research suggested that asthma, a condition that causes systemic inflammation, and obesity, which may be related to metabolic disorders, could profoundly affect neurodevelopment in children. Interestingly, the researchers also explored whether maternal genetics played a role in the association and could not find a relationship. Ultimately, the authors say their findings give the research community directions for future studies “to paint a more complete picture of the origins of autism.”

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Original Study

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