Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Autism may be linked to being firstborn, breech births or moms 35 or older

29.04.2009
Study looked at group of Utah 8-year-olds

Children who are firstborn or breech or whose mothers are 35 or older when giving birth are at significantly greater risk for developing an autism spectrum disorder, University of Utah School of Medicine researchers have reported in a new study with Utah children.

In the April 27, 2009, online issue of the journal Pediatrics, the researchers showed that women who give birth at 35 or older are 1.7 times more likely to have a child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), compared with women between the ages of 20-34. Children diagnosed with ASD also were nearly 1.8 times more likely to be the firstborn child, the researchers found.

Although they didn't identify a causal relationship between breech births and autism, children diagnosed with the disorder were more than twice as likely to have been a breech presentation, meaning they were not born head first.

"The results of this study give us an opportunity to look more closely at these risk factors for children across the autism spectrum, and not only those diagnosed with autism," said first author Deborah A. Bilder, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry. "This shows that further investigation of the influence of prenatal factors is warranted."

Autism is a complex brain disorder that impairs social, communicative, and behavioral development and often is characterized by extreme behavior.

Bilder and her colleagues in the U medical school's department of psychiatry and the Utah Department of Health examined the birth records of Utah children who had been identified as having an autism spectrum disorder in a 2002 epidemiological study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That study looked at 8-year-old children in Utah's three most populous counties—Salt Lake, Davis, and Utah—and used nationally accepted criteria for an ASD classification. The researchers compared birth records for children identified with an ASD with unaffected children born in those three counties in 1994. Of that group, 196 were identified with an ASD. Birth certificates were available for 132 of those children, and the researchers examined those records for possible prenatal, perinatal, and neonatal risk factors related to ASD.

Their investigation showed that the mother's age when giving birth (older than 34), breech presentation, and being firstborn were significant risk factors for the development of an ASD. The researchers also identified a small but significant relationship between the increased duration of education among mothers of those children.

Further investigation would be needed to understand how these three risk factors may relate to ASD. But a possible explanation for the correlation of firstborn children might be that parents are reluctant to have a second child if the first is diagnosed with ASD. A possible interpretation of increased risk associated with advanced maternal age is that changes in genes occurring over time may contribute to autism spectrum disorders. The association found between breech presentation and ASD most likely indicates a shared cause, such as neuromuscular dysfunction. The vast majority of children born breech, however, are healthy.

This study follows several from the University in recent years, which found that Utah has one of the highest autism spectrum disorder rates in the country (one in 133 Utah children has the disorder), helped indentify a gene that may predispose people to autism, and showed that Utah adults with autism have a better quality of life than those in other studies.

For the next step in their research, Bilder and her colleagues want to repeat this study, using a larger population of Utah 8-year-olds from subsequent birth years, to see if it replicates the results of the current study. They also may study the subset of children with breech presentation to determine whether they haven a genetic vulnerability that put them at increased risk for developing an autism spectrum disorder.

The study's other authors are Judith P. Zimmerman, Ph.D., research assistant professor of psychiatry; Judith Miller, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry; and William M. McMahon, M.D., chairman of the Department of Psychiatry.

Phil Sahm | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hsc.utah.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>