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 WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

nachricht First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

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: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

Space-like gravity weakens biochemical signals in muscle formation

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

NIST puts the optical microscope under the microscope to achieve atomic accuracy

23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>