Study Looks at Autism and Possible Pregnancy Risk Factors

Some evidence suggests flu, long fever, or antibiotic use in pregnancy could increase risk of autism

MONDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Although there is some evidence to suggest that maternal influenza, prolonged febrile episodes, and antibiotic use during pregnancy may be associated with an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)/infantile autism, further research is required to elucidate these associations, according to a study published online Nov. 12 in Pediatrics.

Hjördis Ósk Atladóttir, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Aarhus in Denmark, and colleagues conducted a population-based cohort study of 96,736 children aged 8 to 14 years to examine whether common infections, febrile episodes, and antibiotic use during pregnancy affected the risk of ASD and infantile autism.

The researchers found little evidence that mild common infectious diseases or febrile episodes during pregnancy correlated with ASD or infantile autism. However, the risk of infantile autism was increased two-fold with maternal influenza infection, and three-fold with prolonged episodes of fever. In addition, use of various antibiotics was suggested as a risk factor for ASD/infantile autism.

"Our results do not suggest that mild infections, febrile episodes, or use of antibiotics during pregnancy are strong risk factors for ASD and infantile autism. Due to multiple testing, the few statistically significant findings were possible chance findings," the authors write. "We experienced several methodologic limitations, and the results of this study thus cannot solely negate a possible association. We emphasize the need for further research on this important topic."

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles

Debunking Three Rape Myths
Journal of Forensic Nursing, October/December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:2.5 $24.95

Drug updates and approvals: 2014 in review
The Nurse Practitioner, 13December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:3 $27.95

Can Food Processing Enhance Cancer Protection?
Nutrition Today, September/October 2014
Expires: 10/31/2016 CE:2 $21.95

More CE Articles

Subscribe to Recommended CE

Recommended Nursing Articles Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events