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Autism causes elusive

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16th Aug 2011
Lynnette Hoffman   all articles by this author

There is not enough evidence to conclusively link any one single perinatal or neonatal factor to autism, but it does seem that “exposure to a broad range of conditions that reflect general compromises to perinatal and neonatal health” could raise the risk.

Those were the ambiguous findings from a meta-analysis of 40 studies examining the relationship between more than 60 perinatal and neonatal factors and the risk of autism.

Some factors found to be associated with an increased risk included umbilical cord complications, fetal distress, birth injury, multiple births, maternal haemorrhage, low birth weight, congenital malformation, feeding difficulties and neonatal anaemia.

The study ruled out some factors including anaesthesia, post-term birth, high birth weight, and head circumference.

Pediatrics 2011; online 11 July

Tags: , Mental Health

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