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Likelihood Of Autism Triples When Pregnancies Are Closely Spaced

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The risk of a child developing autism increases by as much as threefold when pregnancies occur close together, researchers said Monday.

In a study looking at birth records of more than 660,000 second-born children in California, researchers found that the likelihood of autism was nearly three times as high for children conceived within 12 months of their older sibling’s birth as opposed to those conceived after three years.

What’s more, the risk declined the farther apart the births were spaced, according to the study published online ahead of the February issue of the journal Pediatrics.

“This finding is particularly important given trends in birth spacing in the United States,” the researchers wrote. “Between 1995 and 2002, the proportion of births occurring within 24 months of a previous birth increased from 11 percent to 18 percent.”

The study is believed to be the first to link autism to the timing of pregnancies.

The researchers did not specifically examine why an increased risk for autism occurs when a second child is conceived soon after the birth of a first. But they say it could be related to stress or due to depleted levels of folate, iron or other nutrients during the second pregnancy.

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Comments (1 Response)

  1. Excop says:

    What is the name of this “organization or research unit” that made this asinine statement. I pray the people of the US did not contribute to this study by means of the FDA or CDC. One study says fathers in their 40″s conrtribute to the possibility of their child being born ww/autism, living near an expressway can cause autism. Talk about fishing, why is it the FDA nor CDC place the blame on the true source Eli Lilly for the product thimersoal and the pharamacutical companies that “push” the fact that a child today must receive 36 vaccines before the age of 2 to the states so that child can attend school. Wake up. Wait I had a McDonald’s 1/4 pounder, w/fried, and Coke for lunch today.

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