Posts Tagged ‘autism’

Study Links Autism to Obesity, Diabetes

May 19th, 2012

The increasing prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has been both controversial and concerning to parents and health professionals. Could obesity and type 2 diabetes be responsible for some of the increase?

In a  paper in the May 2012 Pediatrics, researchers from the CHARGE (Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and Environment) study in California, looked to see if metabolic conditions, specifically type 2 diabetes, hypertension and obesity, in mothers during pregnancy were associated with ASD or developmental delays (DD) in offspring. The study involved 517 children with ASD, 172 DD, and 315 controls. The researchers found that all metabolic conditions were more prevalent among mothers with affected children. Collectively, these conditions were associated with a higher likelihood of risk of ASD and DD relative to controls (odds ratio 1.61 and 1.10, respectively).

The authors state, “In a diabetic and possibly prediabetic pregnancy, poorly regulated maternal glucose can result in adverse fetal development. “  Concluding, they point out, “The prevalence of obesity and diabetes among US women of childbearing age is 34% and 8.7% respectively. Our findings raise concerns that these maternal conditions may be associated with neurodevelopmental problems in children and therefore could have serious public health implications. PubMed: Maternal Metabolic Conditions