Wednesday, 01 September 2004 00:00
Although the case is becoming stronger that perinatal complications play a causative role in autism, how such complications might set the stage for this developmental disorder is far from clear.
Australian researchers decided to use centralized resources in Western Australia to conduct a large population-based study on possible perinatal factors contributing to autism. As they reported in the June Archives of General Psychiatry, they have found what previous studies have generally found—mothers of individuals with autism are more likely to have experienced difficulties during pregnancy, labor, and delivery than mothers of persons without autism.
Compared with the control subjects, the researchers found, autism subjects had significantly greater frequencies of threatened miscarriage, epidural caudal anesthesia use, labor induction, and a labor duration of less than one hour. They were significantly more likely to have experienced fetal distress, to have been delivered by an elective or emergency cesarean section, or to have had an Apgar score of less than 6 at one minute.
This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #03.
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