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The risk of autism spectrum disorder with premature, preterm birth

New research shows that babies born prematurely, even a few weeks early, may be at higher risk for autism.

It has long been known that autism, a brain development disorder, is more common in premature babies before 37 weeks of gestation.

The researchers note that the new study, which involved more than 4 million people, provides a clearer division of risks associated with varying degrees of immaturity.

It indicates a slightly higher prevalence of autism in children born just a few weeks prematurely, which doctors call “premature.”

“Most premature babies feel well,” said Dr. Casey Crump, a professor at Mount Sinai Icahn Medical School in New York.

But this study, he said, strengthens the evidence that preterm birth is a risk factor for autism.

His team found that 1.4% of people born full-time between the 39th and 41st weeks of pregnancy were diagnosed with autism.

There were a number of risks among people born earlier. The prevalence of autism was highest at 6% among extremely preterm infants (22 to 27 weeks of gestation), but was also high among moderately preterm or preterm infants.

Trump said premature babies and toddlers should relapse their development to detect delays as soon as possible.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autism is a brain disorder that affects 1 in 54 children in the United States. The disorder is complex և very different from person to person.

Some children have lighter problems with communication, while others have a profound effect. Some children have intellectual disabilities, while others have above-average IQs.

The causes of autism are complex and not fully understood.

Like Crump, he stressed that most prenatal people do not develop autism.

But, Henderson said, “these findings underscore the importance of all that we can do to prevent premature birth.”

That, she added, includes avoiding childbirth until the 39th week if there is no medical reason.

It is unclear why early childbirth may increase the risk of autism, Trump said. But studies show that premature babies may have signs of inflammation all over the body, which can persist into childhood.

Inflammation of the brain, according to Cramp, may be one of the causes of premature birth.

The study was published in the August 11 issue of the journal Pediatricsare based on the health data of more than 4 million people born in Sweden between 1973 and 2013.

About 6.1% of all extremely premature babies are diagnosed with autism at some point. This is համեմատ 1.9% of people who are born prematurely (between 28 and 33 weeks of gestation) և 1.9% of those who are born prematurely (between 34 and 36 weeks).

The prevalence of autism in people born in the 37th or 38th week of pregnancy (early term) was 1.6%.

The huge database allowed researchers to compare siblings, which, according to Cramp, helps to take into account genetic և family factors that may play a role in the risk of autism.

Even then, researchers found that preterm births were associated with an increased risk of autism.

“It assumes a causal link,” Trump said.

Dr. Elizabeth McGowan, of Providence Hospital in Rhode Island, Rhode Island, wrote an editorial that was published during the study. “This study gives us a good, conclusive account of the prevalence of autism in the preterm and preterm birth spectrum,” she said.

McGowan said parents and pediatricians may know that preterm birth is a risk factor for autism.

He said it may prompt an earlier screening when a child has language or social development problems.

McGowan agreed that the findings should not “alarm” parents. But, according to him, if they are worried about their child’s development, they should not hesitate to talk to their pediatrician.

Henderson said preventing premature births as soon as possible is important because these babies are at increased risk for other developmental defects, health conditions such as asthma, hearing or vision problems.

Among the solutions, Henderson said, is improving women’s access to prenatal and postnatal care through measures such as expanding Medicaid coverage.


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Quote:“Prenatal” children are later diagnosed with autism. The study (August 11, 2021) is taken from 2021. From August 11 https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-08-autism-spectrum-disorder-preterm-early-term. html:

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