Friday, June 6, 2008

STUDY: Low Birth Weight Associated with Autism, Especially in Girls

From the June issue of Pediatrics, the peer-reviewed, scientific journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics ... comes a new study about autism.

"Low birth weight was associated with a 2.3-fold increased risk for autism, with the strongest association seen among low birth weight girls.

In the study, “Birth Weight and Gestational Age Characteristics of Children With Autism, Including a Comparison With Other Developmental Disabilities,” researchers examined the records of 565 children with autism born in Atlanta, Ga., from 1986 to 1993, and matched them to a control group. They found the risk for autism was consistently higher for low birth weight girls than for low birth weight boys.

For all low birth weight children, the risk of cerebral palsy, mental retardation, hearing loss or vision impairment was higher than the risk of autism.

Researchers hypothesize that some girls are more likely than boys to require a prenatal insult, such as reduced growth or preterm birth, in the causal pathway leading to autism."

Source: Pediatrics


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