Researchers may have identified the first link between autism in children and asthma and allergic disease in the mother. The researchers evaluated mothers in the 4 years surrounding pregnancy and the later diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder in the children. The study included 407 children who were diagnosed with autism and 2095 without the condition.
Reporting in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (February 2005), the researchers revealed that asthma and allergies were significantly more prevalent among mothers of children with autism, compared with unaffected children. Furthermore, the results of the study indicated that women who had asthma and allergies during the second trimester of pregnancy had a >2-fold higher chance of having a child affected by autism.