Autism Risk in Children Higher in Mothers with Type 1 Diabetes

The risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children was higher in mothers with type 1 diabetes (T1D) diagnosed by 26 weeks’ gestation, according to a new research letter in JAMA.

The risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children was higher in mothers with type 1 diabetes (T1D) diagnosed by 26 weeks’ gestation, according to a new research letter in JAMA.

The risk of ASD in offspring of mothers with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) diagnosed by 26 weeks’ gestation was also higher, although that association was known previously, the researchers said. However, GDM diagnosed after 26 weeks’ gestation was not associated with an increased risk.

The researchers said the results suggest that the severity of maternal diabetes and the timing of exposure—early versus late in pregnancy—may be a factor.

This retrospective study using electronic health records included singleton children born at 28 to 44 weeks’ gestation in Kaiser Permanente Southern California (KPSC) hospitals from January 1, 1995, through December 31, 2012. Children were tracked through from age 1 until the first date of the following: clinical diagnosis of ASD, last date of continuous KPSC membership, death, or study end date of December 31, 2017.

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