The results of conducted research studies suggest that heredity and early fetal and neonatal development play a causal role in autism. The objective was to determine a relationship between pre-, peri-, and neonatal factors and autism. The relationship between genders and individual risk factors for autism was also examined. A case-control study was conducted among 288 children (96 cases with childhood or atypical autism and 192 controls individually matched to cases by the year of birth, sex, and general practitioners). Data on autism diagnosis and other medical conditions were acquired from physicians. All other information on potential autism risk factors were collected from mothers. Autism risk was significantly higher when mothers were taking medications (OR=2.72, 95%CI: 1.47-5.04) and smoked during pregnancy (OR=3.32, 95%CI: 1.12-9.82). It was also significantly associated with neonatal dyspnea (OR=3.20, 95%CI: 1.29-8.01) and congenital anomalies (OR=7.17, 95%CI: 2.23-23.1). In gender analysis only congenital anomalies were significantly associated with autism for girls but all of mentioned factors stayed independent risk factors for boys.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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